trisha n. campbell 

I teach writing, digital production, digital storytelling, and rhetoric. I practice yoga. I obsess over sounds, the voice, and how to live non-divisively through our sounds and voices. Eventually, I hope my study of yoga stretches (like a good pose) into my teaching and research. Eventually, I will realize all the ways the two already co-create each other. 


Currently, I am working on a book manuscript entitled, Digital Empathy, which discusses how we can foster and teach empathy through intentional digital production experiments using the voice, body, and other sonic composing materials.

At the heart of my work are enduring questions around the ethical, the rhetorical, the public, the body, and the digital. I take up each of these both separately and together through my art installations, articles, practices, pedagogies, and civically engaged or community-centered work. I found my way to empathy accidentally through my doctoral research on violence in inner cities. For years, I spent most of my time thinking about how violence circulates visually, textually, and digitally in networks, how empathy lacks, and how contagious our affects have become. By the last chapter, I realized that I was using actor-network theory and theories of affect to listen in on  violence in the 21st century. What I found through this method of listening was the lack of another fraught 21st century word: empathy. Violence and empathy have so become my intertwined areas of research.

21st-century violence has led to a need for cultivating 21st-century empathy. I study violence and its empathy (or lack) through digital publics, arguments of division, race, and our radically connected inhabitancy of the world.  I might say, on some days, that my work attempts to practice rhetorical listening and rhetorical empathy through and with publics, performance, and found media, archives, and voices. 




Chapter 8, "Composing the Artist-Medium"

Soundwriting Pedagogies

Edited by Courtney S. Danforth, Kyle D. Stedman, & Michael J. Faris

The availability of digital tools has made it easier than ever to record and edit sound, and teachers of composition have noticed. We record sonic texts for our students, and we give aural assignments in many genres: audio essays, podcasts, sonic remediations, interviews, radio shows, think-alouds, experimental pieces, and much more. We're entering an age of soundwriting, where the affordances of sound intersect the pedagogies and practices of writing and rhetoric.

In the chapters that follow, you will find theories, examples, and lots of audio to encourage the use and value of soundwriting in composition, writing, rhetoric, and communications classrooms. Crank it up.

Ventriloquizing with Digital Prosopopoeia

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For me, what’s so remarkable about the rhetorical practice of prosopopeia is that it is a practice as part of the progymnasmata, meaning it has to be performed by the body and voice over and again as part of a series of learning practices, and in the literature about this practice, the end goal is rarely mentioned; it is not stated, as Rogerian rhetoric suggests, that the practice is part of forming a larger worldview nor even achieving the end goal of  empathy, nor even better argument; it is quite simply just one part of the progymnasmata rhetorical exercises, where the student learns in the practice without focusing on the produced, finished piece, or end goal.


The goal is the practice itself.

I am Josephine Miles: A Digital Reprocessing

When I first found Josephine Miles (1911-1985), she was a poet. When I found her for a second time, she was a compositionist. I was struck by her ability to seamlessly work as a poet, critic, and compositionist, but also the way in which she allowed all those things to bleed into one another in order to amplify and deepen her own intellectual inquiries.  I was struck, too, by the way her method had something to say to us now about the relationship between past, present, and future. I wanted to recover not only her forgotten trajectory—her method—but also her intellectual disposition for our disciplinary history. I wanted to bring her back to life in so many ways.


Digital Empathy: A Practice-Based Experiment


This article began, long before these words were written, as a digital-theoretical experiment and provocation in what it might mean and how it might sound if I were to speak with the digitally recorded voice of another—and not just any other, not my family or friends, but someone whose experience lies far outside of my own. At first thought, this could be the recorded voice of a mother or father, or a religious grandmother. Or, still further, this could be the voice of someone who feels alienated: Police chiefs, Muslim leaders, gang leaders, domestic violence survivors,1 differently raced lives,2and so on. I began by wondering how we could—as digital rhetoricians—cross boundaries and divisions of all kinds using archives of voices (voices dead and alive,3 past and future,4 old and young, those with dissimilar affective states, and so on), and I wondered what digital tools and affordances we could use to extend our own positionalities and affects or to imagine new relations altogether. 




Writing: Rhetoric(s) of Sound(s) || Course Website

Writing for Digital Environments  || Course website

Writing Program Issues || Course Website

Rhetoric and Fake News || Course Tumblr

Writing for the Web: Digital Rhetoric || Course Website

Composition III: Rhetorical Argument || Course Website

Methods for Rhetoric + Composition || Course Website

Introduces graduate students to varying methods, designs, and methods for research in rhetoric and composition. It focuses on ways of developing complex research problems and questions, designing studies, and conducting, reading and evaluating research. Yet it also asks students to think creatively and critically about method. How can method be generative, but also a trained incapacity?

Digital Storytelling || Course Syllabus

Students explore the contemporary craft of digital storytelling, considering how this enduring practice has evolved and changed with the affordances of digital media. We take up both the theory and practice of digital storytelling through reading, listening, watching, discussing, and producing. Using text, audio, visual, and video in concert with thorough research and narrative composition, this course will introduce students to and provide repeated practice in using digital media for composing compelling digital stories. In the process, we will consider the questions: What are stories for? Whose stories get told and whose don't? What kinds of cultural work can they do? Do we need multiple stories? Multiple accounts of the same story? Whose responsibility is it to tell and capture stories? And how do different media shape these stories?

Writing for the Web: Rhetorical Publics || Course Website

This course provides an undergraduate-level introduction to both the theory and practice of writing for the web. Students explore the complex theory around "digital rhetoric," analyze how digital texts are newly persuasive by looking closely at interfaces, video texts, social media, sonic elements, and their affects and rhetoric. Though no previous experience is necessary, students are expected to learn basic mark-up languages and become capable producers of their own digital texts. Through theoretical discussions, collaboration, and hands-on experimentation, students will become critical users and makers of digital media and texts.

Composing Digital Media: The Art of Missing Information || University of Pittsburgh | Course Website

Through the practice of digital production, this class explores the idea of the missing photograph:the picture that was not taken, the story never recorded, the history failed. These are the moments of capture that could not or did not happen. Sometimes these moments are unrepresentable. Yet the reasons behind missing photos, documents, and stories are complex and various. This class will explore the art of missing information through our own intentional acts of composition -- our own pieces of media -- and thus work to construct new and different knowledge along the way. The act of making media is a productive act--makes. And so as we consider each of our projects in this class, we will also consider what is missing or un-documented, and how we can lend voice to the missing.

Written Professional Communication || University of Pittsburgh | Course Website

This writing-intensive course is both a practical and theoretical course, one where we create and analyze the kinds of textual and visual documents students will likely be asked to produce in their future professional lives.