Danielle M. Williams
Zora Neale Hurston between 1935 and 1943

"Research is formalized curiosity."

-Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road

Things I'm curious about:

My ongoing research agenda is guided by my interest in the affordances of digital media as they apply to communities. My co-authored publication “DMAC After Dark: Toward a Theory of Distributed Invention” outlines the concept of “distributed invention,” a concept that explains inventional processes of thinking that occur when people engage in idea-generating activities in community with others as they compose digital projects.

I am also in the process of publishing chapters from my dissertation project, Hearing What We Cannot See”: Contradictions and Complications in a Multimodal Community-based Writing Project. This case study analyzes the contradictions that emerge between stakeholders involved in a service-learning project in which students partnered with local “community experts” to compose 1-2 minute multimodal videos about the General Education Development (GED) test. My findings are significant for designing community-based writing projects that recognize the complexity of the various activity systems at work in digital projects and make explicit the contradictory goals that can sometimes threaten a project’s success. The first of these publications is “The Unheard Voices of Dissatisfied Clients: Listening to Community Partners as Feminist Praxis,” an essay that foregrounds community partner perspectives in order to identify points in which teachers can intervene to structure digital writing assignments that benefit everyone involved.

I am currently conducting a study that compares student outcomes and experiences in digital and face-to-face community-based writing projects in technical and professional writing courses.