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About Riki Thompson

As a scholar and teacher, everything I do revolves around ways that language is a powerful tool -- not neutral or benign. My scholarship and teaching reflect an interest in the problems generated by the dynamic nature of language, technology and ideological formations, specifically how people negotiate identity and communities of practice through language and technology. Most of my endeavors engage questions about what it means to live, learn and communicate in the Digital Age.

Current Research
My research brings together an unexpected combination of social theories and methodologies to examine relationships between self, story, language, literacy, technology and transformation. I am drawn to projects that explore intersections of emotion, storytelling, learning, constructions of self and technology, especially during times of change. Much of my research explores how people gain acceptance into (or are excluded from) communities of practice through know-how of technology, language ideologies and shared understandings about visual representations..

I teach undergraduate and graduate level courses on research and argument, as well as special topics in Writing Studies. My classes take an active-learning approach, using experiential, hands-on activities that aim to engage multimodal learning styles. If you observe my class, you will see a frenzy of activity; groups collaborating, papers shuffling, tables moving, students talking, teacher walking, everyone writing. I use lots of small group work and full-class discussion, online collaborative writing and writing workshops.


Present Associate Dean of Curriculum and Academic Initiatives, University of Washington Tacoma School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
Present Associate Professor, University of Washington Tacoma School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Curriculum Vitae

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  • TCORE 101 Introduction to Composition
  • TWRT 111 Discourse Foundations
  • TCXG 272 Writing Effectively
  • TWRT 272 Intermediate Academic Argument
  • TWRT 211 Argument & Research
  • TWRT 330 Visual & Written Rhetoric
  • TWRT 333 Writing through Comics
  • TCXG 374 Argument & Research
  • TWRT 464 Teaching Writing
  • TIAS 505 MAIS Capstone
  • TIAS 513 Graduate Research & Writing
  • TIAS 514 Teaching Writing: Theory & Practicum
  • TIAS 501 Models and Critical Inquiry


2007 Ph.D., University of Washington ‐ English - Language and Rhetoric
2002 M.A., University of Washington ‐ English - Language and Rhetoric
1996 B.A., University of Washington ‐ English
1996 B.B.A., University of Washington ‐ Business Administration

Contact Information


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Publicly-Engaged Scholarship (2)

Articles (8)

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