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William C. Kurlinkus

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William C. Kurlinkus

William C. Kurlinkus

Assistant Professor
Director, Rhetoric and Writing Studies
Director, Technical Writing

Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2014

MA, Pennylsvania State University, 2010

BA, University of Illinois, 2008

As a professor of rhetoric, digital media, technical communication, and user-centered design, much of my research seeks to democratize and humanize technological design, improving the ways in which designers and their users communicate—from web UX, to hospital forms, to digital writing classrooms.

My most recent book project, Nostalgic Design: Rhetoric, Memory, and Democratizing Technology, addresses inequities in technology by examining the cherished technological memories, traditions, and values—technological nostalgias—of under-served populations. In doing so, I argue that innovation without tradition leads to alienation.

By exploring technological nostalgia—as personally-experienced and culturally-learned memory—across numerous communities (crafters, anti-vaccination proponents, ER Doctors, professional designers), I develop a method by which designers might identify, mediate, and design from the conflicting values of their users, welcoming communities into participatory design that have not been well served by innovations in the past.

Office: Cate 2, 338

Research Interests:
Technical writing; rhetoric; new media composition; philosophy of technology; participatory design; UX; memory; nostalgia; emotion; medicine; alternative rhetorics; stasis and conflict mediation; technological contact zones. 

Teaching Interests: 
Writing track; technical writing; digital media production; technology-mediated research; rhetoric of design; nostalgia; popular culture.

Recent Publications:

  • Nostalgic Design: Rhetoric, Memory, and Democratizing Technology. U of Pittsburgh P, Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture, 2018, pp. 260.
  • “‘Coal Keeps the Lights On’: Rhetorics of Nostalgia for and in Appalachia.” College English, vol. 81, no. 2, 2018, pp. 87–109, with Krista Kurlinkus.
  • “Memorial Interactivity: Planning for Nostalgic User Experiences.” Rhetoric and Experience Architecture, edited by Liza Potts and Michael J. Salvo, Parlor Press, 2017, pp. 274–290.
  • "Crafting Designs: An Archaeology of 'Craft' as God Term," Computers and Composition 33 (2014): 50-67.
  • "An Ethics of Attentions: Three Continuums of Classical and Contemporary Stylistic Manipulation for the 21st Century Composition Classroom," The Centrality of Style, ed. Michael Duncan and Star Medzerian (Parlor Press and WAC Clearinghouse, 2013)

Click here to access Prof. Kurlinkus' website.