Conferences

Sigdoc 2019

Poster / Presentation Title: Comparative Study of Networked Communities, Crisis Communication, and Technology: Rhetoric of Disaster in Nepal Earthquake and Hurricane Maria. (Top five Posters at the Student Research Competition)

In April and May 2015, Nepal suffered two massive earthquakes of 7.5 and 6.5 magnitudes in the Richter scale, killing 8856 and injuring 22309. Two years later in September 2017, Puerto Rico underwent category five Hurricane Maria killing an estimate of 800 to 8000 people and displacing hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans [1]. This poster presents preliminary results from a comparative study of Nepal’s and Puerto Rico’s networked communities who used crisis communication practices to address the havoc created by the disaster. This mixed methods research uses the assemblage theory and the comparative rhetorics to argue that disasters create situations where networked communities emerge with innovative digital composition and communication practices.

Presentation Title: Creating Interdisciplinary Collaborative Teaching/learning Praxis with Design Thinking, Communication, and Composition. SIGDOC Conference 2019. Portland, OR.

Presented By: Baniya, S., Mentzer, N., Sherman, D., Laux, D., Farrington, S., Holtan, A., Eden, C., Zhang, L.,

In this paper/presentation, we discuss the point of view of three instructors who teach the integrated courses in the first-year program at X University. The first-year integrated program launched by X institute (College under X University) combines three departments: English, Communication, and Technology. The instructors representing these departments teach technology students about Design Thinking, Composition, and Communication, thereby providing students an opportunity for designing and developing multimodal compositions geared towards solving global issues via interdisciplinary interactions.

 

Computers and Writing 2019

Presentation Title: Data and Experience Design: Negotiating Community-Oriented Digital Research with Service Learning

Presented by Sweta Baniya and Shelton Weech, Purdue University

Abstract: Speakers in this presentation will present their experience from a graduate-level service-learning course in which they assisted the local food bank on exploring the efficiency of their client tracking software, Link2Feed. In the semester-long project, the speakers developed a close relationship with the staff of the community partner and worked to explore functionality and usability (Johnson, Salvo, Zoetewey, 2007; Johnson, 2010) of Link2Feed. The speakers found ways to address the current needs of the partner organization for big data collection, reporting, and visualization. With the framework of experience architecture (Potts and Salvo, 2017) and workplace-based writing and communication (Spinuzzi, 2013), the speakers will discuss the challenges of negotiating the needs of the community partner, their infrastructural limitations, and the use of academic research to enhance the community partner’s efficiency to generate big data and knowledge via digital technologies.

 

4Cs 2019

Presentation Title: #RageAgainstRape: Nepali Women’s Performance of Local Digital Actions Against the National Silence on Rape. CCCCs Conference 2019, Pittsburgh, PA

Presented by: Sweta Baniya (Presentation awarded with Scholars of Dream Award)

Abstract:  In this presentation, Speaker X will share a case study of non-western feminist participatory culture (Simmons 2007 and Moore 2017) and local digital action launched by Nepali feminist activists against rape in Nepal. Nepali women on Twitter started a small, effective local movement with the hashtag #RageAgainstRape to voice against national silence on rape. This group was formed after the gang rape of a 22-year old woman stirred online discussions on Nepali Twitter-sphere, allowing many participants to engage, discuss, collaborate and argue against this rape, similar to the #metoo movement in the U.S. Their networked (Potts 2015) rhetorical force started online discussions, blog posts, publication of articles in vernaculars, public participation, fund-raising and also drew the national attention regarding rape.

Speaker X will discuss the findings from a participant observation study of #RageAgainstRape. Using assemblage theory (DeLanda 2016) and experience architecture (Potts and Salvo 2017) the study examines how silent digital feminists and activists assembled to perform networked citizenry actions. This study answers the following questions: a) how can local digital actions provide a cross-cultural and global understanding of social justice movements? and b) how can we value and replicate the contributions of these digital activists for the social change? The study reveals that often ignored, these local actions may bring larger national-level changes in policies, social beliefs and the global could learn from it. The study highlights the research of non-western local movements creating a cross-cultural understanding of the digital fight against social justice.

 

ATTW 2019 

Exploring Documentation and Rhetorical Practices of Addressing Public Health Crises During Nepal Earthquake 2015

Presented by: Sweta Baniya (Awarded with ATTW Amplification Award 2019)

Abstract:

Presenter 3 discusses the documentation and rhetorical practices of addressing public health crisis. Taking the Nepal Earthquake 2015 as a case study, the presenter  compares the documentation practices of governmental and non-governmental organizations that addressed the public health crisis during the earthquake. Within 3 days of the earthquake, the United Nations (UN) in Nepal sent out a flash appeal to raise $422 million, out of which 48% was related to health, hygiene, and food security as “there was heightened concern about the increase in communicable disease” (Post Earthquake Communications Plan by Nepal government). The documentation practices in Nepal (e.g., UN, WHO, Ministry of Health and Population) suggests that larger disasters require a more robust networked mechanism and multidisciplinary rhetorical practices. 

Using Actor Network Theory (Angeli, 2012; Angeli & Norwood, 2017; Latour, 2005; Potts, 2014; Spinuzzi, 2008) as a theoretical framework for document analysis, this presentation critically examines the documentation practices, rhetorical actions, and communications used by various organizations to address public health emergencies during disasters. The analysis of the documentation practices suggests that many organizations united and formed a multidisciplinary network to maintain and manage public health care during disaster (Angeli & Norwood, 2017).