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Contact Info
Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
University of Washington Tacoma
1900 Commerce Street
Box 358436
Tacoma, WA 98402





Dr. Riki Thompson
Assistant Professor - Rhetoric & Composition
University of Washington Tacoma


Everything I do revolves around an interest in how language is not neutral or benign, but rather a powerful tool to influence others and transform. I am most interested in how institutions (or groups of people) set up norms about what makes a person "good" or "healthy" and how people respond when talking back or sharing stories that shed a light on personal reflection. The common thread that ties my scholarship and teaching together is an interest in transformation and problems generated by the dynamic nature of language, technology, and societal ideological formations.

My current research agenda focuses on how language acts upon people, and conversely, how people take up and utilize language to do things, especially in relation to notions of mental health and identity, both individually and institutionally.Broadly defined, my scholarship looks at how language is wielded online in ways that alters ideologies in slow and subtle ways that do not appear transformative on the surface.

Through teaching, I provide students with tools to evaluate and employ language effectively. Specifically, I teach students how to critically read not only academic texts but also texts circulating in their everyday world, and provide them with tools to analyze written and spoken language so they may use it persuasively across the constantly changing rhetorical situations they may face. My scholarship on teaching and learning looks to answer questions about how technological changes influence how students write in and out of the classroom, and whether these arenas affect each other.





How do people influence others through language?

How do people construct & represent self through story & Visual Imagery?

How is digital technology Transforming the way people communicate & Connect?

How does digital technology participate in ideological circulation?

how are digital literacies Transforming teaching & learning?





UWT Teaching Forum @

IAS Graduate Studies @

Rhetoric Studies@

Research & Writing @

M/e-stories @

Art @


Riki Baking Up Words for Writing

explore | connect | express

January 20, 2014