Michelle’s research explores interactions between linguistic play, digital technologies, and ethical life. Prior to UVA, she received her M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania and was a classroom teacher for the School District of Philadelphia. During that time, Michelle developed an interest in young people’s online literacy practices. This became her research focus at UVA, where she conducted ethnographic fieldwork among youth who claimed that social media was the most significant influence on their beliefs about what it means to be and do good in the world. Her dissertation investigates how these young people come to take up and enact new political and moral commitments through creative linguistic practices. Michelle was awarded a Center for Teaching Excellence Thrive Grant and the 2020 Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award in the Social Sciences for the design and instruction of her course, “Technology, Language, & Society.” In 2020-21, she will serve as a Graduate Fellow in the Digital Humanities at UVA’s Scholar’s Lab.
Play, Purity, & Social Justice: The Poetics of Ethical Discourse in Digital Space