Tisha Turk


I'm a member of the English faculty at the University of Minnesota at Morris; I teach courses in writing, composition studies, fan studies, gender studies, and sometimes narrative theory and the history of the novel. (For information about specific classes, see the links in the sidebar.) I also direct the Writing Center and coordinate the Writing for the Liberal Arts program.

I've got a few new courses in the works: a 2000-level multimodal writing class (writing with visuals and sound as well as print text), a research seminar on multimedia literacies, and an online summer class on gender and sexuality in media fandom. I also hope at some point to develop a class on LGBTQ literature that would be cross-listed in English and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, but I don't know when I'd find time to teach it!


In graduate school, I specialized in the history of the novel. (I am a total geek about novels. I have been known to scribble impromptu flowcharts of the history of the novel for the edification of innocent bystanders. No, seriously, flowcharts. With lines and arrows and everything. The PhD was probably inevitable.) I chose composition and rhetoric as my minor field because I find the study of people's writing processes and strategies to be endlessly interesting. My graduate research was a mash-up of these interests: I examined what happens when we treat novels as rhetorical transactions between authors and readers. This combination of interests is also the driving force behind the research seminar on Rhetoric & Narration that I've offered several times at UMM.

More recently, I've started taking the narratological and rhetorical approaches practiced in my prior work and applying them to vids. This new work is part of the emerging interdisciplinary field of fan studies, but it's grounded in narrative theory, rhetorical criticism, and several subsets of composition studies, including multimedia literacies. I've written short informal pieces about vids for the In Media Res Media Commons Project and longer academic articles for the journals Film and Film Culture and Transformative Works and Cultures and the anthology Metalepsis in Popular Culture. (For more details, see the publications page.)

I've presented on vids at a wide range of conferences, including the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Computers & Writing, Feminisms & Rhetorics, Digital Media & Learning, the Rhetoric Society of America, Narrative, the Reception Study Society, and the American University Washington College of Law Symposium on Intellectual Property and Gender.

If you're curious about what I'm working on, check out my research journal, where I brainstorm ideas, solicit feedback, and occasionally post snippets of works in process.


My work on vids has taken me not only to conventional academic venues but to some places that English professors don't usually go: in May 2009, and again in June 2012, I joined two other members of the Organization for Transformative Works to testify at the Library of Congress U.S. Copyright Office, which holds hearings every three years to consider proposals for exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). We spoke in favor of an exemption proposal for remix video artists circumventing access control technologies for the purpose of extracting clips for inclusion in noncommercial videos that do not infringe copyright—that is, videos that adhere to the principles of fair use, a doctrine not yet tested in court on remix video. It was pretty cool, aside from the part where I had to wear a suit and grown-up shoes. We got the exemption in 2010 and again in 2012.

last updated: Monday, 03-Nov-2014 15:28:53 CST

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.