About Me

I am a scholar of rhetoric and writing in digital spaces. I have been intrigued by Internet culture and technologically mediated discourse ever since my days of LiveJournal Harry Potter roleplay. Because of my upbringing as a child of the internet, my research examines intersecting facets of identity—gender, sexuality, race, age, class, disability, religion—asking how these differences mediate our experiences with digital tools and interfaces, and in turn how those technologies influence the writing of our diverse selves.

Allegra, a short white woman with a red pixie haircut, stands in front of her award-winning SIGDOC 2017 research poster, "Can You Hear Me Now?:  Revaluing Listening's Role in User Research Practice" I am an Assistant Professor of Professional Writing in the Department of English at Jacksonville State University (Alabama). I received my PhD from the Rhetoric and Composition Program at Purdue University, and received bachelor’s degrees in Professional Writing and Women’s & Gender Studies and a master’s in Digital Rhetoric & Professional Writing, from Michigan State University. Go green and boiler up!

In spring 2023, I am teaching public speaking, technical writing, and a new studio course called the Creative Collective, which connects teams of students with community partners in need of content strategy, user research, document design, and editing. As English Internship Coordinator at JSU, I am also supervising several undergraduate interns in their positions around campus, which focus on social media management, technical writing, and building coalitions for equity and inclusion.

My newest article, published in a November 2022 special issue of Technical Communication on localized usability and agency in design, focuses on the daily digital tasks of a group of older adults aged 70+. This article is based on my dissertation, Digital Age: A Study of Older Adults’ User Experiences with Technology, which recently won the Computers & Composition 2021-22 Hugh Burns Dissertation Award. I am currently preparing a monograph that addresses these issues through building older adult user personas for both researchers and practitioners. I am also embarking on a new research project that explores students’ learner experiences in undergraduate technical and professional communication (TPC) programs.

When I am not hastily typing or Photoshopping, I enjoy binge-watching British comedy on Netflix, making giant pots of soup, trying new teas, and volunteering with the AARP Foundation.

Please feel free to contact me through any of my social media accounts below, or by email at allegra.w.smith@gmail.com. I would love to have a conversation with you online.