Ignite Talks

Ignite talks are 5-minute long speeches given at conferences, events, etc. that showcase bleeding-edge projects. They are lightning-fast and are meant to excite and energize an audience about a specific topic. For more information, check out these links:

Yes, We’re Going to Talk about Candy Crush: Surveillance, Social Games, and Screen Segmentation

Stephanie Vie
Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric
Department of Writing and Rhetoric
University of Central Florida

Social and mobile gaming has increased rapidly in the past few years, with over two billion social and mobile gamers globally. The number of paying consumers is also growing exponentially, with cross-screen monetization in games driving revenue to over $21 billion USD per year. Alongside this explosive growth in social, mobile gameplay, user-experience (UX) tracking grows ever more sophisticated in its surveillance of players. Rather than dismiss these games as shallow, this talk will describe why we need to begin paying attention to the design, marketing, and perpetual beta state of social games.


The Dynamic Materialities of Programming Practices

Chris Lindgren
PhD Student | Writing Studies
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Programmers design and write communication environments for diverse audiences, but their practices also produce discourses and cultures influencing their design decisions. How can researchers better understand the negotiated space between programming practices and user experiences? This talk makes the case for the methodological value of the material as a unit of analysis to investigate in situ programming practices.


What Does Topic-based Authoring Bring for Global Technical Communication?

Tatiana Batova
Assistant Professor of Technical Communication
Arizona State University

As the adoption of topic-based approaches to developing, managing, and publishing content is gaining a critical mass in technical communication work groups, what are the implications of these approaches for designing information products for users around the globe? Based on the results of a survey of technical communication practitioners, this talk will examine the advantages and downsides of topic-based authoring for multilingual quality and their rhetorical and business implications.


What Do People Do All Day…At a Supercomputing Center?

Sarah Read
Assistant Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, & Discourse
DePaul University

Walking through a supercomputing center is a surreal experience. On the one hand there is a warehouse containing one of the world’s fastest supercomputers; on the other hand there are people stacked around this warehouse in offices talking and typing and producing documents. Both exist because of the other, but what are the strands that connect them? How does symbolic-analytic work (knowledge work) become and sustain a supercomputing machine? How does a supercomputing machine justify its existence to management? These questions motivate a new research project to  trace the threads of these translations in pursuit of an answer to how we use signs to build things.


Designing a Parsable World: Physical, Linguistic, and Procedural Infrastructures

Annette Vee
Assistant Professor of English
University of Pittsburgh
What happens if we make more of our processes, work, lives and selves parsable, or readable and digestible by computers? By drawing analogies between a potential future infrastructure based on computer-friendly procedures and established physical and linguistic infrastructures like roadways and alphabets, this talk suggests that there are scale and distribution advantages to rendering our world more parsable.