Faculty Publications

Braving Waves: Fusing The Digital Humanities And Social Sciences In Public Discourse

Document Type



Agricultural communication, digital humanities, public discourse, social sciences

Journal/Book/Conference Title

IEEE International Professional Communication Conference


Collaborations among digital humanities and social science disciplines are not new, but they are increasingly responding to recent, increased examination of how 'discourse' looks in public spheres (particularly U.S. North American). Whether focused on the involvement of social media during the U.S. Presidential campaign, re/definitions of 'civility,' credibility of source information, or presumed shortening of reader attention spans, disciplinary collaborations now find themselves addressing general and/or public discursive phenomena with the same frequency as with field-specific communications. Technical communication, always a cross-disciplinary act, has the opportunity to shape and direct public discourses in this new environment. Technical writers working within agricultural contexts are well-positioned to participate in this regard. Whether, e.g., translating the role of data and scientific research during landowners and farmers' conservation decisions, pointing out the influence of extension agents' research reports, interacting with advocacy organizations (such as Farm Bureau or the Iowa Soybean Association), working with local agronomists upon farm-level operations, or illuminating the deployment and use of big data by Big Ag, technical communicators long have been involved in this elemental enterprise (food production, consumption, and distribution) as it daily plays out in public contexts.


Department of Languages and Literatures

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version



UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa