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Photo of Courtney Rivard, taken by Sarah Boyd

Teaching Associate Professor / Director of Digital Literacy and Communications Lab

2012, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz


Courtney Rivard, Ph.D. is the Director of the Digital Literacy and Communications (DLC) Lab and Teaching Associate Professor in English & Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Her interdisciplinary research brings together rhetoric, archives and information and feminist studies. Her main line of research uses digital humanities methods to explore how digital protocols, such as categorization, indexing and tagging practices, rhetorically shape notions of race, gender and national belonging in archives. Her first book, Layered Lives: Rhetoric and Representation in the Southern Life History Project written with Lauren Tilton and Taylor Arnold, combines archival and quantitive methods to recover the history of the Southern Life Histories Project part of the Federal Writers’ Project during the 1930s (Stanford University Press, 2022). This innovative digital book demonstrates how gender and race informed the writing practices used to create the concept of “life histories,” which documented the lives of Southerners struggling to survive the Great Depression. She received an Institute of Arts & Humanities Fellowship to work on this project during Spring 2021.

Her second line of research emerges from her role as Director of the Digital Literacy and Communication (DLC) Lab. The DLC serves as a space of innovation in digital pedagogies by exploring strategies to teach digital writing through web development, social media, and games. She is particularly interested in how theories of play and gaming can help create critical pedagogies that interrogate race, gender and sexuality as well demonstrate how algorithmic rhetoric shapes narrative structures. Recently, she received a NEH grant to create a Critical Gaming Initiative that centers questions of identity and representation in the development of a Critical Game Studies minor. The cornerstone of the initiative is the Greenlaw Gameroom, UNC’s first game-based classroom, funded by a Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grant.

To read more, visit my website


  • “The Rhetorical Power of Archives: The Federal Writers’ Project, Wikipedia, and First-year Composition.” Teaching Rhetoric and Composition through the Archives. Eds. Wendy Hayden and Tarez Samra Graban Southern Illinois Press. (forthcoming)
  • Turning Archives into Data: Archival Rhetorics and Digital Literacy in the Composition Classroom,” College Composition and Communication (June, 2019)
  • “Collaboration, Teaching, and Interpretation: Making Data Construction Visible” with Lauren Tilton and Taylor Arnold for publication in DH Quarterly. (2019)
  • “Decolonizing Projects: Creating Pluriversal Possibilities in Rhetoric.” With Ellen Cushman, et. al. Rhetoric Review. 38.1 (2019)
  • “Archival Recognition: The Pointe-au-Chien’s and Isle de Jean Charles Band of the Biloxi-Chitmacha Confederation of Muskogees’ Fight for Federal Recognition.” Settler Colonial Studies. (2015)
  • “Introduction: Indigeneity and the work of settler archives.” Co-written with Adams-Campbell and Ashley Glassburn Falzetti. Settler Colonial Studies. (2015)
  • “Archiving Disaster and National Identity in the Digital Realm: The September 11 Digital Archive and the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank” in Identity Technologies: Producing Online Selves.  Eds. Julie Rak and Anna Poletti.  University of Wisconsin Press. (2014)


  • 2022 Humanities Initiative Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • 2022 Schwab Academic Excellence Award from the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at UNC
  • 2021 UNC Center for Faculty Excellence/Lenovo Instructional Innovation Supplementals Grant
  • 2021 Global Partnership Award from UNC Global for collaboration with Universität Tübingen
  • 2021 Institute for Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellow
  • 2019  UNC Center for Faculty Excellence – Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grant
  • 2018  UNC / Adobe Course Development Grant, Center of Faculty Excellence
  • 2017 Course-based Research Experience Development Grant
  • 2016 ACLS Digital Extension Grant
  • 2016 Data@Carolina Course Development Grant
  • 2016 Carolina Digital Humanities Course Development Grant

Courses Taught:

  • ENGL105
  • ENGL 113
  • ENGL 118
  • ENGL149
  • ENGL 318
  • ENGL 482

Curriculum Vitae / Resume