Cara Marta Messina
Assistant Professor of English
Dr. Cara Marta Messina centers everyday digital writers and rhetoric in her research and teaching. Her book, tentatively titled Writing Critical Fandoms: Tracing Representations of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Fandoms, explores critical writing practices in fanfiction, specifically how fans challenge the heteronormativity, racism, and ableism in both the media they love and their own fan communities. The book is based on her open-access digital dissertation, Critical Fan Toolkit (https://criticalfantoolkit.org/), which received Honorable Mention for the 2022 Computers and Composition Hugh Burns Distinguished Dissertation Award. Besides her work in critical fan studies, she also examines the writing and rhetoric of code through feminist and game studies lenses. Her work has appeared in Written Communication, Computers and Composition Online, The Journal of Writing Analytics, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and other journals and edited collections. She is currently on the editorial board for Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy as well as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Fandom Studies and Digital Humanities Quarterly.
Her teaching integrates digital writing and forms of authorship into the classroom, emphasizing the importance of diversity, equity, accessibility, and empirical research. Before coming to Marist, she taught at St. John’s University, Northeastern University, and Jacksonville State University in Alabama. She is originally from Queens and is thrilled to be teaching and living in her home state.
PhD English, Northeastern University, 2021
MA English, St. John’s University, 2015
BA English, St. John’s University, 2014
Research Interests and Specializations
Digital Rhetoric, Fan Studies, Digital Humanities, Technical Communication, Writing and Rhetoric of Code, Mixed Methods (Qualitative and Computational Methods), Game Studies, Intersectional Feminism, Critical Digital Pedagogy
Under contract. Writing Critical Fandoms: Tracing Representations of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Fanfiction. University of Iowa Press, Fandom & Culture.
“Prompting Reflection: Using Corpus Linguistics Methods to Improve the Teaching and Assessment of Reflections.” Written Communication. 2023. With Cherice Jones and Mya Poe.
“Social Knowledge Creation in the Digital Humanities: Case Studies.” Social Knowledge Creation in the Humanities, Volume 2, Iter Press, 2022. With Sarah Connell, Julia Flanders, Caroline Klibanoff, and Sarah Payne.
“Black Digital Humanities for the Rising Generation.” Digital Humanities Quarterly, 16.3, 2022. Open-access special issue. With Alanna Prince and Izetta Autumn Mobley. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/16/3/index.html.
“rm monika.chr: Coding Rhetorics and Ephemeral Code in Doki Doki Literature Club.” Computers and Composition Online, “Making Games Matter” Special Issue. 2022. http://cconlinejournal.org/fall2022/Messina-DDLCwebtext/index.html.
“Black Lives Matter Digital Activism: Writing for Social Media Course.” Spark: A 4C4Equality Journal, 3, 2021. https://sparkactivism.com/volume-3-call/black-lives-matter-digital-activism-writing-for-social-media-course/
“On the Front Lines: Graduate Student Roles in Shaping Discourse in Digital Spaces.” Xchanges Issue 15.1, 2020. With Mandy Olejnik.
“Tracing Fan Uptakes: Tagging, Language, and Ideological Practices in The Legend of Korra Fanfictions.” The Journal of Writing Analytics, 3, 2019. https://wac.colostate.edu/docs/jwa/vol3/messina.pdf
“Code-Sharing and Documentation as Digital Feminist Praxis.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Chicago, IL.2023.
“Fan Composing as Digital Activism: Representations of Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Fanfiction.” Computers and Writing. Greenville, NC. May 2022.
“I Am Not Functional, I Am Not A Function: Enacting Feminist Coding Rhetorics Through Disruptions.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Virtual. March 2022.
“Multilingual Students' Linguistic Identities and Languaging Practices: A Mixed Methods Exploration.” With Qianqian Zhang-Wu, Cherice Jones, and Mya Poe. TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo. Virtual. March 2022.
“Centering Feminist and Queer Pleasures: Tracing Fan Community Writing Practices using Network Analysis” Conference on Community Writing. Virtual. October 2021.
“Tracing Fan Uptakes with Computational Text Analysis.” Computers and Writing. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. 2019.
Awards and Honors
Computers and Composition Hugh Burns Distinguished Dissertation Award, Honorable Mention, 2022.
Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Humanics, Northeastern University, 2022.
College of Social Sciences and Humanities Teaching Award, Northeastern University, 2021.
Kairos Teaching Award. Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, 2019.
“JSU’s new game studies minor.” The Chanticleer. November 7, 2022. https://www.jsuchanticleer.com/features/jsus-new-game-studies-minor/article_bd0b7f14-5ee2-11ed-a333-b7a6f519e96e.html.
“JSU to get new Game Studies Minor.” Anniston Star. February 16, 2022. https://www.annistonstar.com/news/jacksonville/jsu-to-get-new-game-studies-minor/article_ca630eb8-8f47-11ec-a20b-1bb242ca8c06.html
Cara Marta Messina, Dan Dissinger & Katie Robison. “76. Celebrating Critical Fan Studies w/ Cara Marta Messina.” Writing Remix Podcast. December 2021. https://writingremixpodcast.com/2021/12/17/episode-76-celebrating-critical-fan-studies-with-cara-marta-messina/.
Cara Marta Messina & Charles Woods. “Episode 70: Dr. Cara Messina (Emerging Scholar Series).” The Big Rhetorical Podcast. April 27, 2021. https://open.spotify.com/episode/3It3nOlxV7jxki1Rox4sow