Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Lauren Brentnell
Home > People > Graduate Students > Lauren Brentnell

Photo of WRAC Assistant Professor Dawl Opel outdoors

Lauren Brentnell

PhD Student

Office: 301 Bessey Hall

Email: brentnel@msu.edu

Twitter: @RhetoricNSpice

Research Areas

Trauma studies, cultural rhetorics, digital rhetorics, collage making


I am a third-year PhD student in cultural rhetorics. My research focuses on trauma studies and the ways that we can study trauma at the intersections of cultural and digital rhetorics. Specifically, I study how we can use multimodal, nonlinear, and digital composing alongside art therapy to cope with trauma. I currently serve as a research assistant for the Corpus and Repository of Writing (CROW), a multi-institutional research project devoted to creating a new digital archive to support new forms of writing research.


The University of Oklahoma | M.A. in English (2015) | Area of Concentration: Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy

The University of Oklahoma | B.A. in English (2012) | Honors: Summa cum laude
The University of Oklahoma | B.A. in Political Science (2012) | Honors: with Distinction
The University of Oklahoma | Additional Major in Psychology (2012) | Minor: French

Representative Work

Brentnell, Lauren. “Living Oklahoma: A Memoir About Trauma and Rebuilding in Academia.” Intermezzo. 2017. Forthcoming.

Baldwin, Dianna, Lauren Brentnell, Elise Dixon, Jerrice Donelson, Kate Firestone, and Rachel Robinson. “Big Happy Family: Constellating Writing Center Stories.” Special issue on Writing Centers and Relationality in The Peer Review. 2017. Forthcoming.

Gonzales, Laura, Liza Potts, Heather Turner, and Lauren Brentnell. “Working with Ladies that UX: Building Academic/Industry Partnerships for User Research Projects.” ACM SIGDOC. 2017.

Lauren, Ben, Stacey Pigg, Lauren Brentnell, Howard Fooksman, and Kristen Mapes. “Investigating a Common Trope in Technical Communication: Are Academics and Practitioners Researching in Different Communication Design Spheres.” ACM SIGDOC. 2016.

Conference Presentations
Brentnell, Lauren and Kate Firestone. “Re/Visioning Protest as Cultural and Academic Practice.” Feminisms and Rhetorics. October 2017.

Brentnell, Lauren, Tania deSostoa-McCue, and Elise Dixon. “Bisexual Ephemera and the Queer Archives: Vignettes of Destabilizing Identities.” Queer Conversations. April 2017.

Brentnell, Lauren. “Mentorship Across the University: Facilitating Interdisciplinary Pedagogy.” Thomas R. Watson Conference. 20-22 October 2016.

Baldwin, Dianna, Lauren Brentnell, Tania de Sostoa-McCue, Beth Martin, Dawn Opel, and Liza Potts. “Women as Makers in/around/against Popular Media Culture.” Cultural Rhetorics Conference. 1 October 2016.

Brentnell, Lauren. “Representation in Non-Linear Narratives: Text-Based Games and the Question of Agency.” National Popular Culture Association. 23 March 2016.

Brentnell, Lauren and Evin Groundwater. “A Delicate Balancing Act: Graduate Student Assistants in the First-Year Composition Office.” Thomas R. Watson Conference. 17 October 2014.

Sample Courses Taught

WRA 150: The Evolution of American Thought  (Fall 2015, Spring 2016)

Awards and Recognitions

Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative fellowship (2017-2018)
Inside Teaching Fellowship (2016)

Research or Academic Affiliations

Corpus and Repository of Writing (CROW)
Writing in Digital Environments (WIDE)