woman with short brown hair in glasses wearing orange shirt and smiling

Kristin Arola

Associate Professor; Graduate Faculty
Office: Bessey 288
Email: arola@msu.edu 
Website: http://arola.kuurola.com 

Research Areas

Multimodal Composition, Cultural Rhetorics, American Indian Studies


Arola’s research and teaching focuses on composing as culturing. Specifically, she explores the act of writing/designing/making and the relations that bring forth these texts. By looking to the relations between land, histories, and cultures, she considers how the words, designs, and images we compose evoke the past while opening up possible futures. To do this work, she brings together composition theory, making culture, digital rhetoric, and cultural rhetoric.


PhD., Michigan Technological University, 2006

B.A., University of Michigan, 1998

Representative Work


Villanueva, Victor and Kristin L. Arola. CrossTalk in Comp Theory. 3rd Edition. National Council of Teachers of English, 2011.

Edited Volumes

Arola, Kristin L. and Anne Frances Wysocki, Eds. Composing (Media) = Composing (Embodiment). Utah State University Press, 2012.


Ball, Cheryl E., Jennifer Sheppard, and Kristin L. Arola. Writer/Designer: Making Multimodal Projects, 2nd Edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2018.

Book Chapters

Arola, Kristin L. “A Land-Based Digital Design Rhetoric.” Routledge Companion to Digital Writing & Rhetoric. Eds. Jonathan Alexander & Jacqueline Rhodes. New York: Routledge. 2018.

Arola, Kristin L. “Composing as Culturing: An American Indian Approach to Digital Ethics.” Handbook of Digital Writing and Literacies Research. Eds. Kathy Mills, Amy Stornaiuolo, Anna Smith & Jessica Zacher Pandya. New York: Routledge. 2018.

Arola, Kristin L. “Indigenous Interfaces.” Social Writing/Social Media: Pedagogy, Presentation, and Publics. Eds. Douglas Walls and Stephanie Vie. WAC Clearinghouse Perspectives on Writing Series, University of Colorado Press. 2017.

Arola, Kristin L. and Adam C. Arola “An Ethics of Assemblage: Creative Repetition and the Electric Pow Wow.” Assembling Composition. Eds. Kathleen Blake Yancey and Stephen J. McElroy. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. 2017.    * [winner of the 2017 Computers and Composition Ellen Nold Best Essay or Article Award, awarded Spring 2018]

Arola, Kristin L. “It’s My Revolution: Learning to See the Mixedblood.” Composing (Media) = Composing (Embodiment). Eds. Kristin L. Arola and Anne Frances Wysocki. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2012. 115-142.

Peer Reviewed Articles/WebTexts

Sackey, Donnie Johnson, Casey Boyle, Mai Nou Xiong, Gabriela Raquel Ríos, Kristin L. Arola, Scot Barnett. “Perspectives on Cultural and Posthumanist Rhetorics.” Rhetoric Review, 38.4, 375-401. (2019).

Johnson, Lucy and Kristin L. Arola. “Tracing the Turn: The Rise of Multimodal Composition in the U.S.” Res Rhetorica. No.1 (2016).

Research and Academic Affiliation

Affiliate Faculty, American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program

Affiliate Faculty, Digital Humanities Program

Member, Multimodal Working Group

Sample Courses Taught

WRA 260 (Rhetoric, Persuasion & Culture)

WRA 325 (Writing & Multimodality)

WRA 860 Multimodal Composing

WRA 891 (American Indian) Rhetorics

Social Media

Twitter: @kristinarola