woman with brown hair and glasses

Liza Potts

Professor; Director of WIDE Research; Graduate Faculty
Office: 291 Bessey Hall
Email: lpotts@msu.edu
Google Scholar
http://lizapotts.org/ and https://www.sherlockian.net/

Research Areas

Digital Humanities, Experience Architecture, Participatory Culture, Disaster Communication


Liza Potts is a Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University where she is the Director of WIDE Research and the Co-Founder of the Experience Architecture program. Her research interests include networked participatory culture, social user experience, and digital rhetoric. Her work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and others. She has published three books, including a monograph, an edited collection, and a digital book, as well as over 65 publications. She is the caretaker of Sherlockian.net, an international cultural heritage website. Her professional experience includes working for technology startups, Microsoft, and consultancies on user experience projects.


Ph.D. Communication and Rhetoric, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2007
M.S. Technical Communication, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2003
Graduate Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2003
B.A. English, Florida Atlantic University, 1997

Representative Work

Trice, M., Potts, L. (2018). “Building Dark Patterns into Platforms: How GamerGate Perturbed Twitter’s User Experience Special issue on Rhetorics of Platforms.” Present Tense. https://www.presenttensejournal.org/volume-6/building-dark-patterns-into-platforms-how-gamergate-perturbed-twitters-user-experience/.

Potts, L. (2018). “We Are the Network: Creating Gravity in the Digital Humanities.” In Networked Humanities edited by Brian McNely and Jeff Rice. Parlor Press.

Potts, L. with Beattie, M., Dallaire, E., Grimes, K., Turner, K. (2018). Participatory memory: Fandom experiences across time and space. Intermezzo at Enculturation digital press. http://intermezzo.enculturation.net/06-potts-et-al.htm.

Potts, L., Salvo, M. (2017). Rhetoric and Experience Architecture. Edited collection. South Carolina: Parlor Press.

Gonzalez, L., Potts, L., Hart-Davidson, W., McLeod, M. (2016). “Revising a Content-Management Course for a Content Strategy World.” IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication. Special issue on Content Management. IEEE. 59 (1). http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7438928/.

Sullivan, P., Simmons, M., Moore, K., Meloncon, L., Potts, L. (2015). “Intentionally Recursive: A Participatory Model for Mentoring.” Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Design of Communication. ACM SIGDOC. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2814672

Potts, L. (2015). “Archive Experiences: A Vision for User-Centered Design in the Digital Humanities.” In Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities edited by Bill Hart-Davidson and Jim Ridolfo. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Potts, L. (2015). “Can’t Stop the Fandom: Writing Participation in the Firefly ‘Verse.” Kairos 19.3. Special issue on digital rhetoric and social media. http://technorhetoric.net/19.3/topoi/potts/

Potts, L. (2014). Social Media in Disaster Response: How Experience Architects Can Build for Participation. New York: Routledge (Association of Teachers of Technical Writing Series). http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415817417/

Daer, A., Potts, L. (2014). “Teaching and Learning with Social Media: Tools, Cultures, and Best Practices.” Programmatic Perspectives. 6.2. http://www.cptsc.org/pp/vol6-2/daer&potts.pdf

Potts, L., Seitzinger, J., Jones, D., Harrison, A. (2011). “Tweeting Disaster: Hashtags Constructions and Collisions.” Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Design of Communication. Italy: ACM SIGDOC. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2038522

Potts, L. & Jones, D. (2011). “Contextualizing Experience: Tracing the Relationships Between People and Technologies in the Social Web.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication25 (2). http://jbt.sagepub.com/content/25/3/338

Potts, L. (2009). “Using Actor Network Theory to Trace and Improve Multimodal Communication Design.” Technical Communication Quarterly18 (3) 281-301. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10572250902941812

Selected Courses Taught

WRA 420 Content Strategy
WRA 415 Digital Rhetoric
WRA 360 Visual Rhetoric
WRA 870 Research Methodologies in Rhetoric & Writing
XA 333 Researching Experience Architecture
XA 375 Information Architecture
Study Abroad in the UK and Ireland

Awards and Recognitions

SIGDOC 2016 Chair Recognition
SIGDOC 2015 Diana Award for Women in Technical Communication
CCCC 2015 Technology Innovator Award for WIDE Research Center
ODU 2010 Teaching with Technology Award

Research or Academic Affiliations

Director of WIDE Research http://wide.cal.msu.edu/
Steering Committee for Women in Technical Communication http://womenintechcomm.org/
Past Chair of ACM’s SIGDOC https://sigdoc.acm.org/