Media Theory, Digital Rhetoric, Posthumanism, Social Media, Media Infrastructure, Game Studies, Professional-Technical Communication, Digital Pedagogy
PhD., English, SUNY Albany
For more than 20 years, Alex Reid has studied digital rhetorical-communication practices. Before joining the Media Study department, he was a faculty member in UB’s English department where he served as director of composition and teaching fellows, overseeing the university writing program and mentoring graduate teaching assistants.
Reid employs posthuman and new materialist approaches to study how human capacities for rhetoric/communication arise through relations among our bodies, nonhumans, and our environment in processes that are interdependent but not deterministic. For example, in “Speech Synthesis and Negotiation,” he investigated digital assistants (e.g., Siri) as they address rhetorical and aesthetic challenges similar to those of human speakers through processes of speech synthesis and negotiation. In “Composing with Deliberate Speed,” he studies algorithms as they participate in our decision-making through a process he terms distributed deliberation. While such algorithms are necessary for humans to access information across networks, they introduce a range of ethical and political challenges as we have seen with the spread of fake news and conspiracy theories. Reid’s forthcoming book, Rhetorics of the Digital Nonhumanities, expands on this research and develops a new materialist, digital rhetorical method. There he studies softwarized procedural rhetorics, structures of synthetic attention, integrative assemblages of digital composing, and electrate collective experiments.
In his time at UB, Reid has taught courses on social media, media infrastructure, video games, media theory, professional-technical communication, and digital pedagogy. He is currently the director for UB’s Writing Across the Curriculum program and was appointed as an Open SUNY Online Ambassador for UB in 2020 in recognition for his work in online teaching.