University Press of Colorado, Louisville, Colorado (2017). 334 pp. Book Review by Kyle Adams, The University of Findlay



In Social Writing/Social Media: Publics, Presentations, and Pedagogies editors Douglas Walls and Stephanie Vie aim to inform scholars and teachers of rhetoric and composition on best practices to integrate writing on social media platforms within higher education. This collection builds on scholarship previously established by Ball & Kalmbach, 2010; Delegrange, 2011; Journet, Ball & Trauman, 2012; Palmeri, 2012) and extends definitions of networked literacy in the 21st century. Each chapter works to understand the impact of social media in the field within three categories: “Publics and Audiences,” “Presentations of Self, Groups, and Data,” and “Pedagogy.” In publics and audiences, the authors challenge readers to think critically about social media practices, such as hash tagging. The second section, presentations of self, groups, and data includes case studies of how identity is performed across social media platforms. Finally, in pedagogies, the authors challenge audiences to interrogate the implications of using social media in the classroom.

A central argument made throughout the book focuses on the importance of paying attention to how social media is being used inside and outside of the academy and that those who use it should be deeply considering its far-reaching impacts. As social media practices and platforms evolve at rapid pace, the inclination to try and keep up can seem overwhelming. The authors in this collection force readers to pause and think about social media practices and to consider the practice of opting out of participation on the platforms as well. Each section leaves readers pondering the following themes: how academics think about audiences online, how teachers can educate students on digital literacy, and how identity is performed in social media spaces. Because of the far-reaching impacts of social media, both Vie and Walls suggest that, “The near ubiquity of social media on a global scale allows scholars studying the impact of these technologies a fascinating glimpse at emergent composing practices” (p. 4).