Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Samantha Blackmon

Committee Chair

Samantha Blackmon

Committee Member 1

Thomas Rickert

Committee Member 2

Michael Salvo

Committee Member 3

Patricia Sullivan


This dissertation proposes a process called pizarron borrado: reorienting “failure” as a productive part of the research process. Using the backdrop of research on migrant workers’ technological access, I argue that classrooms can become much more accessible by moving from failure and looking at points where writing and research have moved in unexpected ways. As scholars such as Grabill have pointed out, access to computers and the Internet is an issue of public policy, and technical communicators are strategically positioned to contribute to, “policy making, research, and teaching” in ways that can help expand these services to underserved and underrepresented populations (1998). And as the process for applying to even low-wage jobs becomes increasingly digitized, I argue that our role as scholars and educators is to both prepare and advocate for these “invisible populations” that will increasingly rely on open or public access to these technologies in and outside of the classroom.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons