Current Project (2024 – 2025 Sabbatical)

My current work brings together intersecting past and present features of my teaching, scholarship, and service. The topic emerged after several years of reflection about the future of my scholarship following my decision to pivot from the primary focus of my research: social media.

In 2018, in the wake of the steep rise of online hate and disinformation, I began to start questioning the ethics of archiving social media data and social media use, in general — the primary method for and medium of my scholarship. I also could no longer justify introducing students to Twitter (and later any social media). By March of 2021, I was compelled to abandon my use of social media altogether, which, I soon realized meant forging a new scholarly trajectory. It took several years, but with this project I hope to offer a unique vision for my field as we try to come to terms with the declining health of our digital, classroom, and local environments.

During my sabbatical I will research, compose, and submit for consideration a monograph that interrogates the history and continued application of an ecology metaphor which, for over 50 years, many in my field (including myself) have employed as a framework to argue that multiple interrelated factors must be taken into consideration to understand phenomena or relationships observed in physical, digital, classroom, and local spaces and environments. The ecological framework positions a scholar as one who is removed from the object of study—one who merely observes phenomena and considers the implications of what is observed, regardless of the health of the space. Such a detached positioning, however, is inconsistent with how ecologists and Indigenous scholars see the active role human beings must play in managing natural ecologies to help ensure their sustainability.

It is also, I will argue, inconsistent with how scholars must actively engage with the environments we have considered to be ecologies—the digital environment, the classroom environment, and the local environment—ecologies that are, like their natural counterparts, facing existential challenges.

book projects

Wolff, W.I., Ed. (2017). Bruce Springsteen and Popular Music: Rhetoric, Social Consciousness, and Contemporary Culture. New York, NY: Routledge.

Meloni, J, & Morrison, M. (2010). Sams teach yourself HTML and CSS in 24 hoursW. Wolff (Tech Ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Sams.

recent articles

Buchanan, E., Clark-Parsons, R., Vie, S., & Wolff, W.I. (2023). A Conversation on Ethical Research Practices for Hashtag Activism. In Hashtag Activism Interrogated and Embodied: Case Studies on Social Justice Movements edited by Melissa Ames and Kristi McDuffie.

Wolff. W.I. (2017). Twitter Archives: A Discussion of Systems, Methods, Visualizations, and EthicsKairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy.

Wolff, W.I. (2015). Springsteen Fans, #bruceleeds, and the Tweeting of Locality. Transformative Works and Cultures. 19.

Wolff, W.I. (2015). Baby, We Were Born to Tweet: Springsteen Fans, the Writing Practices of In Situ Tweeting, and the Research Possibilities for Twitter. Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 19(3).

Wolff, W.I. (2014). Springsteen, Tradition, and the Purpose of the Artist. BOSS: The Bi-annual Online Journal of Springsteen Studies. 1(1). pp. 36 – 73.

Wolff, W.I. (2013). Interactivity and the invisible: What counts as writing in the age of Web 2.0Computers & Composition. 30. pp. 211 – 225. (pdf download from

Courtney, J, Tweedie, S., and Wolff, W.I. (2010). What exactly is this major?: Creating a Writing department’s identity through an introductory course. Advance(d) Composition: Undergraduate Majors and the Future of the Discipline. Eds. Tom Moriarty and Greg Giberson.

Wolff, W.I. (2009). Systems of classification and the cognitive properties of grant proposal formal documents, Technical Communication Quarterly18(4). pp. 303 – 326. Nominated for the 2010 NCTE Best Article Reporting Qualitative or Quantitative Research in Technical or Scientific Communication

Wolff, W.I., Fitzpatrick, K., and Youssef, R. (2009). Rethinking usability for Web 2.0 and beyondCurrents in Electronic Literacy.

Wolff, W.I. (2008). “‘A chimera of sorts’: Rethinking educational technology grant programs, courseware innovation, and the language of educational change,” Computers & Education, 51, pp. 1184 – 1197.

recent conference presentations

Wolff, B. (2021, accepted). “This Land is Your Land,” The River Tour, and Springsteen’s Emerging Calls for Engaged Citizenship. Bruce Springsteen’s The River: An International Symposium. Monmouth University, NJ.

Wolff, B. (2020, accepted but COVID). The Digital Researcher as Activist: Thoughts on Objective Observation. Computers and Writing Conference. East Carolina University, May 2020.

Wolff, B. (2019). Toward an Anti-Hate Digital Ethics. Computers and Writing Conference. Michigan State University, June 20 -22, 2019.

Wolff, B. (2019). Ethics, Activism, and Scholarly Practice in the Age of Disinformation. Digital Rhetoric/Digital Media in the Post-Truth. University of Alabama, March 1-2, 2019.

Wolff, B. (2018). Archives, Bots, Fake Accounts, and the Emerging Ethical Complexities of Social Media Research. Computers and Writing Conference. George Mason University, VA.

Wolff, B. (2017). On the Ethics, Methods, and Publication of Publicly Private #notokay Election Tweets. Computers and Writing Conference. Findlay, OH.

Wolff, B. (2016, May). On the Decisions, Methods, and Visualizations
of Social Media Archives. Computers and Writing Conference. Rochester, NY.

Wolff, B. (2015, May). “In the Quick of the Night”: Fanzines, Analog Technologies, and the Processes of Writing from the Margins. Computers and Writing Conference. Stout, WI.

Wolff, B. (2014, June). Writing on the Edge of the World: Springsteen Fans and the Writing Practices of In Situ Concert Tweeting. Computers and Writing Conference. Pullman, WA.

Wolff, B. (2013, November). Born in the E.U., I was Born in the E.U.!: Bruce Springsteen, European Fan Tweets, and the Importance of Locality. European Fandom and Fan Studies Conference. University of Amsterdam.

Wolff, B. (2013, May). Baby, We were Born to Tweet: #Springsteen, Concert Tweets, and an Emergent Transmediated Composing Community. Computers and Writing Conference. Frostburg, MD.

Wolff, B. (2012, September). “OMG I GOT AMAZING SEATS!!!! FREAKING OUT!!!!!!!! Bruce Springsteen, here we come!!!!”: #Springsteen, Concert Tweets, and the Evolution of Fandom Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium. Monmouth, NJ.

Wolff, B. (2012, September). In Defense of Influence: Springsteen’s 2012 SXSW Keynote and the Literary Tradition of Poetic Creativity. Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium. Monmouth, NJ.

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