Throughout my academic career, I felt like I became more of a researcher with each paper that I wrote. When we first start out doing research papers, we don't view ourselves as an actual researcher- but as time goes on and we are able to develop and further our own ideas, we find more "validation" in our academic selves.
In the past, I feel like I didn’t really see myself as a researcher until I was given more control over what I was writing. Once I was able to invest my own interests in what I wanted to learn into my research, it felt a lot more liberating— reading scholarly documents and flipping through books became a lot more enjoyable, almost like a treasure hunt, as I was able to learn, support, and critically think about a topic that I wanted to research and add to.
As of today, I feel like my current "literal" research identity seems to be concentrated in three different fields. Primarily, I want to focus my research more in the field of digital humanities, although I’m not too sure how I want to specify my journey in the DH. I enjoy electronic literature and text mining, or generally using the technology that DH affords to reexamine pieces of literature in new ways. Additionally, with electronic literature, it fuels my creative side, where I can bring stories to life through a brand new medium that utilizes a variety of elements to give literature a different dimension.
The second field is just based on creative writing and the making of it, particularly the concept of what censoring voice does to advance and take away from poetry. I like exploring the rawness of the self and what happens when the poet bares themselves fully and authentically, and what opening up our lives in a poetic way does for our audience.
Lastly, I also know I take an interest in writing center theory and the process of learning/understanding in general, specifically when it comes to students with different learning capabilities. I’m interested in thinking of ways to teach writing to people who are neurodiverse, who do not process or grasp ideas that are taught to appeal to the norm of thinking. I want to reshape the writing center environment, in a way that makes it more inclusive and reflective for all types of learning abilities.
For my future identity as a researcher, I hope to be able to hunker myself down more in topics where there is still a lot more to say, which is part of my interest in DH. The fact that this field is somewhat new, as well as very significant, makes me want to join in the scholarly conversations and help collaborate with other researchers, thinkers, and artists.