Sarah Singer

Sarah Singer, Ph.D.

Biography

I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida, where I teach courses in the Technical Communication program. I am also a core faculty member in the Texts and Technology Ph.D. program. My research interests lie at the intersection of medical rhetoric, feminist science studies, the health/medical humanities, and digital media. 

My current project, The Empowerment Paradox: Rhetorics of Lyme Disease and the Future of Chronic Illness, examines how patients are forced to navigate the digital deluge of online health information. Using rhetorical analysis and qualitative interviews, I show how they are both forced to be empowered and harmed by their empowerment practices. This research explores how visual, textual, and multimedia discourses intersect and shape the conditions of possibility for patient empowerment efforts. 

My work appears in Technical Communication QuarterlyCollege EnglishPeitho, and Journal of Medical Humanities

Education

  • Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A. from University of Maryland

Research Interests

  • Technical Communication
  • Rhetoric of Health and Medicine
  • Health/Medical Humanities
  • Disability Studies
  • Feminist Theory
  • Digital Health
  • Pedagogy

Selected Publications

Articles/Essays

Awards

2019 | Judy Segal Top Paper Award, Rhetoric of Health and Medicine Symposium
2019 | Article of the Year Award (with Jennifer Edwell and Jordynn Jack), Association for Rhetoric, Science, Technology, and Medicine

Courses

Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
10238 ENC3241H Honors Wr for Technical Prof Face to Face (P) Tu,Th 04:30 PM - 05:45 PM Unavailable
No Description Available
10918 ENC4294 Client-based Project Managemen Face to Face (P) Tu,Th 12:00 PM - 01:15 PM Unavailable
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
93787 ENC4280 Technical Writing Style Web-Based (W) Unavailable
No Description Available
81376 ENC4293 Doc and Project Management Video Tu,Th 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Unavailable
Development of a book-length project from idea to final published product. Examples may include style manuals, policies and procedures, and training manuals. 
Course Number Course Title Mode Session Date and Time Syllabus
50830 ENC6338 The Rhetorics of Public Debate Web-Based (W) C Unavailable

In this course, we will focus on how rhetoric shapes public debates about health, politics, and technology. After developing a foundational skillset in rhetorical analysis, we will spend the remainder of the term studying debates about vaccine hesitation, technological advancement, digital ethics, demagoguery, and democracy. Since these topics are contentious, we will learn how to engage with them in productively in asynchronous conversations. Core assignments will include weekly discussion posts, two brief rhetorical analyses (3-5 pages), and a final "case study" about a public debate that interests you. Required readings include Heidi Lawrence, Vaccine Rhetorics (2020); Safiya Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (2018, e-book available via UCF Libraries); Patricia Roberts-Miller, Demagoguery and Democracy (2017); and James J. Brown Jr., Ethical Programs: Hospitality and the Rhetorics of Software (2015, open-access).

61850 LIT4433 Literature of Science and Tech Web-Based (W) A Unavailable
This course investigates life writing about science, technology, and medicine and how this kind of personal writing transfers knowledge between experts and the public. Overall, students will consider how life writing (true writing about personal experiences) begets innovation, constructs science, and enables meaning-making in the midst of research practice. There are many ways that narrative is involved in the fields of science and technology. In this course, we will focus on memoirs, autobiographies, personal websites, blogs, and more. We will consider factors such as race, gender, ethnicity, dis/ability, and sexuality as we read about scientific researchers and the animals/people/things that they research. We will ground our analyses in studies of the social construction of scientific knowledge and the history of science and technology. Texts may include Lab Girl (Hope Jahen), Black Man in a White Coat (Damon Tweedy), The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness (Sy Montgomery), Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology (Ellen Ullman), and/or Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone (Juli Berwald). Assignments may include writing a science and technology literacy narrative and conducting archival and/or ethnographic research. Prerequisite(s): Grade of “C” (2.0) or better in ENC 1102 or CI.
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
10472 ENC3241H Honors Wr for Technical Prof Video Strmng (V1) COVD DL exmp Tu,Th 03:00 PM - 04:15 PM Unavailable

This course helps prepare you, a student in a technical profession or professional field, for the types of research, writing, and information presentation that you will be doing in your career after graduation. Writing has many purposes and uses beyond just relaying information, and even in the most concrete of professions, the facts do not “speak for themselves.” Your task as a writer is to articulate, explain, and interpret the information you are dealing with. Throughout your career, you will need to understand the social context of your writing and its audiences, and you will need to master the techniques of crafting your writing to suit your purposes and the interests of your audience. In this course, we will focus on learning about the types of research, writing, and information presentation that professionals need to master. In particular, you will learn to compose the following genres: oral presentations, instructions, progress reports, usability reports, resumes, cover letters, and digital portfolios. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C (2.0) or better required in ENC 1102H or equivalent credit, and Consent of Honors.

16902 ENC6261 Tech Writing Theory & Practice Web-Based (W) Unavailable

Tech Writing Theory & Practice

This course focuses on major issues and trends in technical communication theory and the relevance of current theory to practitioners. Through weekly asynchronous discussions, we will consider technical communication from the perspective of experts solving problems at work, teachers challenging curricular traditions, and researchers entering disciplinary discussions. Key topics will include ethics, user roles/experiences, design, accessibility, plain language, digital communication, and social justice. Core assignments will include discussion posts, a literature review, and a journal article.

Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
81556 ENC3241 Writing for Technical Prof Web-Based (W) Unavailable

This course helps prepare you, a student in a technical profession or professional field, for the types of research, writing, and information presentation that you will be doing in your career after graduation. Writing has many purposes and uses beyond just relaying information, and even in the most concrete of professions, the facts do not “speak for themselves.” Your task as a writer is to articulate, explain, and interpret the information you are dealing with. Throughout your career, you will need to understand the social context of your writing and its audiences, and you will need to master the techniques of crafting your writing to suit your purposes and the interests of your audience. In this course, we will focus on learning about the types of research, writing, and information presentation that professionals need to master. In particular, you will learn to compose the following genres: oral presentations, instructions, progress reports, usability reports, resumes, cover letters, and professional websites. PR: Grade of C (2.0) or better required in ENC 1102H or equivalent credit.

92190 ENC4293 Doc and Project Management Video Strmng (V1) COVD DL exmp Tu,Th 03:00 PM - 04:15 PM Unavailable

This course--an advanced level core requirement for the B.A. in English (Technical Communication)--aims to simulate a professional technical communication work environment. In this course, you will work in groups to develop, research, compose, edit, and finalize chapters in a manual for graduating UCF seniors. As part of this work, you will learn how to implement effective communication strategies, write collaboratively, revise documents multiple times, and troubleshoot team problems. Additionally, you will learn how to conduct thorough research that examines both scholarly and popular resources and how to triangulate sources to provide readers with timely, high-quality information. You will have opportunities to take on leadership positions in the project (for your chapter or for the entire manual), and you will learn how to give and receive meaningful feedback to support others in leadership positions. This course is structured in a way that shifts you from the role of "undergraduate student" into the role of "entry-level technical communicator." Accordingly, you and your colleagues will be responsible for generating the content of the manual. With my guidance, you will decide which topics to cover, the order of the topics, and the depth of the coverage. Our goal is to produce a nearly-publishable, usable manual that UCF graduating seniors will want to read. To ensure that each chapter provides useful information in a rhetorically savvy way, we will examine a range of sources, conduct multiple user tests, and revise each chapter multiple times. Sometimes, someone else will offer suggestions for your sections and you will choose which suggestions to incorporate (the "feedback" method). At other times, someone else will revise your sections as they see fit and submit the work as their own (the "direct revision" method). This course aims to challenge your ideas about writing as a solitary venture (that's only for English majors) and creates opportunities for you to compose with the support of a team. PR: Grade of “C” (2.0) or better required in ENC 3241.

92195 LIT4433 Literature of Science and Tech Video Strmng (V1) COVD DL exmp Tu,Th 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Unavailable

This course investigates life writing about science, technology, and medicine and how this kind of personal writing transfers knowledge between experts and the public. Overall, students will consider how life writing (true writing about personal experiences) begets innovation, constructs science, and enables meaning-making in the midst of research practice. There are many ways that narrative is involved in the fields of science and technology. In this course, we will focus on memoirs, autobiographies, personal websites, blogs, and more. We will consider factors such as race, gender, ethnicity, dis/ability, and sexuality as we read about scientific researchers and the animals/people/things that they research. We will ground our analyses in studies of the social construction of scientific knowledge and the history of science and technology. Texts may include Lab Girl (Hope Jahen), Black Man in a White Coat (Damon Tweedy), The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness (Sy Montgomery), Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology (Ellen Ullman), and/or Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone (Juli Berwald). Assignments may include writing a science and technology literacy narrative and conducting archival and/or ethnographic research. Prerequisite(s): Grade of “C” (2.0) or better in ENC 1102 or CI.

Course Number Course Title Mode Session Date and Time Syllabus
61773 ENC6338 The Rhetorics of Public Debate Web-Based (W) C Unavailable

In this course, we will focus on how rhetoric shapes public debates about health, politics, and technology. After developing a foundational skillset in rhetorical analysis, we will spend the remainder of the term studying debates about vaccine refusal, health information sharing, gun control, demagoguery, and technological advancement. Core assignments will include discussion posts, brief rhetorical analyses (3-5 pages), and a final paper about a related topic that interests you. We will read a range of articles as well as the following books: Heidi Lawrence, Vaccine Rhetorics (2020), Safiya Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (2018), and Patricia Roberts-Miller, Demagoguery and Democracy (2017). 

Updated: Jan 7, 2020