Mr Trent M Kays

Trent M Kays is a writer, teacher, digital rhetorician, internet researcher, and PhD candidate in the Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota. He serves as a Graduate Instructor in the department’s undergraduate writing program, where he teaches a variety of rhetoric and writing intensive courses. His research interrogates the roles of digital rhetoric, critical pedagogy, social media, epistemology, and the Internet in political, cultural, and social movements and acts. He often writes about society, technology, culture, and higher education issues for popular media.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • PhD: Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, 2015 (Expected).
  • MA: Professional and Technical Writing, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR, 2010.
  • BA: Professional and Technical Writing, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR, 2008.
  • BA: History, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR, 2008.


  • Digital Rhetorics
  • Critical Pedagogies
  • Social Media
  • Online Activism
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Multimodal Discourses
  • Identity and Space Theories
  • Higher Education Reforms
Courses Taught
  • Rhetoric, Technology, and the Internet
  • Social Media: Practice and Critique
  • Scientific Communication
  • Advanced Technical Writing
  • Technical and Professional Writing
  • Business and Professional Writing
  • Introduction to Digital Literacies
  • University Writing
  • Research, Writing, and Argument
  • Composition 1 and 2
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Rhetoric Society of America: Member
  • National Council of Teachers of English: Member
  • Association for Business Communication: Member
  • Association of Internet Researchers: Member


  • Dissertation: Technical Knowledge and Audience in the Digital Age


  • Digital Public Library of America: Community Representative,
  • GLAAD: Volunteer,


  • Sweet Tea: A Memoir of the American South:
  • Kays, Trent M, Laura Gurak (2015). Blog and Wiki Discourse. International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction,
  • Kays, Trent M (2014). Digital Education and Oppression: Rethinking the Ethical Paradigm of the Digital Future. International Review of Information Ethics, 21, 64-71. Link
  • Kays, Trent M (2014). Imagining the Engaged Academic . In Media Res. MediaCommons. Link
  • Kays, Trent M (2012). Toward a Composition Made Whole. Composition Studies, 40.2, 149-151. Link
  • Kays, Trent M, Dawn Armfield, Laura Gurak, and Joe Weinberg (2012). Technical Communication Education in a Digital, Visual World. IEEE International Professional Communication Proceedings, n.p.. Download
  • James I Brown Teaching Excellence Award
  • US Bank Graduate Fellowship in Technical Communication
  • GAPSA Scholarly Travel Award
  • HASTAC Scholar Fellowship
  • PKP Love of Learning Award