Associate Professor – Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Kristin Arola grew up in the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, graduated from Dollar Bay High School, moved to the big city of Ann Arbor where she received her B.A. in English from the University of Michigan, took a brief journey to Flagstaff, Arizona and then ended up back in her homeland where she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University. Between 2006-2017 she worked at Washington State University where she directed the Digital Technology & Culture undergraduate program and served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of English.
Arola’s research and teaching focuses on the intersections between American Indian rhetoric, multimodal pedagogy, and digital rhetoric. Specifically, she’s interested in how to best teach composing, be that composing through words, designs, images, beads, quillwork, or any other form of textual making. Along with numerous essays and book chapters, she is the co-author of Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects, and the co-editor of CrossTalk in Comp Theory and Composing(Media)=Composing(Embodiment). Her most recent publication, “An Ethics of Assemblage: Creative Repetition and the Electric Pow Wow” (co-written with her brother Adam Arola) explores how A Tribe Called Red compose and enact a productive representation of indigeneity.
Arola is a proud Yooper and Finndian, of Finnish and Anishinaabe ancestry. Her door is always open.