Tisha Turk is the Director of Academic Support for Writing and Speaking at Grinnell College: she trains students to work as Writing Mentors, collaborates with the Writing Lab's professional staff, and consults with faculty across campus about how best to assign and respond to writing in their classes. Prior to joining Grinnell, she was Writing Center Director and Associate Professor of English at the University of Minnesota Morris, Minnesota's public liberal arts college.

Tisha's main research interest is fan-made music videos, or vids: short videos that combine clips from movies or television with carefully chosen music to celebrate, interpret, critique, refocus, or rewrite elements of the original texts. She studies why fans vid and watch vids; how fans learn to make and interpret vids; and how vids contribute to fans' conversations about media texts. Understanding how and why vidders and vidwatchers learn to critique, create, and evaluate multimedia texts can help us see what purposes, social contexts, and tools promote and enable the development of digital literacies.

Teaching

Tisha approaches all classes from the perspective that writing and learning are best understood and practiced as social and collaborative processes. At Grinnell, her Teaching Writing course provides both an overview of composition studies debates and practical experience for students preparing to serve as Writing Mentors. She has also taught courses about academic writing, literacies, fan studies, gender & sexuality studies, narrative theory, and the history of the novel in English.

Research

Tisha's current research project is a book about the processes of vidding and vidwatching, including how those processes shape and are shaped by the social and rhetorical contexts of media fandom. She has also written about labor in fandom, interdisciplinarity in fan studies, and the role of music in making and watching vids.

Advocacy

Since 2009, Tisha has worked with the Organization for Transformative Works and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to petition for DMCA exemptions granting the right to break copy protection on media files to make noncommercial remix videos. In 2010, the OTW won the right to rip DVDs. In 2012, that exemption was renewed and expanded to include digital downloads; in 2015, it was further expanded to include Blu-Ray.