My talks and workshops draw on the latest research about digital communication, language and power, online dating, representing the self online, and teaching in digital environments.

You can expect to learn about timely concerns related to communicating and connecting in the digital world and get helpful tips for navigating different environments on topics such as these:

  • Searching & Swiping to Find Connection in the Digital Age
  • Selling the Selfie in the Online Dating Marketplace
  • Online Dating for the Non-Monogamous
  • From Plenty of Fish to Survival Dating in the Pandemic
  • Social Media & Mental Health
  • Strategies for Healing through Digital Communication
  • Improving Student Learning through Digital Feedback
  • Cultivating Belonging in Online Classrooms & Communities

Talks and workshops are customized and can be either virtual or in person.  

Riki facilitating Drinks & Dialogue Workshop. Seattle 2018

Upcoming Events

Gender Norms, (Dis)Empowerment, and the Digital Dating Paradigm

October 21, 2021, 6:00-7:00 PM
UWT Scholarly Selections: WA State History Museum
Join us on Facebook Live @historymuseum

The politics of matching, messaging, & making the first move in online dating

December 14, 2021, 6:30-7:30 PM
Grit City Think and Drink
Join us on Zoom at  

public speaking

October 11, 2021. Gender & Sexual Normativity, (Dis)Empowerment, and the Digital Dating Paradigm. Scholarly Selections Series, Washington History Museum, Tacoma, WA.

December 14, 2021. The politics of women making the first move on Bumble: Online dating, gender norms, and managing women through online talk. Grit City Think and Drink Series, Tacoma WA.

August 11, 2021. Dating in the digital age across the generations. Franke Tobey Jones Educational Series. Tacoma, WA.

January 27, 2021. Connecting digitally: Using social media to connect during the pandemic. Franke Tobey Jones Educational Series, Tacoma, WA.

May 21, 2020. Researching the quest for love, lust, and connection during the time of COVID-19. SIAS Brown Bag Speaker Series, Tacoma, WA.

May 25, 2019.  The Constructed Self of Online Dating. Washington State Library Series at the Washington Corrections Center for Women, Gig Harbor, WA.

December 7, 2018. Dating in the Digital Age: Swiping, Liking, and Selling the Selfie. Grit City Think and Drink Series, Tacoma WA.

February 28, 2018. Championing Critical Conversations about College, Culture Goal: Lightening Talk, UW Tacoma, WA

Changing culture by communicating during divisive times

February 1, 2018.  Drinks & Dialogue: Bridging the Divide. UW Impact: Common Ground Series, Seattle, WA.

July 8, 2019: Steilly Con. Workshop Facilitator, Making Mini Comics. Steilacoom School District, WA

Ready to teach kids to make mini-comics in my super hero outfit for Steily-Con 2019

academic presentations

Thompson, R. (2021). Dating in the Digital Age: Searching, Swiping, & Selling the Selfie. Sociolinguistics Symposium 23. 2020 School of English at the University of Hong Kong. conference rescheduled due to COVID. June 7-10, Hong Kong, China

Thompson, R. (2018). Telling the story of me & we: Online dating and identity construction for the non-monogamous, CADAAD-Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines International Conference, Aalborg University, July 4-6, Aalborg, Denmark.

Thompson, R. and Collins, M. (2018). From the medieval to the digital, and back again: Multimodality, innovation, and adaptation, CADAAD-Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines International Conference, Aalborg University, July 4-6, Aalborg, Denmark.

Thompson, R. (2018). Telling the story of me & we: Online dating and identity construction for the non-monogamous, PCA/ACA – Popular Culture Association · American Culture Association, March 28-31, Indianapolis, IN.

Louie, B, Thompson, R., Rios, J., and Zhu, M. (2017). Transformation of Interdisciplinary Teacher Educators: Collaborating to Develop Online Teacher Training for the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, AERA – American Educational Research Association, April 13-16, Chicago, IL.

Thompson, R. (2014). Looking for acceptance: Negotiating online community through selfie-bios,
Social Media & Society Conference, Ryerson University, September 27-28, Toronto, Canada.

Thompson, R. (2012). What not to wear: Governing women through fashion, CADAAD – Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines International Conference, University of Minho, July 4-6, Braga, Portugal.

Thompson, R. (2010). Considering the digi: Questions the writing class faces in the Digital Age, Oregon Rhetoric & Composition Conference, Portland State University, May 10-12, Portland, OR.

Thompson, R. (2009). Virtually thinking out loud in the electronic classroom:  Metacognition and issues of audience, frequency, and medium for reflection, CCCC- Conference on College Composition & Communication, March 25, New Orleans, LA.

Thompson, R. (2008). The good, the bad, & the ugly of writing in the web 2.0 world: Negotiating writing & technology in the digital age, Thomas R. Watson Conference- The New Work of Composing, University of Louisville, October 16-18. Louisville, KY.

Thompson, R. (2008). Responding to the online journal interest form: Screwed up, but working on it, Rhetoric Society of America, May 23-26, Seattle, WA.

Thompson, R. (2008). (Re)Gendering depression as a problem for “Real Men”: Narrative & governing mental health through public service announcements, GURT – Georgetown Linguistics Department Conference on Narrative, March 29-31, Georgetown, DC.

Thompson, R. (2007). Picking up the thread: Answering the call to converse on mental health forums, NZDC –  New Zealand International Discourse Conference, The University of Auckland, December 6-9, Auckland, NZ.

Thompson, R. (2005). Resisting traditional self-help: Discursive constructions of (un)wellness & healing online, Western States Rhetoric & Literacy Conference, October 10-12, San Francisco, CA.

Thompson, R. (2004). Personal names & transnationalism: Identity construction in the lives of Korean-Americans, AAAL – American Association for Applied Linguistics, May 1-4, Portland, OR.

Thompson, R. (2002). Genre analysis in the “extracurriculum”: The healing journal as the site of genre evolution in discourse community, Western States Composition Conference, University of Washington, October 24-26, Seattle, WA.