Credit: Sara Fuller (c)
Vyshali Manivannan is a Ph.D. candidate in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University. She has taught Composition & Rhetoric and Media Studies at the undergraduate level for ten years, and additionally created and taught 8th-12th grade curricula in English and Creative Writing at the Harlem Children’s zone. She presently serves as a part-time lecturer in the Communication departments at Rutgers and Baruch College, focusing on media writing, media ethics, and trolling, and also teaches writing in Columbia University’s summer bridge program for under-resourced incoming freshmen. Her scholarship has appeared in Digital Health, Platform, Fibreculture, Enculturation, and ImageTexT among others, and she was an invited contributor to The New York Times Room for Debate issue on Internet trolls. Her creative work has been featured in Consequence, The Fanzine, DIAGRAM, r.kv.r.y Quarterly Literary Journal, Black Clock, and theNewerYork, and in live performances such as the Asian-American Comics Convention and Yoni Ki Baat 2010. She was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize in Nonfiction and was among those listed in “Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2014” in Best American Essays 2015. Her first novel, Invictus, was published when she was 15. She is currently working on a creative nonfiction manuscript about vicarious trauma and Sri Lanka’s civil war, and its parallels and lessons for the contemporary political landscape in the U.S. She is presently represented by Mary Krienke at Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.
Manivannan’s research interests include digital media, disability studies, sensory studies, health rhetorics, comics and animation, and transgressive subcultures. Her current field of study focuses on ocularity, health rhetorics, and restoring the senses to biomedical technological intervention into the body. She is also interested in Anonymous and the “A-culture” that arose around 4chan’s Anonymous, as well as other decentralized movements and the political effect and affect of memes, visual vernacular, and lulz.
She received her B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and also holds an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from Columbia University. From 2006 to 2011, she taught Composition & Rhetoric at the undergraduate level at Columbia University, Eugene Lang College at the New School, Yeshiva College, and Montclair State University, where she served as halftime faculty. She also taught ESL Writing summer courses at CUNY City College of Technology. Additionally, she created and taught 8th-12th grade curricula in English, Creative Writing, and Academic Writing at the Countee Cullen Community Center site of the Harlem Children’s Zone and regularly teaches in Columbia University’s summer bridge program for under-resourced incoming freshmen. She served as a teaching assistant in the Journalism/Media Studies department at Rutgers University for three years and has since served as a part-time lecturer teaching courses on consumer media culture, gender, race, class, and sexuality in the media, media ethics and the law, and media writing. She also teaches in the Communication department at Baruch College, focusing on the histories of electronic and digital media and spectacular transgression and trolling.