Photo of Ashleigh Feltmate

Ashleigh Feltmate

Current Program: MA in ALDS

Hailing from Pictou County, Nova Scotia, I completed my undergraduate degree in Halifax and knew that I wanted to continue researching in the field of discourse studies and social media. As someone who both uses social media as a way to interact with people near and far and who has been consciously aware of how these platforms have become entrenched in the daily lives of many people, I became interested in the language shifts that have resulted from this usage. While we create news words on the internet and can sift through countless sources of information, I want to research how social media⁠—specifically Twitter⁠—can function as a space for individuals to speak up and talk back to their oppressors.

I was drawn to Carleton by not only their Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies program but also the Digital Humanities (DH) Specialization that is available for students to enroll in. While I was able to narrow down my research interests to Twitter hashtags and digital activism in my first year ALDS classes, the DH Specialization allowed me to experiment with digital tools that would benefit my thesis project. In my DH classes, I also became aware that while we affect this digital world, the digital world also comes around and affects our lives.

For my MA thesis project, I am researching how Twitter users negotiate alignment and stance through their discourse to understand how calls for action that protest and shame instances of sexual harassment manifest with the help of social media. Under the supervision of Dr. Sheyholislami, I will analyze alignment and stance within a hashtag and a counter hashtag with the broader objective of uncovering what the hashtag as a tool means for instances of digital activism.

Areas of Interest:

  • Critical Discourse Studies
  • Hashtags
  • Twitter
  • Digital Activism