Who We Are

Two middle-aged white people with glasses inside a car. The man is driving, and the woman is smiling at the camera.
Cheryl and Doug running Kairos errands at the 2018 Computers & Writing conference

Doug Eyman and Cheryl E. Ball are two digital rhetoric scholars who met at a writing studies conference in 1999. At that time, Doug was a section editor for Kairos, and he convinced Cheryl to submit a webtext to the journal she'd only recently learned about. By 2001, Doug was editor of Kairos, and Cheryl became a section editor. The rest is history, as they say.

Except we're hoping to say it again here, in this book, as we document our history with Kairos alongside our knowledge of experimental, scholarly digital publishing as it expands well beyond one journal's pages.

Cheryl and Doug's (i.e., Choug, pronounced like 'chug') decades-long professional kinship started as editor-author, then became one of editors, and has morphed into co-authors multiple times over–all centered on producing the best digital, web-based scholarship possible. Our collaborative skills and abilities complement each other in the most serendipitous of ways, and our shared love of Kairos has helped grow not only the journal, but digital rhetoric as a discipline, and digital publishing as a field. And that's why we created this book: to offer these fields some of that practical and theoretical wisdom we've garnered as editors of the longest continuously running, scholarly multimedia journal in the world. We know some shit, it turns out.

Much of that knowing comes directly from our work with Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy—which was called Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments when we both joined the staff—where we have served collectively through the years as Assistant Editor, CoverWeb Editor, Features Editor, Topoi Editor, Editor, Senior Editor, and Publisher. Most people assume that Doug (and sometimes Cheryl) helped found the journal, but that's not technically correct. (We have a POST about its founding that we will link soon.) Doug was around for the initial conversations in 1995 and joined the staff in 1996, the year of its first publication. In Cheryl's estimation, Doug is an honorary founder of the journal.

For the majority of their co-working relationship, Cheryl has reported to Doug, despite Doug's claims that Cheryl runs the journal. But it wasn't until late 2022 (announced in the January 2023 issue of Kairos) that she joined Doug as Senior Co-Editor. Doug remains in the sole position of Publisher because he's the one who ensures that the Rube-Goldberg, behind-the-scenes work is completed before we go to press. He also owns the domains. Doug is the Wizard behind the curtain to Cheryl's Glenda the Good Witch, who makes sure the staff and authors are happy. The feature photo for this page is a good summation of our roles (and personalities) as co-editors, co-authors, and co-conspirators.

We colloquially refer to this site as the "Kairos book" project, and we’ll talk a lot more about the journal in the posts that comprise this book. However, this book is not exclusively about Kairos. It is about digital publishing writ large—how does one DO digital publishing successfully over a nearly 30-year period when there were literally no rules other than HTML standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and any scholarly genre conventions migrated from a print-based publishing system?! We talk more about what Kairos is, why it's called Kairos (including a reposting of the original description by Kairos's actual founding editor, Mick Doherty, in "Kairos Layers of Meaning"), why we're publishing this book, alongside a ton of other theoretical and practical knowledge we want to share with you. We hope you find as much meaning here as we've found doing this work.

Cheryl and Doug high-fiving during a video interview, circa August 2014. 


We want to thank the following editors for their help in getting this project off the ground:

  • Video Producers: Erin Kathleen Bahl, Christopher Andrews
  • Script Supervisor: Erin Kathleen Kahl
  • Editorial Assistant: Nupoor Ranade
  • Script Editors: Brinni Gentry, Erich Hoffmann
  • Video Editors: Bailey Compton, Christopher Crumley
  • Content Editors: Traci Gardner, Ashanka Kumari
  • Reviewers: bonnie lenore kyburz, your name here?