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Scholarly Selections

Scholarly Selections

Gender Norms, (Dis)Empowerment, and the Digital Dating Paradigm
  • Dates:
    Oct 21, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
  • Ages:
    All ages
  • Where:
    Virtual event - join us online!
  • Tickets:


  • Accessibility:

    Accessible online.

UWT Scholarly Selections: Online dating, communication, gender, and making the first move
Thursday, October 21, 6:00 PM
FREE virtual program
Check back for the link to register for the online program.

Scholarly Selections is a series of talks (normally held at the Washington State History Museum) on the third Thursday of each month during the school year; this event will be held online, not at the museum, for the safety of participants due to current COVID infection rates. These presentations offer the opportunity for museum visitors to hear from University of Washington professors, graduate students, and researchers about the interesting topics they’re exploring.

October 21, join us for a Scholarly Selections virtual presentation about digital dating and the quest for connection.

In this talk, UWT professor Riki Thompson presents her original research about online dating for individuals who identify outside of binary gender norms. Her research illuminates the challenges and opportunities of online dating in relation to gender and sexuality. Dating apps can serve as digital spaces to find community but also have constraining options due to implicit bias within app design and user practices. Simultaneously, many of the troubling realities of living as a non-cis-gendered person are reproduced in online dating spaces. Dr. Thompson’s research also shows that individuals who do not conform to gender norms face unique challenges related to exclusion, harassment, fetishization, and violence when negotiating online dating.


Dr. Riki Thompson is an Associate Professor of Writing Studies and Digital Rhetoric in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Her scholarship examines intersections of language, technology, identity, and interpersonal connectivity with a focus on how people negotiate digital spaces to connect with (and exclude) others.

Dr. Thompson’s research about online dating has been featured in The Conversation and Salon, and interviews about pandemic dating can be found on Vox, the Learning More podcast, and Boise State Public Radio. She is currently working on a book about online dating which explores how people represent self, evaluate others, and communicate in digital dating spaces.

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