Antonio Byrd

Antonio Byrd
Assistant Professor
Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact Info
Cockefair Hall 119
Digital and Public Humanities


Dr. Antonio Byrd studies how the legacies of Black literacy for liberation carry forward into new technologies and media features. Using qualitative research methods, Dr. Byrd’s current research agenda is learning how Black people access and learn computer programming to address racial and economic inequality in their communities. He is currently working on his book manuscript The Literacy Pivot: How Black Adults Learn Computer Programming in a Racist World. Dr. Byrd has published work in Literacy in Composition Studies, College Composition and Communication, and Technical Communication Quarterly. He is the winner of the 2021 Richard Braddock Award for best Research Article in College Composition and Communication. Dr. Byrd teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in professional and technical communication, literacy studies, rhetoric, and composition. Each course incorporates social justice frameworks such as critical race theory to highlight the ways writing and rhetoric can serve communities and workplaces. 

Dr. Byrd also serves on the Steering Committee for UMKC's Center for Digital and Public Humanities. His work in digital and public humanities focuses on community engaged scholarship and digital literacy by connecting UMKC students with community partners and industry professionals for real world application of digital writing.

Academic credentials

Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric, University of Wisconsin – Madison (2019)
M.A. in Liberal Arts, emphasis in English, Auburn University at Montgomery (2014)
B.S. in Secondary Education – English/Language Arts, Auburn University at Montgomery (2011)


Black/African American literacies, multimodal composition, technical and professional communication, user experience research, social theories of literacy, digital rhetoric, digital literacies


“Between Learning and Opportunity: A Study of African American Coders’ Networks of Support.” Literacy in Composition Studies, November 2019.

“‘Like Coming Home’: African American Adults Tinkering and Playing Toward a Computer Code Bootcamp.” College Composition and Communication, February 2020.