I am an assistant professor of English and director of the Writing Center at Salem College, a small women's college in Winston-Salem, NC. I am originally from Fargo, North Dakota and attended North Dakota State University for both my BA and MA. I graduated with a PhD in Rhetoric & Writing from the department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University in 2015. All of my work stems from my embodied experiences as a fat queer femme writer who consumes popular culture and is persistently interested in everyday life. I am:
- My research sits at the intersection of cultural rhetorics, dress studies, and fat studies. This project (and forthcoming book through the University of Nebraska Press) looks at how fat fashion bloggers make meaning through their clothing in ways that are material, rhetorical, and embodied. I have been a participant in the fatosphere for the last two years (check out my Tumblr). I have been a member of the Education Committee for the Association for Size, Diversity, and Health and am currently the co-coordinator for the Fat Studies Interest Group at the National Women's Studies Association Conference . I have also written about fat as an embodied orientation for Jezebel.
- My research, conference presentations, and teaching at Salem focus on gender expression and orientation as identity categories that are constructed through dress practices and consumerism.
- I am both a practitioner and researcher of the practice of writing. My most recent scholarly publication, Wearing Multimodal Composition: The Case for Examining Dress Practices in the Writing Classroom, showcases how I see dress practices and writing practices as intertwined. I have also been involved in an ongoing research project about graduate writing since 2011; this project has spun out a journal article, special issue, and edited collection (all forthcoming in Across the Disciplines). I am also currently working on a collaborative project about the importance of vulnerability in writing classes.
POP CULTURE CONSUMER
- Dress studies is intimately tied to popular consumer culture, and I have had the opportunity to present internationally and nationally on this topic. I am specifically interested in digital (popular) culture, looking at how online spaces create room for activism and tracing the movement of activist causes (such as body positivity) to advertising (like when Special K stole Marilyn Wann's "Yay!" scale). I also teaching a course in the Salem Signature Program titled "Citizen Consumers: Writing, Pop Culture, and Women in America."
INTERESTED IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- My most recent project, Dress Profesh, started as a way to interrogate the everyday practice of getting dressed for work. Working from the premise that dress codes are inherently racist, sexist, ageist, classist, etc., this online gallery of user-submitted images challenges traditional notions of what it means to look "professional". You can read about the gallery on Jezebel, Conditionally Accepted, and The Body is Not an Apology.