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 is persistently interested in everyday life.
- My understanding of everyday life--and therefore my embodied research--sits at the intersection of cultural rhetorics, dress studies, and fat studies. I have also written about fat as an embodied orientation for Jezebel and my forthcoming book through the University of Nebraska Press takes a transnational feminist look at how fat fashion bloggers in different parts of the world challenge and reinforce beauty ideals in the context of global consumer capitalism. I am also currently the co-coordinator for the Fat Studies Interest Group for the National Women's Studies Association Conference.
- I am a pansexual, polyamorous queer fat femme. My research, conference presentations, and teaching at Salem focus on gender expression and sexual orientation as identity categories that are constructed through dress practices and consumerism. I am currently mentoring a group of trans writing consultants at Salem College who are creating and curating the Trans Embodiment Zine project.
- I am both a practitioner and researcher of the practice of writing. My article, "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 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 number of collaborative pieces, including "Writing the Self: Trans Zine Making in Appalachia" with my writing consultants for an edited collection about Queer Appalachia and a piece about embodiment in the classroom for Feminist Teacher with colleagues at multiple institutions.
INTERESTED IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- I am fascinated in the mundane--I see systems of power working implicitly through objects and practices that we often take for granted. I started Dress Profesh 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, The Body is Not an Apology, and in Surviving Sexism in Academia: Strategies for Feminist Leadership. In addition to creating digital content, I use in digital popular culture as a platform for teaching and research. I am currently teaching a course in the Salem Signature Program titled "Citizen Consumers: Writing, Pop Culture, and Women in America," and working on a collaborative project about using comment sections as pedagogical spaces.