My understanding of everyday life--and therefore my embodied research--sits at the intersection of cultural rhetorics, dress studies, and fat studies. I have chapters about fat embodiment in Oppression and the Body: Roots, Resistance, and Resolutions and Bodies of Knowledge: Embodied Rhetorics in Theory and Practice (forthcoming) and have also been published in Jezebel. With three coauthors, I wrote the definition of embodiment as a key concept for feminist rhetoricians for the 25th anniversary issue of Peitho. I have a book under contract with the University of Nebraska Press that 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 a past co-chair for the Fat Studies Interest Group for the National Women's Studies Association Conference.
I am a bisexual, 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. Through my work at Salem, I mentored a group of trans writing consultants who are created and curated the Trans Embodiment Zine project. I have also been the social media coordinator for the Queer Caucus of the College Composition and Communication Conference and am currently the advisor for Open Up, the LGBTQIA+ student organization at Salem College.
I am both a practitioner and researcher of the practice of writing. At Salem College I have created and implemented a minor in professional writing; this five sequence minor includes courses like "Freelance Professional Writing, Editing, and Publishing," and "Professional Writing in Digital Contexts." I have presented extensively about professional writing at Salem, including at Computers and Writing, Feminisms and Rhetorics, and Cultural Rhetorics.
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 through Across the Disciplines).
I am currently working on a number of collaborative pieces including "Writing the Self: Zine Making in Appalachia," with consultants at the Salem College Writing Center and a piece about embodiment in the classroom for Feminist Teacher with colleagues at multiple institutions.
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.
Photo credit: Hannah Countryman; Michigan State University
[INTERESTED IN EVERYDAY LIFE]
I am fascinated in the everyday--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. I've also written about the dressed body as multimodal composition in my piece "Wearing Multimodal Composition: The Case for Examining Dress Practices in the Writing Classroom," which showcases how I see dress practices and writing practices as intertwined.
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 recently published a collaborative article for Computers and Composition titled "How Not to be a Troll: Practicing Rhetorical Technofeminism in Online Comments," which explores using comment sections as pedagogical spaces.