My research interests center on rhetorical agency. I’m fascinated by how ordinary people-particularly those who have been historically marginalized-carve out rhetorical space and the strategies and tactics they use to speak back to power.
On manifestation of this research includes a study of how public sphere theory can inform writing pedagogy, the impact of place and the local on writing and writing pedagogy, teaching writing for civic engagement, rural education, the potential agonism might play in the teaching of argument, the intersection of academic performance and privilege, and teaching for social justice.
Because of my interest in the public sphere and civic engagement, my research often manifests itself in unique, fruitful collaborations with National Parks, local High Schools, and local, grassroots activist organizations. It also extends the walls of my classroom to these public places, taking students to the Nebraska Capitol (pictured above) to meet their state representative and provide testimony on legislation.
Another manifestation of this research is disability rhetoric, examining how disability is rhetorically constructed and interrogating policies that impact the lives of people with disabilities.
Peer Reviewed Articles
*Dispatches from my (Involuntarily) Subversive Wardrobe: Cripping Clothes in Higher Education. The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics. Forthcoming
*Disrupting Diversity Management: Toward a Difference-Driven Pedagogy” Pedagogy. With Shari Stenberg, Stevie Seibert Desjarlais, Jessica Masterson, and Brita Thielen. Forthcoming
In this essay, my collaborators and I critique diversity discourse and programming functions as a dominant pedagogy by highlighting three commonplace approaches to diversity: 1) as a defense to mitigate as a problem; 2) as a commodity to be collected; and 3) as a threat to those in privileged positions. We intervene in these approaches by examining the assumptions and values that undergird them and by forwarding a difference-driven pedagogy, which seeks to foster movement toward the practice of deliberation, the recognition of difference as in flux, and the willingness to be vulnerable in engaging the complex, messy work of difference.
*“When Students Don’t Identify as Writers: Fostering Rhetorical Agency through Community Partnerships.” Basic Writing e-Journal. With Derrick Goss. Forthcoming
Exploring how neoliberal pressures on writing have shaped writing instruction, Derrick Goss and I argue that community partnerships are useful in pushing back against neoliberal pressures.
*“Positionality and Possibility: Reframing Tactics and Strategies for Graduate Student Community Engagement.” Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. With Rachael Wendler Shah, Marcus Meade, and Katie McWain. Issue 24.1. Fall 2017.
In this article, my collaborators and I critically reflect on our decision to reorient our graduate student-led community writing partnership from being a tactical partnership to a strategic partnership (based on Paula Mathieu’s application of de Certeau’s theory to community writing).
“Narrativizing Dis/Ability: Deconstructing Institutional Use of Body Narratives.” In Failure Pedagogies: Systems, Risks, Futures (under contract with Peter Lang Publishers). Forthcoming
My contribution to this edited collection centering on failure narratives critiques how disability narratives are often leveraged by institutions to justify excluding disabled people and reify ableist positions.