I’m a Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and an assistant professor of Communication Arts & Sciences and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Penn State. I also serve as interim director of the Center for Humanities & Information. My interdisciplinary scholarship bridges rhetoric, archives and information, and feminist LGBTQ+ studies.
My first book, Queering Romantic Engagement in the Postal Age: A Rhetorical Education, is a queer history of instruction in epistolary rhetoric (University of South Carolina Press, 2019). Early research for the book was awarded the 2015 Charles Kneupper Award for the year’s Rhetoric Society Quarterly essay that most contributes to rhetorical studies, and the project received an honorable mention for the Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award from the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition. The book has been reviewed in Journal for the History of Rhetoric, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and Peitho, and featured on Notches: (Re)marks on the History of Sexuality.
Currently I am writing my second book, tentatively titled The Erotic as Rhetorical Power in the Romantic Friendships of Women Teachers, 1848–1922. Archival research for this project investigates the civic contributions enabled by intimate same-sex relationships between women teachers. I argue that these romantic friendships, far from being simplistic instances of social constraint or sexual repression, were animated by an erotic that made possible the women’s work to teach rhetoric as well as advance educational access, the abolition of slavery, and voting rights. Early work from the project is published in Advances in the History of Rhetoric, Quarterly Journal of Speech, and Women at Work: Rhetorics of Gender and Labor.
Also in my scholarship, I explore the rhetorical, informational, and pedagogical dimensions of archives, both brick-and-mortar and digital. Links to these and other publications are available here; my full CV is here.
As a fun side project, I recently started a blog about reading Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman’s love letters while training for the Rachel Carson Trail’s Homestead Challenge.