Education

  • Ph.D. in English Studies with a concentration in Rhetoric from Illinois State University, 2012
  • M.L.A. in American and Cultural Studies/Humanities/Liberal Arts from the University of South Florida, 2004
  • Graduate Women's Studies Certificate from University of South Florida, 2004
  • B.A. in Music Therapy from The Florida State University College of Music, 1993

Research and/or Creative Interests
In my Master's program I specialized in and still research issues pertaining to the Civil Rights Movement as well as queer identity movements in the United States between 1963-1972.

I am currently examining visual and rhetorical representations of female bodies in the Afro-Cuban diaspora (particularly artistic works by Coco Fusco, Tania Bruguera, and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons) and the sugarcane plantation system in South Florida.

I never tire of reading up on the richly varied literary and intellectual intersections between the works of Toni Morrison and William Faulkner.

I am deeply invested in the works of Audre Lorde and James Baldwin especially The Cancer Journals (Lorde) and The Fire Next Time.

My research also leads me to consider the historical and visual representations and the literary repurposing of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Middle Passage, as well as the rhetorical work of slave narratives in our contemporary, postcolonial environment/landscape and various learning (classrrom) environments within the United States.

Additionally, I am writing and researching the rhetorical and cultural significance of monsters and ghosts found in gothic literature (broadly defined).

Teaching Interests
Some of these interests include: Inter/transdisciplinary rhetorics, rhetoric and writing, rhetoric and literature, ethnic rhetorics, rhetorics of race, queer rhetorics, queer(ed) poetics, rhetorics of gender, Women's and Gender Studies, Rhetorical Theory, Feminist Theory, and Critical Race Theory.

Teaching Approach
I approach teaching as a collaborative act that takes place between the teacher and the students. I rely on class discussion and writing responses/journaling as well as formal papers to calibrate the learning environment.

Why did you become an English professor?
Teaching is my way of attempting positive, direct action, and peaceful change in our world.

Why teach X?
Not matter what topic I teach, I am always framing the subject (or object) of study within a system that is supported by rhetorical analysis; Rhetoric is everything

Outside of being a professor, what do you do for fun and/or relaxation?
I read and I work on my independent research. I hike and I am a practitioner of yoga. I like listening to books on tape and reading them too. I love spending time with my friends, my family, and my cats.

What are your expectations of students?
My expectations are simple. I want students to have an open mind, attempt random acts of empathy everyday, narrate themselves into their own analyses, and to be willing to hear as well as to talk.

What's something about you that might surprise your students?
I have not owned a television since 2005, and I don't expect to own one anytime soon.