The field in which I am based—“Rhetoric and Composition”—is understood as a convergence of ancient traditions with contemporary issues, philosophies, and methodologies related to the learning and teaching of writing in various modalities, contexts, and spheres of public and private activity. In my scholarship I am motivated by a reciprocal desire—that my historical work helps to build theory in rhetoric and composition, and that my theoretical work helps to refine historical perspectives and methodological approaches for the discipline. As a result, most of my projects occur within three interrelated strands of intellectual activity.
I. Rhetoric, Feminism, History, and Language
My research in this strand is interested in how knowledge about writing and written expression gets made, how various disciplines and publics access that knowledge, and how those ways of access become historicized or overlooked among underrepresented subjects. As a result, my work often challenges overriding assumptions about feminist ways of knowing that historically go unnoticed, due to any number of factors. Notable projects include:
- “Rhetoric, Archives, and Transnational Feminism” (manuscript in progress). Here, I argue for new notions of rhetorical counter-public and rhetorical circulation when historicizing the transnational archives of elected female leaders in post-/anti-/ or de-colonial contexts.
- “Retiring the ‘Iron Lady’ Trope” (article in progress)
- “Decolonising the Transnational Archive: Re/Writing Rhetorical Histories of How African Women (Can) Govern.” African Journal of Rhetoric 9.1 (Sep 2017): 82-117.
- Women’s Irony: Rewriting Feminist Rhetorical Histories. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2015.
- “Humoring the Female Pol: Irony, Consciousness-Raising, and ‘Third-Culture’ Discourse.” Women and Comedy: History, Theory, Practice. Eds. Peter Dickinson, Ann Higgins, Diana Solomon, Paul Matthew St. Pierre, Sean Zwagerman. Lanham, MD: Fairleigh Dickinson/Rowman, 2014. 201-216.
- “Towards A ‘Second-Generation’ Suffragism: Language Politics in the Ironic Discourse of an American Suffragist.” Gender & Language 5.1 (2011): 31-60.
- “Beyond ‘Wit and Persuasion’: Rhetoric, Composition, and Humor Studies.” The Primer of Humor Research. Ed. Victor Raskin. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2008. 399-448.
- “Feminine Irony and the Art of Linguistic ‘Cooperation’ in Anne Askew’s Sixteenth-Century Examinacyons.” Rhetorica 25.4 (Nov 2007): 385-412.
II. Rhetoric, Historiography, Digital Humanities, and Archives
Studying physical and digital archives as factors in the re/construction of underrepresented textual histories has led me to a second strand of intellectual activity, where I consider how feminist historiography in rhetoric and composition can contribute to archival studies writ large. My research in this strand focuses on method, attending to how digital historical practices in rhetoric and composition are not so much new as they reflect newly reimagined habits or desires—to witness institutions as they are in the process of being formed, to critically display historians’ narratives alongside those of their subjects, and to circulate tools that reflect the nature of our blurred relationships with text, memory, and archive. My work in this strand has been partly collaborative, including ongoing investigations of digital historiography with Patricia Sullivan, and of networked archives with Shirley K Rose. Ultimately, I consider how rhetoric and composition historians materialize what Susan Miller has called their “textual trust” in the archive (Trust in Texts, 2007, p. 107). Notable projects include:
- “Thinking Different: Be(com)ing Historians of Data” (article in progress)
- “The Boutique is Open: Data for Writing Studies.” Under review. Co-authored with Cheryl E. Ball and Michelle Sidler.
- “Ripple Effects: Toward a Topos of Deployment for Feminist Historiography in Rhetoric and Composition.” Networked Humanities: Within and Without the University. Eds. Brian McNely and Jeff Rice. Anderson, SC: Parlor P, 2018. 106-130.
- “Resisting the ‘Singularly Tellable Space’: Re-Seeing Networks in Rhetorical Studies.” Rhetorics Change / Rhetoric’s Change. Eds. Jenny Rice, Chelsea Graham, and Eric Detweiler. Parlor P and Intermezzo P, 2018. Co-authored with John Jones, Dawn Opel, and Ana Cooke.
- “New Rhetorics of Scholarship: Leveraging Betweenness and Circulation for Feminist Historical Work in Composition Studies.” Circulation, Writing, and Rhetoric. Eds. Laurie Gries and Collin G. Brooke. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2018. 189-207. Co-authored with Patricia Sullivan.
- “Re/Situating the Digital Archive in John T. McCutcheon’s ‘Publics,’ Then and Now.” Peitho: A Journal of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition 17.1 (Dec. 2014): 73-88.
- “In, Through, and About the Archive: What Digitization (Dis)Allows.” Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities. Eds. Jim Ridolfo and William Hart-Davidson. Chicago: U Chicago P, 2014. 233-244. Co-authored with Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne and Whitney Myers.
- “From Location(s) to Locatability: Mapping Feminist Recovery and Archival Activity through Metadata.” College English 76.2 (Nov. 2013): 171-193.
- “Digital and Dustfree: A Conversation on the Possibilities of Digital-Only Searching for Third-Wave Historical Recovery.” Peitho: A Publication of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition 13.2 (Dec 2011): 2-11. [Masthead is incorrect: reads Spring 2010.] Co-authored with Patricia Sullivan.
- “Emergent Taxonomies: Using ‘Tension’ and ‘Forum’ to Organize Primary Texts.” Working in the Archives: Practical Methods for Research in Rhetoric and Composition (eds. Barbara L’Eplattenier, Lisa Mastrangelo, Wendy Sharer, Alexis Ramsey). Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2009. 206-219.
III. Feminism, Composition Pedagogy, and Institutional Discourse
Following from my interest in disciplinary histories, my scholarship in this strand focuses on reflective practice, considering how to apply feminist theory and historical methodologies to larger questions about institutional ethics and pedagogical innovation, especially surrounding the establishment of undergraduate curriculum, the maintenance of writing programs, the mentoring of multilingual learners, and the invention of disciplinary discourses. My work in this strand includes frequent collaborations with Kathleen J. Ryan, Colin and Jonikka Charlton, and Amy Ferdinandt Stolley. Notable projects include:
- “Contending with ‘Difference’: Points of Leverage for Intellectual Administration of the Multilingual FYC Course.” The Internationalization of U.S. Writing Programs. Eds. Shirley K Rose and Irwin Weiser. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2018. 97-115.
- “Teaching Multilingualism, Teaching Identification: Embracing Resident Multilingualism as a Curricular Paradigm.” Linguistically Diverse Immigrant and Resident Writers. Eds. Christina Ortmeier-Hooper and Todd Ruecker. New York: Routledge, 2016. 216-228.
- “Multivalent Composition and the Re-Invention of Expertise.” Multimodal Literacies and Emerging Genres in Student Compositions. Eds. Tracey Bowen and Carl Whithaus. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P, 2013. 248-280. Co-authored with Colin Charlton and Jonikka Charlton.
- GenAdmin: Theorizing WPA Identities in the Twenty-First Century. Co-authored with Colin Charlton, Jonikka Charlton, Kathleen J. Ryan, and Amy Ferdinandt Stolley. Anderson, SC: Parlor, 2011.
- “Theorizing Feminist Pragmatic Rhetoric as a Communicative Art for the Composition Practicum.” College Composition and Communication 61.1 (September 2009): 277-299. Co-authored with Kathleen J. Ryan.
- “From ‘What Is’ to ‘What Is Possible’: Theorizing Curricular Document Revision as In(ter)vention and Reform.” WPA: Writing Program Administration 28.3 (Spring 2005): 89-112. Co-authored with Kathleen J. Ryan.