I identify as a creative-critical scholar and multimodal composer who uses writing and art to explore the interstices of alphabetic text, image, and sound. I engage in work to theorize the power and pleasure of queer(ing) form. I believe that a queer subject position is one that allows for reoriented perspectives (Ahmed, 2006). The queer subject position encourages reimagining the assumed, often prescriptive, boundaries for and forms of scholarly writing. My projects allow me to expand perspectives regarding appropriate/relevant/productive forms of scholarly work. Through my projects I endeavor continually to queer the ‘norm’, challenge the traditional, and remediate the expected.
Below you will find quick descriptions of my creative-critical scholarly projects. Collectively, the work makes contributions to larger conversations regarding multimodal composing, socially engaged practice, collaboration, queer literary nonfiction, and creative processes as research methodologies. Through this process of experimenting and making, of bringing into relationship critical engagement and creative imagination, I seek to both evidence and explore creative processes as scholarly research methodology.
Paper Violets, Vellum Prose
Conceived of as a radical eulogy, "Paper Violets, Vellum Prose" both recalls and recreates the stark realities of my father’s hospice death. First appearing as an installation in Word 6, the multimedia installation “Paper Violets, Vellum Prose” is a call to re-embrace the death experience from which twentieth century culture has distanced us. The piece is to be reinstalled as a part of Ill At Ease, an exhibition scheduled at SUNY-Buffalo, Spring 2017.
Masters of Text
Launched in September 2015, Masters of Text is a scholarly podcast from Ames Hawkins and Ryan Trauman that seeks to encourage discussion of alternative textual forms of scholarship, and promote scholarship about alternative modes of textuality.
Exhuming Transgenre Ties
"Exhuming Transgenre Ties" is a video essay that seeks to answer the question: Given the discourse of invisibility surrounding transgender life and experience, how might we begin a search for a history of transgenre literary figures? Premiering at the Cultural Rhetorics conference in October 2014, this piece of creative-critical scholarship appeared in the April 20, 2006 Special Issue of Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric Writing and Culture.
An Open Letter to Gurlesque
"An Open Letter to Gurlesque" is a transgenre piece of creative-critical scholarship forthcoming in Electric Gurlesque, (Saturnalia Press, 2016). Originally written to be read on the page/screen, the piece has also been remediated as an audio text, featuring both my voice as well as that of Arielle Greenberg. You can listen to the piece on Soundcloud.
These Are Love(d) Letters: e, l, o, r, s, t, v is a transgenre writing project and art installation that uses a finite set of textual artifacts, (the twenty love letters written by my father, handed to the artist by her mother), as a framework for a complex visual and textual exploration of the infinite implications regarding the cultural, philosophical and literary work of the love letter. How these letters, as textual communication and conscious artistic creations, tap into, construct, reveal, hide, manage, mirror, interpret, and evidence love—of art, of excitement, of normalcy, of self, of (an)other—stands at the center of my investigation. The first five chapters of the book was recently installed at Arizona State University as a part of “Women’s Ways of Making,” the 10th Biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference in Tempe, AZ.
These Are Love(d) Letters
CIWIC/DMAC: An Ecology of Influence at Columbia College Chicago
"CIWIC/DMAC: An Ecology of Influence at Columbia College Chicago" is a collaborative piece of creative-critical scholarship featuring mutilmodal compositions authored by five different individuals who attended either CIWIC or DMAC, a twenty-year old summer institute focusing on technology and pedagogy in the writing classroom. My contribution, “OPEN: An Aperture in Four Parts,” explores the repeated observation that what these workshops offered participants was an “openness” that made accessible and appealing the prospect of including technology/digital applications in the writing classroom.
Courting the Peculiar
A truly collaborative piece, "Courting the Peculiar: The Ever-Changing Queerness of Creative Nonfiction," began as a co-written conference proposal for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) National Convention in Seattle, Washington, February 2013: “What do we mean when we claim that creatve nonfiction is a queer genre? Four queer-identified panelists collectively position creative nonfiction as a genre welcoming of writers and writing that embraces the peculiar, courts the unconventional, and opens to forms yet to be imagined.”
Crafting Hope: An Arts Activism Project was an artistic installation involving three instructors and three classes that featured One Million Bones, “the large-scale social arts practice, combining education, hands-on art making, and public installations to raise awareness of ongoing genocides and mass atrocities in places like Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma.” In addition to co-teaching, and collaborating with many individuals and organizations, I created an installation piece and wrote all the copy featuring the history of Critical Encounters, the art activism initiative at Columbia College Chicago.
Crafting Hope: An Arts Activism Project
25 for 25
25 for 25: An Anthology of Works by 25 Outstanding Contemporary Authors and Those They Inspired is an ebook that I curated and co-edited for the Lambda Literary Foundation on the occasion of their 25th anniversary. Conceived of as part of their celebration and fundraising venture, for this volume I contacted and obtained permission to republish the work of 25 established queer writers. I also worked with twenty-five emerging queer writers, most of whom have been Lambda Literary Fellows, to develop introductory pieces that make clear the role that these writers–and their writings–have had in nurturing and supporting them in life and work.
Selected by Robert Atwan as a Notable Essay of 2011, "Optickal Allusion" was conceived of as a research design/visual piece that positions, in the form of a color wheel, alphabetic text vignettes exploring my experience as a literary artist with respect to my father’s relationship with visual art.
All the Write Moves
"All the Write Moves" is a video essay that explores my thinking about how I learned to write. While not the very first multimodal composition ever, it is with/in the creation of this piece for the 2011 Composition and Writing Conference in Ann Arbor, MI, that I locate my generative genesis as a creative-critical scholar. You can view the video essay on Vimeo.