Research Agenda


I am a PhD student interested in agency and ethics in discursive work, especially in digiital spaces. Specifically, I am interested in how discourse workers operate amid multiple tensions (social, political, ethical, etc.), as well as how and why they create documents, text, and projects amid those tensions. Following that trail, I am fascinated by the rhetorical work done in scientific and medical communication as it pertains to sex, sexuality, and gender. Thus, queer theory and rhetorics direct my studies, and I am interested in spotlighting the critical roles of disidentification, re/orientation, and normalization in understanding the world. Combining this criticality with a strong emphasis in ethics and queer rhetorics, I hope to eventually facilitate better medical care for queers by mapping out possible problematics and disjunctures in medical and scientific work, especially in sexual health education contexts.

Works in Progress

A list of solo and collaborative projects I am currently working on. If you have any comments, suggestions, or criticism, please feel free to reach out!

Kink as Praxis and Queer/Sexual Rhetorics

This project is an approach to the sexual arenas queer theory has yet to fully explore. With this paper, I explore kink sex and kinky bodies using Jasbir Puar’s concept of the terrorist assemblage—specifically queer assemblages—which positions itself against homonationalism and neoliberal configurations of the state. I approach the queer assemblage with a focus on cultural rhetorics, drawing from Sara Ahmed's theories about objects. Bringing the two together, I look at how kink equipment is used with bodies and pleasure to deploy what Jose Esteban Muñoz calls queer time.I then turn to what Jonathan Alexander and Jackie Rhodes highlight as the rhetorical role and power of sex, looking at the entire assemblage of body, equipment, dom, sub, and dungeon as a queer assemblage that complicates our notions of deviance, normalcy, and queerness. I theorize queer time and the queer assemblage as a space for terrorist fucking, or radical sex and sex acts that fall out of the neoliberal control of queer sex. The article will be published in a special issue of Pre/Text sometime in 2019. 

The Politics of Resentment and Contemporary Antigay Arguments: An Analysis of Not Alone

This paper is a collaborative piece with Dr. Michael Faris from Texas Tech University. In it, we explore the rhetorics of victimage and the politics of resentment, drawing from Jeremy Engels work in The Politics of Resentment: A Genealogy. In it, we analyze the anti-gay rhetorics in the video Not Alone from and argue more broadly for more attention to be directed toward what we perceive as an argumentative shift away from explicitly anti-gay rhetoric to more covert rhetorics.

Defining Marriage: Tracing Recent Anti-Queer Rhetorics using Ideographic Analysis

The marriage equality debate pivoted with the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. Throughout the debate leading up to the decision, opponents of marriage equality argued that marriage should not be expanded to include same-gender unions because such a redefinition would harm society, detract from the importance of marriage, and infringe on the rights of religious people. After the decision, however, opponents of marriage equality shifted their rhetorical strategies to elide the typical subject of their arguments—queers—and to spotlight a new subject: themselves. In this paper, I trace the recent history of the marriage equality debate by analyzing three key arguments: 1) a debate between cultural critics Andrew Sullivan and William Bennett, 2) a debate between National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown and advice columnist Dan Savage, and 3) a book by author and academic Ryan Anderson that responds to the Obergefell v. Hodges decision. I trace the shifts within these arguments by drawing on Michael McGee's concept of the ideograph and show how opponents of marriage equality gradually shifted their argumentation tactics. I conclude by calling on argumentation scholars to pay attention to the unique opportunity of witnessing changing argumentation tactics amid messy issues in which societal, legislative, and religious matters are tangled together.


This list consists of books I've read for classes and for myself. Bolded books had a profound effect on my thinking.

  • The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction by Michel Foucault
  • Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
  • Literacy, Sexuality, Pedagogy: Theory and Practice for Composition Studies by Jonathan Alexander
  • Methodology of the Oppressed, Chela Sandoval
  • Becoming a Writing Researcher by Ann Blakeslee
  • The Politics of Resentment: A Genealogy by Jeremy Engles
  • The Twilight of Equality by Lisa Duggan
  • Spurious Coin: A History of Science, Management, and Technical Writing by Bernadette Longo
  • The Queer Art of Failure by Jack Halberstam
  • Rhetoric in the European Tradition by Thomas Conley
  • The Rule of Metaphor: The Creation of Meaning in Language by Paul Ricoeur
  • Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff
  • Critical Power Tools: Technical Communication and Cultural Studies edited by Blake Scott
  • The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader by Gloria Anzaldúa
  • Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett
  • Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind by Gert Hofstede
  • Intercultural Communication: A Discourse Approach by Ron Scollon
  • Interviews/Entrevistas edited by Annalouise Keating
  • A History of The English Language by Thomas Cable