I see myself as an interdisciplinary, creative-critical scholar. I am interested in arts-based approaches to research and pedagogy, an interest that began as an undergraduate and has been a part of my master’s, doctoral, and current research. My master’s thesis, a creative transgenre composition (or, as I define it, a work that uses both elements of art and writing), combined elements of fiction, poetry, and collage. The context essay I wrote to accompany my creative project focused on analyzing published transgenre works and outlining the history and development of transgenre composing, while also articulating the rhetorical moves and strategies I implemented in the process of creating the thesis. As a doctoral student, my dissertation research used arts-based and queer theory methodologies and collage, interviews, and textual analysis as research methods to advocate for the use of transgenre composing in writing studies scholarship and pedagogy. My dissertation challenged the creative/scholarly binary, reinforcing that all writing is creative while reimagining norms in writing studies research and teaching through the intersection of art and writing.
I am also interested in researching how feminist and queer theories can help instructors rethink and reimagine norms in academia to make space for knowledges and ways of meaning-making that have been undervalued or marginalized. As a doctoral student, I developed an ENG 2070: Intermediate Writing course curriculum that used queer theory to help students reexamine writing/composing practices in academia. I taught this course in Spring 2018 at Bowling Green State University, and my experience teaching the course was the focus of Chapter 4 of my dissertation. Chapter 4 outlined the experiences I had in teaching the course and shared several examples of student work and how students responded to assignments that asked them to engage in writing and art-making (as an instructor, my teaching is consistently speaking into my research and vice versa).
Like queer theory, feminist theory is also central to my research and, as a result, my teaching. Some of my recent research has explored women’s poetry as a form of feminist activism, and another collaborative research project focused on feminist approaches to the teaching of writing. Intertwined with my interests in feminist and queer theories is my interest in cultural rhetorics. Under the cultural rhetorics umbrella, I am interested in medical rhetorics and, as a person of Cherokee heritage, American Indian and Indigenous studies. Through my feminist, queer, and decolonial approaches to research, I strive to make space for all forms of knowledge, further social justice causes, and celebrate diversity.
Visual art, when intersected with writing, resists traditional norms in composition and creates space to embrace alternative composing forms and voices, and my dissertation argued for the benefits of intersecting art and writing in composition scholarship and teaching (and I use the term “transgenre” to refer to work that contains both elements of visual art and writing).
My project used arts-based and queer methodologies to explore the benefits of transgenre composing and the ways it challenges composition scholars, teachers, and students to rethink their composing practices and pedagogical approaches to writing. In particular, a queer approach to teaching transgenre composing allows for students to perform their identities in their compositions; in interacting with one’s selfhood and embodied subjectivities, a queer pedagogy can be enacted in the teaching of writing (Waite, 2017).
Traditionally, the alphabetic document has been privileged in academic settings, but arts-based and queer approaches provide lenses through which to (re)examine traditional academic practices so that over-simplified binaries can be broken down. This project also utilized textual analysis, interviews (from authors who have published transgenre compositions), and collage as methods. In employing these methods and methodologies, my project worked to (re)imagine traditional academic norms, advocate for the use of art in writing, and promote creative-critical scholarship for artists, writers, scholars, and teachers of writing.
‘”The Opposite of the Skeleton Inside of Me’: Women’s Poetry as Feminist Activism” -article published in Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal (Vol. 3 No. 1)
Asegi Stories: Cherokee Queer and Two-Spirit Memory by Qwo-Li Driskill – review published in American Indian Quarterly (Vol. 42 No.1)
“Ancestors I’ll Never Know (Or, Why I’m Not Buying a Personal DNA Kit)” – essay published in The Curator
The Girl With Many Names (excerpt) – hybrid-genre piece published in LossLit (No. 9)
“Susceptible” and “A Lasting Impression” – poems published in The Ibis Head Review (Vol. 2 No. 2)
“Cat People” and “Deed’s Creek” – poetry/art collaboration published in The Light Ekphrastic (No. 21)
Skin – artwork/interview published in Spry Literary Journal (No. 8)
Like Las Vegas (excerpt) – hybrid-genre piece published in The Hunger: A Journal (No. 1)
A full list of my publications can be found in my CV.