research + current projects

My research is driven by questions about power, authority, access/ability, and rhetorical framing and how they function in writing classrooms and writing centers in particular and institutions of higher education more broadly. Much of my work is interdisciplinary, drawing on and building on work from disability studies, writing studies, rhetoric, nursing, feminism, conflict studies, diversity studies, and other areas. Ultimately, I hope my work disrupts naturalized hierarchies and institutionalized racism/patriarchy/ableism.

To achieve these goals, I use methodologies that assume researchers bring subjectivity into their work, that research subjects are themselves experts, and that research should be reciprocal, benefiting both researcher and research subjects. The methodologies I most heavily rely on are grounded theory, ethnography, and institutional ethnography. I come to all my work as a feminist.

Here are some of the specific questions that drive my research:

  • academic rhetorics:How to instructor-created documents, such as syllabi, assignments, and handouts, construct academic integrity and citation practice for students? How do these documents construct academic values for students? How do these documents resist, reflect, and create pedagogical change? How do instructor comments on student writing construct academic values for students?
  • writing centers:How can writing centers be sites of resistance to neo-liberalism? How can writing centers push back against rhetorics of (dis)ability, neurodiversity, hierarchies, patriarchy, and white supremacy? How can writing centers be brave/r spaces for difference? How do writing centers sponsor undergraduate research?
  • source citation:What do source citations do, rhetorically, interactionally, and epistemically? How do source citation practices direct attention toward and/or away from particular authors? What might a feminist citation pedagogy look like?
  • inclusivity: How do current teaching, scholarly, and academic publication practices maintain and/or resist naturalized hierarchies and institutionalized racism/patriarchy/ableism?

Some specific projects I am working on now:

  • I began a series of site visits to writing centers across the country to learn about how they sponsor undergraduate research. My site visits will continue through fall 2021.
  • I am revising a paper I presented at the 2019 International Writing Centers Association Conference on how writing centers can support self-care among staff.
  • I am drafting an article outlining a theory of feminist source citation
  • I am bringing together several data pools – a syllabus repository, ethnographic classroom research, and a survey of faculty definitions of plagiarism – to study how academic integrity is by course documents and practices.
  • I am in the page-proof stage of the third edition of the textbook I co-authored with Amy Braziller on multimodal and multigenre composition, The Bedford Book of Genres.
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