Research Agenda

If we follow disciplinary habits of tracing disciplinary-defined causes through to the corresponding disciplinary-defined effects, we will miss all the crucial intra-actions among these factors that fly in the face of any specific set of disciplinary concerns.
— Karen Barad, "Posthumanist Performativity"
 Craft Communication by  m.e.g

Craft Communication by m.e.g

My research articulates rhetorical activity beyond the model of rhetoric as discrete, autonomous human individuals engaging in rational, discursive deliberation. Rhetoric has traditionally been concerned with both agents and agencies: our abilities to move others to action by means of persuasion. Historically, this “our” has been human and this “persuasion” has been symbolic or discursive. That is, rhetoric is people getting other people to do things by means of speech, writing, and other forms of symbolic action (e.g., music and math). Recent work in rhetorical theory has begun to question this basic understanding of rhetoric. Following what we might call a new materialist turn in rhetoric (which resonates with similar turns in literary studies, philosophy, political science, and sociology), I am increasingly interested in ecological rhetorics wherein rhetoric is produced between and among bodies, human and nonhuman, through both discursive and non-discursive activity. In short, what is the place of the nonhuman and the non-symbolic in the work of persuasion? More specifically, my research addresses new materialism’s impact on areas of rhetorical theory such as environmentalism, technology, and public rhetoric. I recently published a short piece on infrastructure, Google Maps, and art that serves as a representative anecdote of this work.

My work has appeared in the following journals:

  • Rhetoric Society Quarterly
  • Quarterly Journal of Speech
  • College Composition and Communication
  • enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture
  • Technical Communication Quarterly
  • College English
  • Rhetoric Review
  • Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy
  • Journal of Technical Writing and Communication
  • Rhetoric and Public Affairs
  • The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy
  • O-Zone: A Journal of Object-Oriented Studies
  • Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society
  • Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts

Running through all of my publications is an understanding of rhetoric as a practice and a field of study that always exists alongside various scientific and humanistic disciplines. For more details about my research, please visit the current projects and recent publications pages. Here is a short video that captures some of what I am up to right now: