Associate Professor, Department of English
My book, Science on the Homefront: The Rhetoric of Women Scientists in World War II, was published by the University of Illinois Press (2009). In it, I examine speeches, articles, pamphlets, books, and reports written by female scientists during World War II. I argue that four tropes, gender neutrality, objectivity, expertise, and technical rationality, shaped women’s scientific rhetorics in ways that upheld the norms of masculine scientific culture while downplaying or discouraging women’s unique voices. This project won a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada doctoral fellowship and the 2006 James Berlin Memorial Dissertation Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).
My next book project, Gender and the Rhetoric of Autism, takes up the network of gendered arguments that shape debates about autism. Initially portrayed as a disorder caused by emotionless “refrigerator mothers,” autism is now recognized a neurological disorder that is itself highly gendered: the Center for Disease Control in America reports that boys are seven times more likely than girls to develop this disorder, and one prominent researcher, Simon Baron-Cohen, has hypothesized that autism is a disorder of the “extreme male brain.” This project takes up both the gendering of autism in scientific and public discourses, as well as the gendered positions interlocutors use to establish expertise and authority in debates about autism.
I have also conducted research on Kenneth Burke, on rhetoric and public memory, and on women’s rhetorics. Recent publications include:
· “The Extreme Male Brain?” Incrementum and the Rhetorical Gendering of Autism.” Accepted, forthcoming in Disability Studies Quarterly, special issue on Rhetoric and Disability, (2011).
· “Ladies and Lynching: Southern Women, Civil Rights, and the Rhetoric of Interracial Cooperation.” (co-author, Lucy Massagee). Accepted, forthcoming in Rhetoric and Public Affairs 14.4 (2011).
· “From Absence to Presence: Discovering Women's Voices through Feminist Historiographic Pedagogies.” (co-author, Jessica Enoch, accepted, forthcoming in College English, May 2011)
· “This is Your Brain on Rhetoric”: Research Directions for NeuroRhetorics.”(co-author, L. Gregory Appelbaum), Rhetoric Society Quarterly, special issue on NeuroRhetorics, 40.5 (2010): 411-437.
· “Lydia J. Roberts’ Nutrition Research and the Rhetoric of ‘Democratic’ Science.” College Composition and Communication 61.1 (2009): 109-129.
Research and teaching interests: rhetoric and composition, women’s rhetorics, rhetoric of science, rhetorical theory, technical and scientific writing, rhetoric of health, medicine, and disability.
Hire Date: 2005
PhD, Pennsylvania State University, 2005.
MA, Pennsylvania State University, 2002.
BA, Glendon College, York University (Toronto, Canada), 2000.