Cultural rhetorics; queer, feminist, and critical race studies; social justice pedagogies; translingual approaches to writing and pedagogy; digital rhetoric; qualitative methodologies
“We’re Asking You to Show Up”: Accountability as Rhetorical Practice for Queer, Feminist, and Racial Justice Allyship
My dissertation, which I defended in April 2018, advances rhetorical practices grounded in the concept of accountability for enacting allyship across queer, feminist, and racial justice activism. I explore how contemporary activist rhetors enact intersectional strategies, whom their messaging centers, and with what consequences. I work from a cultural rhetorics perspective to explore how using accountability as a measure of efficacy for activist rhetoric can help to build new models for rhetorical production, analysis, and pedagogy emerging from and centering on specific communities. More attention to accountability can help us in rhetoric and composition move beyond an additive model that may recover rhetorical productions by historically marginalized communities without challenging the larger systems of power that continue to place these communities in a marginal position. This study, informed by queer, feminist, and critical race approaches to rhetorical analysis, investigates three sites of contemporary public rhetoric surrounding intersectional activism: the portrait photography archive The Identity Project, the Black Lives Matter Black Futures Month initiative, and the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. Across these sites, I ask how scholars of rhetoric can act as more informed allies for intersectional activism while also interrogating our own social locations.
Horner, Bruce and Laura Tetreault. Crossing Divides: Exploring Translingual Writing Pedagogies and Programs. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2017. Print.
I am the co-editor of the forthcoming collection Crossing Divides: Exploring Translingual Writing Pedagogies and Programs. Working from the premise that translingualism perceives the boundaries between languages as unstable and permeable, the book offers diverse perspectives from leading scholars on the design and implementation of translingual writing pedagogies and programs.
Horner, Bruce and Laura Tetreault. “Translation as (Global) Writing.” Composition Studies 44.1 (2016). [Special issue on “Composition’s ‘Global Turn'”]
This article explores translation as a useful point of departure and framework for taking a translingual approach to writing engaging globalization. Globalization and the knowledge economy are putting renewed emphasis on translation as a key site of contest between a dominant language ideology of monolingualism aligned with fast capitalist neoliberalism and an emerging language ideology variously identified as translingualism, plurilingualism, translanguaging, and transcultural literacy. We first distinguish between theories of translation aligned with neoliberalism, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, a critical approach to translation focused on the difference that a translingual approach insists translation makes to languages, language relations, and language users. We then describe ways that a translingual approach to language difference in writing can be pursued in the classroom through student experimentation with translation of ordinary texts and with paraphrase and interpretation. Treating all writing as translation, we argue, can help students and their teachers better engage with language difference as a feature of all writing rather than imagining such engagement to fall outside the norm of communicative practice.
Recent Conference Presentations
“Queer Digital Archives and Activist Circulation.” Portland, OR: Conference on College Composition and Communication, March 2017.
This panel, titled “Queer Archives, Producing Public Memory, and Activism,” examines queer activist strategies for documentation and circulation across several archival, multimodal, and pedagogical sites. Scholars in feminist rhetorical history have urged us to interrogate how rhetorical histories get constructed, who is reclaimed, and who is excluded (Schell and Rawson; Royster and Kirsch; Rawson, “Queering”). This presentation examines how queer archival materials in open-access digitized archives circulate and construct queer rhetorical histories: a form of creating change and cultivating new capacities for queer representation beyond limiting, normative portrayals.
“Rhetorical Action as Motion: The Circulation of Queer-Feminist Digital Arts Activism.” Louisville, KY: Thomas R. Watson Conference. October 2016.
Rhetoric and composition has recently begun to focus more on circulation as a key component of rhetorical action (Chaput; Edbauer Rice; Gries; Ridolfo and DeVoss). Attention to circulation—specifically, the ways in which images, texts, or other forms of discourse move through public space—allows us to understand what Laurie Gries calls rhetoric’s consequentiality: rhetorical action as a continuously unfolding process that produces disparate effects. Grounded in a photography project titled The Identity Project, the presentation explores how this project, as a form of arts activism, has moved through particular communities online and helped to shape discourses of gender and sexuality within those communities, but has also engaged in culturally appropriative practices. This presentation explores the role of circulation in activist rhetoric, focusing on how one example of arts activism moves through queer-feminist digital media outlets.
“The Digital Extracurriculum: Online Circulation as Queer Rhetorical Practice.” Houston, TX: Conference on College Composition and Communication. April 2016.
Part of a panel titled “Queer Action in the Extracurriculum” that explores queer action via extracurricular sites of writing, rhetoric, and literacy development. This presentation examines online spaces as part of a queer extracurriculum geared toward challenging dominant narratives and circulating alternative possibilities. Building upon research about feminist rhetorical practices (Glenn, Licona, Royster and Kirsch, Sheridan-Rabideau), I explore how queer women challenge dominant narratives of gender and sexuality and assert the validity of voices, ideas, and bodies not usually represented in mass media or mainstream political discourse. I focus on the digital circulation of queer women’s activist cultural production, exploring how alternative media production and digital circulation can act as an extracurricular site where queer women can learn activist rhetorical strategies outside of any institutional context.
“Queer Women’s Slam Poetry as Embodied Performance.” Tempe, AZ: Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference. October 2015.
Part of a panel titled “Pens, Poetry & Pixels: Women Rewriting the Scripts of Textual Production.” This presentation investigates slam poetry as embodied performance, focusing on the rhetorical practices of self-identified queer women performers. As Susan Driver writes of queer youth, creative engagement is a potential site for the “articulation of fantasies, feelings, and ideas that expands the parameters of what is intelligible” (21), especially when media representations of queer women remain limited. Similarly, the performative nature of slam poetry allows queer women to expand cultural narratives in multiple ways, particularly through community-building between performers and audiences, and through a performance’s potential for wide circulation by video recording and online posting. These performances play a role in social activism by creating space for the circulation of voices often excluded from political discourse, such as those of queer and trans women of color.
Careers in the Public Humanities Interview
I was featured on the podcast Careers in the Public Humanities, where I talk about communicating with publics, activist movement building, and preparing undergraduate English majors for careers in the public sphere. Listen below:
Concept in 60
As part of the inaugural Digital Composition Colloquium at the University of Louisville, piloting new multimodal assignments, I created this Concept in 60 video on queer education and visibility. Captions by Jana Colter and A La CARTe Connection.
For a full list of publications, conference presentations, and other research activities, please see my CV.