Profile of a Researcher
Overview of Research Agenda
I am a rhetoric and writing researcher who uses qualitative methods to understand how internet-based cultural communities share knowledge about their sexual health. I work from a disciplinary throughline between technical communication, health and medical rhetorics, and digital rhetorics, with focuses in health communication, Latinx/Indigenous studies, and settler colonial studies. My research interfaces the confluences of neoliberal medical policy related to HIV/AIDS, white supremacist and ableist public health practices, and cisheteronormative biomedical models. The critical edge of my work is tempered by my deep commitment to the lifeways, knowledges, and problems of queer and trans Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). I attend to issues of medical racism, sexual health justice, and inequitable clinical experiences.
In my projects, I work to interrupt settler colonialism and push against its marginalizing forces (i.e., the holdovers of European colonization in North America and the concomitant strains of white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy). I orient my work toward interrupting settler colonialism because it innervates white supremacy through anti-Blackness, Indigenous subjugation and erasure, and institutionalized ableism (which functions on the former two), all animating many of the contextually disparate, wicked problems that leak into the domains of my work. I wrangle settler colonialism as a rhetorical problem in my projects, surfacing the confluences of biopower that lend to the staying power of marginalization regarding queer and trans BIPOC. I work to disrupt abuses within biomedicine and public health (as the scientific and social faces of care, respectively) through my research projects and community engagement as a health organizer.
As a community-engaged scholar whose training in technical and professional communication and health and medical rhetorics begins in community settings, I am attuned to the social justice turns of the sister fields. As an organizer and activist who has worked some time for and with Latinx, Indigenous, and queer/trans communities in Lansing, MI, my experiences in these settings activate and steer my overall research agenda. Having worked with partners, such as The Salus Center (Lansing’s first and only queer resource center), Casa de Rosado (a Latinx arts and community space), the Ingham County Health Department, and the Michigan Public Health Institute, I have learned a central, energizing maxim: community knows best for itself. I therefore follow the protocol of an insurgent researcher—via Indigenous methodologies—to leverage findings from my research projects to advance knowledge about health and wellness born in queer and trans communities of color within healthcare and public health settings. And so, my community engagement and my research are deeply entangled.
Below, you will find details, abstracts, and references for some my main manuscript projects. If something strikes your fancy and you'd like to talk more, please reach out. I'm always happy to talk!
“OK Sexual Health Twitter”: Toward a Community Framework of Sexual Health Literacy
Blood Cells and Drag Queens: Storying Virulent Sexual Health
Journal Article Draft: Communication Design Quarterly
Emplacing Infrastructure: Toward a Material Inventory of Tech Colonialism
Journal Article Draft: Rhetoric of Health & Medicine
Un-Settling Epistemic Hubris: Colonial Constructions of Health in the Flexner and Lalonde Reports
Journal Article Draft: Technical Communication Quarterly
Toward Relational Design: Rethinking HIV Outreach for Queer Users of Color (Experience Report)
Invited Chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Queer Rhetoric
"Methodologies Not Yet Known: The Queer Case For Relational Research"
This invited chapter is for the Routldege Handbooks of Queer Rhetorics, the first collection of its kind comprising an international and interdisciplinary cadre of queer researchers. In this chapter, I interrogate the limits of research as a practice within queer rhetorical scholarship as both remain energized by the whiteness of contemporary queer identity politics (construed as settler colonial futurity). Constellating across cultural rhetorics, de- and anticolonial theory and practice, settler colonial studies, Black and Native studies, and Critical University Studies, I argue for a divestment from the settler colonial undercurrents of queerness (as identity, practice, lifeway) and, in their place, the advancement of a decolonial horizon within research projects—and a refusal to do research when the queer researcher cannot imagine a decolonial future.
I begin by highlighting the interlinked nature of queerness with ongoing colonization in settler colonies (primarily within North American and specifically the United States, my context) via the integration of queerness within settler liberalism, springboarding from this criticism into the leaky potential of de/anticolonial theory to dissolve queer stasis as a force for good—as a means of refusing settler futurity. I conclude this chapter by offering solutions to readers derived from my community organizing and approaches to research with(in) marginalized communities. With these questions, I implore readers to begin the work of queerly relational research, or methodologizing in a manner that forecloses the settler imaginary—the totalizing intellectual purview of research—and that advances Black/Indigenous futurity.
The collection is expected either Spring 2022 or Summer 2022.