Research

540da951b805f8befbb7465d54816d83--artists-book-book-artYou can find my curriculum vitae here.

At the end of her poem, “Patchwork,” Irish poet Eavan Boland writes, “ But is it craft or art?”   The line between craft and art is often a blurry one—a constellation of tensions, as Boland’s poem suggests, between technology and the hand, history and memory, and beauty and labor.  My book-in-progress, Crafting Modernity, argues that art processes, and the specific materials involved in those processes, have given women writers critical tools for disrupting narratives and ideologies that enable oppression and violence, from gender and race discrimination to the total war of WWII.

The writers I study (Virginia Woolf, H.D., Lorna Goodison, Ali Smith, and Zadie Smith) use the materials and processes of art-making to unsettle social norms and advocate for new approaches to longstanding sites of inequality and human suffering.  Traversing the long 20th century, the book shows how women writers in the U.K. and Caribbean use art and craft as a new form of artistic agency in the ongoing work of resistance.

Taking this broad view also helps to explain the significance of transmedia making for contemporary feminist literature and art.   I explore women’s craftwork—considered in the fullest possible sense—in order to illuminate the materials and practices that have grounded feminist narratives and that continue to shape the cultural significance of those practices.  My research aims to be as inclusive as possible, bringing race and gender/sexuality into conversations about the power, scope, and history of maker culture.  I also practice the arts I write about, working to bridge the gap between theory and praxis in interdisciplinary literary studies.

In addition to this main project, I research experiential pedagogies, feminist approaches the archive, the erotics of craft in contemporary novels, and I have an ongoing series of Q&A interviews with contemporary women writers at the Los Angeles Review of Books.