Director, Women's and Gender Studies Program; Adele Hall Chair in English; Professor, English and Women’s & Gender Studies Profile Image
Director, Women's and Gender Studies Program; Adele Hall Chair in English; Professor, English and Women’s & Gender Studies Women's & Gender Studies 325E Louise Pound Hall
Teaching in WGS

As I tell my WMNS 101: Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies students, I love to teach this course because it invites us to place concepts of gender and sexuality in dialogue with our daily lives, our histories, and our future plans. In fact, my students often share that they connect ideas from our class to their other courses, the media they view, and conversations they have with friends and family. To me, this is the best kind of learning—learning that reaches beyond the classroom to change how we view the world around us. 

The conversations we have in WMNS 101 are enlivened by students who represent a range of academic and experiential backgrounds. In both the course’s design and its student population, WMNS 101 is truly interdisciplinary. This means we not only study topics like women’s suffrage and political participation, body image, and health and reproduction from a range of academic perspectives, but that students bring insights from their majors and experiences to bear on these issues. Because we are learning not just about a set of abstract ideas, but about our very identities, my 101 students become a community, connecting with and extending one another’s ideas and experiences. We all leave the experience richer for the learning we do together.


Research in WGS

My most recent research focuses on contemporary women’s rhetoric that extends the availability and reach of rhetoric; addresses new political and civic issues of concern to women; and explores changing conceptions of gender. In the forthcoming anthology, co-edited with UNL alum Charlotte Hogg (TCU), Persuasive Acts: Women’s Rhetorical Acts in the Twenty-first Century, we feature the words, images, and embodied acts of women ranging from public figures like Sonia Sotomayor, Malala Yousafzai, Lindy West and Michelle Obama to everyday social media users. These use new technologies, and repurpose old ones, to persuade, to tell their stories, to sponsor change, and to challenge cultural forces that repress and oppress. My article “‘Tweet Me Your First Assaults’: Writing Shame and the Rhetorical Work of #NotOkay” similarly traces the rhetorical force of a Twitter hashtag that challenges how shame is ascribed to survivors of sexual harassment and assault and insists on the urgent need to transform a culture that blames women for the abuse they endure. Across the body of my research, I seek to bring forward voices that have been unheard or silenced, insisting that they have much to teach us about the need for cultural change.


WGS Courses

WMNS 101: Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies

ENGL/WMNS 475 and 875: Rhetoric of Women Writers

ENGL 973: Pedagogies and Difference


Selected Books

Persuasive Acts: Women’s Rhetoric in the Twenty-First Century, University of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming 2020. Co-­edited with Charlotte Hogg.

Repurposing Composition; Feminist Interventions for a Neoliberal Age, Utah State University Press, 2015.

Composition Studies Through a Feminist Lens. Parlor Press, 2013.


Selected Articles

“Disrupting Diversity Management: Toward a Difference-­Driven Pedagogy.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture. Forthcoming, 2020. Co-­authored with Adam Hubrig, Jessica Masterson, Stevie Seibert-­Desjarlais, and Brita Theilan.

“‘Tweet Me Your First Assaults’: Writing Shame and the Rhetorical Work of #NotOkay.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly.  48.2 (2018): 119­‐138. *Selected to be included in the collection Best of Journals in Rhetoric and Composition 2019.

“Cultivating Listening: Teaching from a Restored Logos.” Silence and Listening as Rhetorical Arts. Eds. Krista Ratcliffe and Cheryl Glenn. Southern Illinois  University Press, 2011.

“Teaching and (Re)Learning the Rhetoric of Emotion.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture. 11.2 (2011): 349-­370.

“Chaos is the Poetry: Teacher Development, Service-­Learning, and Disorder.” College Composition and Communication. 60.4 (2009): 683-­706. (Co‐authored with Darby Arant Whealy)

Making Room for New Subjects: Feminist Interruptions of Critical Teaching.” In Teaching Rhetorica: Theory, Pedagogy, Practice. Eds. Kate Ronald and Joy Ritchie. Boynton/Cook, 2006.

“Embodied Subjects, Embodied Knowledges: Re-­thinking the Mind/Body Split” Composition Studies. 30.2 (Fall 2002): 43-­60.



Adele Hall Chair in English, 2022

Hazel R. McClymont Distinguished Teaching Fellow Award, College of Arts and Sciences, 2015

College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award, 2014

Grant for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Academic Affairs (with Deborah Minter)


Ph.D., English, University at Albany - State University of New York

B.A., Drake University

Areas of Specialization

Composition and Rhetoric

Women’s and Feminist Rhetoric

Socially Conscious Pedagogies