Research

My work engages the material manifestations of communication—in other words, the materiality of rhetoric and composing—and how they affect practices of meaning-making. My dissertation takes up this interest, examining the rhetorical formation of the Williams-Nichols Archive, an LGBTQ archive now housed at the University of Louisville. In this project, I consider the following primary research questions: how do the material practices involved in forming and curating a queer archive enact a rhetoric emerging from the intersections of LGTBQ activism, institutional archival practices, and the physical matter of the archive, and how might this expand our understandings of both queer rhetoric and archival theory in our field? Taking up insights from both queer theory and new materialism, and drawing on archival research and oral history interviews, I develop a materialist perspective to identify practices of queer archival activism and work to expand and complicate our field’s understandings of archival rhetoric. While this dissertation engages a physical archive, I consider it an extension of media criticism and theory, as it focuses on the meaningful mediations enacted in the formation of a queer archive.