- PhD, Northwestern University, Performance Studies, 2009
- MA, University of Texas at Austin, English Literature, 2003
- BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, English Literature; Journalism and Mass Communication; Spanish, 2000
Areas of Specialization
Cultural-critical rhetoric, performance studies, transnational American studies, feminist theory, gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, critical race studies, popular culture, ethnography, cultural politics, political economy, visual art and culture, museum studies
Current Research Projects
My first book Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display is forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press. Sex Museums combines ethnographic field methods such as participant observation and interviews with archival research and visual art, performance, and film analysis to argue that the museum context from its inception to the present day is a pivotal but overlooked site in the construction of modern sexual subjectivity and the categories of "normalcy" and "perversity."
In 2012-2013, I spent the academic year in Mexico City on a Fulbright-García Robles Grant with an institutional affiliation at El Colegio de México (COLMEX), in particular their Interdisciplinary Program in Women's Studies. During this time, I conducted research for my second book project, Sex After NAFTA: Crossing Borders and the Economy of Intimacy. This project traces the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on everyday practices of intimacy and argues that "free trade" dramatically changed how intimacy is constructed and experienced in the United States and Mexico in the twenty-first century, a phenomenon I call "the economy of intimacy." The book manuscript will demonstrate how the mechanisms of "free trade" are delicately interwoven with national and international notions of what sex and sexuality mean.
Current Creative Projects
In addition to my work as a teacher and a writer, I am also a performance artist and a curator. I have performed in Austin, Chicago, and Houston, and while working as the Director of Programming at the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago, I curated several exhibitions that explored the intersection of race, transgender identity, disability, and sexuality. In 2015, my exhibition Irreverent: A Celebration of Censorship will open at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York. Irreverent will put many of the theories from my book Sex Museums on their feet through the performative display of artworks that have been censored in the "post" culture war years. Through the display of previously censored artworks situated within self-designed installations and built environments, each gallery will recreate the stakes for exhibiting these works by using ephemera to restage the social, cultural, and political components that led to each controversy. While queer and dissident sex is central to the exhibition and to the book Sex Museums, both will also show how sex has consistently been used as a political tool to silence all kinds of minority voices on issues that range from immigration to religion, to race, gender, and disability, to globalization, capitalism, and neoliberalism.
- Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display, forthcoming from the
University of Chicago Press
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
- "Leather Anatomy: Cripping Gay Masculinity at International Mr. Leather," special issue on "Cripistemologies," edited by Robert McRuer and Merri Lisa Johnson, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, forthcoming 2014.
- "Queer Curatorship: Performing the History of Race, Sex, and Power in Museums," Women and Performance: a Journal of Feminist Theory (June 2013), 1-18.
- "All Museums are Sex Museums," special issue on "Calling the Law into Question: Confronting the Illegal and Illicit in Public Arenas," edited by Amy Tyson and Andy Urban, Radical History Review 113 (2012), 199-211.
- "The Time Has Come To (Re)think Sex," Criticism: Quarterly of Literature and
the Arts, Volume 51 Issue 2 (2009): 355-366.
- "Perverting the Museum: The Politics and Performance of Sexual Artefacts," in Negotiating Sexual Idioms: Image, Text, Performance, Rodopi Press, 2008, 145-170.
Exhibition and Museum Reviews
- "Because We Are," Exhibit, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, Texas, Museum and Society Volume 9, no. 1 (2011): 82-83.
- "The Leather Archives and Museum," Newsletter of the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History of the American Historical Association (2007): 5-6.
Recent Fellowships and Awards
- Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) First Book Fellowship, Honorable Mention, 2013
- Top Paper in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Communication Studies Division, National Communication Association, 2013
- Top Paper in the Performance Studies Division, National Communication Association, 2013
- Fulbright-García Robles Grant, el Colegio de México, Mexico City, 2012-2013
- Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Rice University, 2010-2012
Analysis and Adaptation of Literature to Performance; Exhibiting Sexualities; Gender and Performance; Honor's Introduction to Rhetoric; Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Performance and Popular Culture; Popular Rhetorics of Sex and Sexuality; Seminar and Practicum (queer and feminist research methodologies); Sexuality and Visual Culture; Women and the Arts.
- "Sex Toys after NAFTA: Transnational Class Politics, Erotic Consumerism, and the Economy of Female Pleasure in Mexico City," Williams College, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, February 2013
- "Sex in Museums," Feminist Art Project, Brooklyn Museum, College Art Association, New York, February 2013
- "Todos los museos son museos de sexo," Universidad Autónoma Metropolitan Iztapalapa, México, D.F., 2012
- "Teoría Queer," el Colegio de México, México, D.F., 2012
- "Feeling through the Archive of David Wojnarowicz: Affect, Ephemera, and the Meaning of Mexico in David Wojnarowicz's A Fire in My Belly," Defining Ephemera Conference, Panel on "Sexuality Ephemera," Rice University, 2011
- "Exhibiting the Sexual Modern in Mexico City: a Talk on Queerness, Curatorship, and Globalization," Anthropology Lecture Series, University of Houston, 2011
- Keynote speaker with Gayle Rubin and Chuck Renslow at "Speaking about the Unspoken: a Conference for Speakers about Leather Fetish History," the Leather Archives and Museum, Chicago, 2009
- Affiliate Faculty, Women's and Gender Studies Program
- Faculty Associate, Latin American Studies Program, Walker Institute
- Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, Rice University