Creative-Critical Research

I see myself as an interdisciplinary, creative-critical scholar. I am interested in arts-based approaches to research and pedagogy, an interest that has developed since I was an undergraduate student. My master’s thesis, a creative transgenre composition (or, as I define it, a composition that uses visual art and writing), combined fiction, poetry, photography, anatomical diagrams and images, and other found materials. As a doctoral student, my dissertation research used arts-based and queer theory methodologies (and collage as a research method) to advocate for the use of transgenre composing in writing studies scholarship and pedagogy. 

Women’s and gender studies and cultural rhetorics are also central to my research. Under the cultural rhetorics umbrella, I am interested in the rhetoric of health and medicine and, as a person of Cherokee heritage, American Indian and Indigenous studies. Some of my recent research has explored using queer theory to create inclusive classroom spaces for students with post-traumatic stress disorder, developing a transgenre pedagogy through queer theory and cultural rhetorics lenses, and adopting a rhetoric of health and medicine pedagogical approach through transgenre composing.

Queer Approaches


Edited by Kristin LaFollette and Nicholas Santavicca, Queer Approaches: Emotion, Expression, and Communication in the Classroom (Information Age Publishing, 2020) supports queer educators and students and offers “queered” pedagogical approaches for teaching students from diverse backgrounds. This collection places value on every educator and student through prioritizing inclusivity, and the chapters carefully articulate what (queer) inclusivity is, why it matters for all educators, students, and administrators, and what can happen when inclusive
environments are not created and/or sustained.

When prompted to think about marginalized educators and students, most literature and research focuses on federal/state laws and instances of bullying. The chapters in this collection are farther reaching and provide (queered) solutions for these individuals’ needs and challenges. This volume addresses the ability of the LGBTQ community to see themselves represented in the curriculum of schools, discussed in the language of society, and valued in all discourse settings. In addition, this volume uses queerness as a lens through which to reimagine classroom spaces and institutions of higher learning.

Dissertation Abstract

Visual art, when intersected with writing, resists traditional norms in composition and creates space to embrace alternative composing forms and voices, and my dissertation argued for the benefits of intersecting art and writing in composition scholarship and teaching (and I use the term “transgenre” to refer to work that contains both visual art and writing). My project used arts-based and queer theory methodologies to explore the benefits of transgenre composing and the ways it challenges composition scholars, teachers, and students to rethink their composing practices and pedagogical approaches to writing. This project also utilized textual analysis, interviews (from authors who have published transgenre compositions), and collage as methods. In employing these methods and methodologies, my project worked to (re)imagine traditional academic norms, advocate for the use of art in writing, and promote creative-critical scholarship for artists, writers, scholars, and teachers of writing.

Sample Scholarly Publications