I am currently an Associate Professor of English and Writing Program Director at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Before coming to Xavier in Fall of 2015, I received a PhD from Miami University in Composition and Rhetoric. My dissertation, entitled “Speaking Truth to Power: Recovering a Rhetorical Theory of Parrhesia,” examines a little-known Greek term, parrhesia, which means to speak freely, especially in situations that involve risk to the speaker. This dissertation creates a theoretical framework with which to evaluate and understand parrhesiastic action in different environments, e.g. oral, print, and digital. I study parrhesiastic acts across a variety of contexts, from Classical Greek sources such as Demosthenes, Socrates, and Cicero to more contemporary figures such as Edward Snowden and Malala Yousafzai.
As part of that research, I have examined women’s nineteenth century rhetorical practices, including the women’s rights activist, Matilda Gage. My interest in women’s nineteenth century composing and literacy education have also led me to conduct research at the Western Women’s Seminary/College Memorial Archive and to examine the found compositions of an ancestor of mine, which I discuss in my short video “History and Memory: The Notebook of Emma Cecelia Stadtmiller, 1888.” I am also interested in the possibilities of multimodal rhetoric, composition as embodied practice, and the potential of irenic, dialogic rhetoric to positively influence dialog within the public sphere.