Research Projects

Asexual Erotics /////////////

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Focusing on the sexual identity and orientation of asexuality, I work on increasing the visibility of asexual communities, knowledges, and identifications in feminist and sexuality scholarship. My book, Asexual Erotics: Intimate Readings of Compulsory Sexuality (Ohio State University Press 2019) argues that not only is asexuality a legitimate sexual orientation, it is also one that offers exciting ways for critiquing compulsory sexuality at its intersections with race, ability, queerness, lesbianism, and gender. I articulate this as an “asexual erotics,” drawing on Audre Lorde. Importantly, my book is the first monograph to explore asexuality on non-pathologizing terms. At present, I am co-editing a special issue of Feminist Formations on intersectional approaches to the erotics of asexuality (CFP here). My work on asexuality includes the coining of the term “sexusociety” for exploring compulsory sexuality (Sexualities 2011) and a co-authored methodological consideration of the implications of asexuality for queer theory (GLQ 2014). While at Simon Fraser University I developed a course on asexuality entitled “Critical Nonsexualities” (2017). The course explored asexuality from intersectional and interdisciplinary perspectives, included two field trips (to the UBC Sexual Health Lab with thanks to Lori Brotto and to a Vancouver ace/aro-meetup at Qmunity with thanks to Justine Munich), and asked students to build an asexual archive in the face of the historical absence of asexuality in LGBTQ2+ spaces. During my time at SFU, I hosted talks and conferences on asexuality, such as the “Asexual Countercultures” evening and zine-making event (click here for the electronic zine), co-organized with local ace activist Justine Munich, and the inaugural international conference “Unthinking Sex, Imagining Asexuality: Intersectional and Interdisciplinary Perspectives,”  which was held April 26-27, 2019 at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre and for which I won a SSHRC Connection Grant.

Feminist Digital Publishing Praxis /////////////

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My second research project involves  honing a praxis-based approach to feminist digital publishing through the intermedia, peer-reviewed, open access, independent journal Feral Feminisms, which I founded with my friends and colleagues in 2012/2013. Through work on the journal and my background in graphic design, I examine questions of digital publishing as they relate to feminism, antiracism, and decolonialism. Towards exploring these issues, I was awarded a Teaching and Learning Development Grant to develop a course at SFU on “Intersectional Feminist Journal Praxis” which asked students to bridge practice and theory towards collectively developing—from start to finish—an inaugural issue of an open access online undergraduate journal (the students’ journal, titled Intersectional Apocalypse, is available here). Through this collaborative and hands-on course, students had opportunities to think about the praxis of intersectional feminist action, the meanings of multiple voices and inter-media collaboration, and the dynamics of power flows and injustice. In October 2019 I worked with a group of librarians and scholars to think about questions of invisible labor and open access, or the “The Labor of Open,” at The Triangle Scholarly Communication Institute (see the zine we created). I explored issues of feminist intersectional praxis by guest editing a special issue of Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology on the aesthetics of transnational protest, entitled “Visualizing Protest: Transnational Approaches to the Aesthetics of Dissent” (2018). I am also the co-editor of two other projects on bodies and representation: a special issue entitled “Hysteria Manifest: Cultural Lives of a Great Disorder” in English Studies in Canada (2014) and the published book project, On the Politics of Ugliness (Palgrave 2018). You can see me speaking to feminist digital publishing praxis here.

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