My research is deeply interdisciplinary and utilizes methodologies, epistemologies, and theoretical frameworks typically associated with both the humanities and social sciences.

My current book project, entitled Unbecoming: Visibility Politics and Queer Rurality, critically analyzes calls for LGBTQ people to be “out, loud, and proud” through examining representations, discourses, and experiences of LGBTQ women in the rural Midwestern United States. My analyses brings together rural queer studies, feminist and queer theory, critical geography, disability studies, critical race studies, and queer Marxist theories, to examine visibility discourses and politics. Drawing from cultural representations and interviews I conducted with fifty-one women in rural South Dakota and Minnesota, I suggest that an estrangement exists between the desires, logics, and strategies of LGBTQ women in the rural Midwest and those of gay rights movements. This estrangement points to the need to consider the ideologies undergirding and the ramifications of LGBTQ visibility politics more broadly. I make three interventions in the interdisciplinary study of visibility: I argue that calls for visibility are symptomatic of and enable metronormativity; that visibility politics encourage the reproduction of both post-racial and post-spatial ideologies; and, finally, that becoming recognizable as visible is a labored process, and, as such, calls for LGBTQ visibility, which relentlessly demand constant laboring, are a reflection of and benefit to capitalist logics. In doing so, I question calls for LGBTQ visibility, revise assumptions about the ostensible relations among gay community, identity, and visibility, and challenge dominant conceptions of the nature of rural communities.

While completing this manuscript, I am also engaged in a new line of research that explores the relation of the meaning of food to LGBTQ (and) rural sociality. An outgrowth of Unbecoming, this project considers the case of rural LGBTQ women in order to examine how food justice movements’ discourses shape and are shaped by geography, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, race, and class.