I’m interested in creating a world nearly free (“nearly” because I’m cautious of absolutes) of non-divisive thinking and language. This interest is behind all my work—from teaching yoga to studying empathy to teaching rhetoric. What can our world look like if we resist divisive language and thinking? For instance, I teach yoga; I also teach rhetoric and writing—the two are not so different. One asks you to confront your mind through paper, language, and text. The other asks you to confront your mind-body through shapes, through breath, through a combination of shapes and breath, through what we have come to call the practice of yoga. Both ask for more awareness.
Currently, I am working on two book manuscripts, one entitled, Digital Empathy, which discusses how we can foster empathy through intentional digital production experiments using the voice, body, and other sonic composing materials. The other, Violent Networks, which shares my 3 year research project on the human and non-human nature of violence in Pittsburgh.
At the heart of my work are enduring questions around the ethical, the rhetorical, the public, the body, and the digital. I take up each of these both separately and together through my art installations, articles, practices, pedagogies, and civically engaged or community-centered work. More specifically, I spend most of my time thinking about how violence circulates visually, textually, and digitally in networks, how empathy lacks, and how contagious our affects have become. I use actor-network theory, affect theory, network theory, empathy theory, and new materialist rhetoric to discuss 21st-century violence, digital publics, division, race, and our radically connected inhabitancy of the world. My work attempts to perform rhetorical listening and rhetorical empathy through and with publics, performance, and found media, archives, and voices.