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My research examines the intellectual and imaginative heritage of germ-free animal research in the microbiome era. As scientists, writers, and artists increasingly recognize the essential contributions of microorganisms to human wellbeing, they turn again and again to the imagination of sterile bodies; my dissertation explores the dreamscape (or is it a nightmarescape?) of the microbe-evacuated human body. I am especially interested in the relationship between microbiology and popular science, and between scientific writing and science fiction. My work is invested in the fields of science and technology studies, history of science, game studies, media studies, and science fiction.
I hold a BS in Microbiology with a minor in Biology from Penn State and have worked on research projects in a variety of areas: virology (Kaposi’s scarcoma-associated herpesvirus), bacteriology (Bordetella pertussis, i.e., whooping cough), tissue culture (stem cells and other models, including HeLa cells), and reproductive endocrinology. I also hold a masters degree in English from North Carolina State.
I am affiliated with UC Davis ModLab and am a Bilinski Foundation fellow during the 2017-18 academic year.
My CV is available here.
PhD in English, University of California, Davis, expected 2019. Dissertation: "Human-Bacterial Alliances in the Metagenomic Age."
MA in English, North Carolina State University, 2011. Thesis: “The Embodied Sublime in Joseph Priestley’s The History and Present State of Electricity.”
BS in Microbiology and Minor in Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, 2007. Thesis: “Construction and phenotypic characterization of an alternative sigma factor E mutant in Bordetella bronchiseptica strain RB50.”
"Are Clusters Races? A Discussion of the Rhetorical Appropriation of Rosenberg et al.'s “Genetic Structure of Human Populations." Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9.12 (2017).
"Corporate Agriculture and the Exploitation of Life in Portal 2." Games and Culture 2016.
"'La vie impossible': Germ-free Life in the Microbiome Era." Viral Culture Symposium: April 2018, Claremont CA.
"Circular Logic: Tree of Life Diagrams and the Visual Proliferation of Microbial Life." Society for Literature, Science and the Arts: November 2017, Phoenix AZ.
“Talking, Hearing, Voting: Quorum Sensing as Bacterial Chatter.” Society for Literature, Science and the Arts: November 2016, Atlanta GA.
“Missing Microbes: Ecocatastrophe Fiction and the Microbiome Era.” Ecomaterialisms Collective Graduate Conference: May 2016, University of California, Davis.
“Envisioning Amphibiosis: Theodor Rosebury and Redemptive Microbiology at the Advent of the Human Microbiome Project.” Society for Literature, Science and the Arts: November 2015, Rice University
“Physiological Aesthetics and the Reasoning Mind in Joseph Priestley’s The History and Present State of Electricity.” Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies: February 14, University of California, Davis.
“The Somatic Sublimity of Joseph Priestley’s The History and Present State of Electricity.” The Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies: February 2011, Wake Forest University.
- English 10C, "Literatures in English, 1900-present: Conspiracy & Alternative History," winter 2017
- English 3, “Introduction to Literature: Science, Rhetoric, & Invisible Things,” fall 2016
- English 3, “Introduction to Literature: Science, Literature, & Education,” 3 terms
- UWP 1, “Expository Writing,” 3 terms
- UWP 1, “Expository Writing” (hybrid online/face-to-face format), 3 terms
- English Department – “Eighteenth-Century British Novel,” “Medieval and Early Modern Women Writers in England and the Americas,” “The Canterbury Tales”
- Engineering: Computer Science Department – “Ethics in an Age of Technology”
American Society for Microbiology; Modern Language Association; Society for Literature, Science and the Arts