Apologies for the lateness of my introduction, but here it is nonetheless. I completed my B.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Portland State University, and, more recently, my M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. I just started my PhD in the department of American Culture here at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
During my undergrad as a McNair scholar, I researched the politicization of grief in LGBT activism around violence and the ways in which grief was expressed and made sense of through hate crime laws and protections in the U.S. Continuing that research in my graduate studies at UT, I became invested in understanding the role of the body in making sense of violence in a way that pushed against the limits of hate crime protections (as a cognitive and theoretical apparatus) and criminal law and at times undermined it. For my MA thesis, I focused more on queer critiques of hate crime protections and the political demands made by queer and trans activists who foregrounded the embodied experiences of queer and trans people of color to approach the enduring problem and history of violence. What emerged out of these critiques and this network of localized, grassroots activism was an alternative methodological and theoretical account of violence attentive to questions of affect, space, the social and political.
As I begin my PhD, I’ve become more interested in turning back to the early 90’s, and perhaps further, and looking at the relationship between queer visual cultures and social movements. I want to look at the representations of violence that emerged in the New Queer Cinema and the work of queer visual artists and the ways they were informed by and informed social movements. What I am most interested in and want to research more are the ways film and artistic practices processed and re/distributed affect, sensibilities, data, and information about AIDS and violence.
Besides my general research interests, what I hope to expand or learn more about as a new member to the HASTAC community are the different resources, technologies, and media we as digital humanists might use or develop in order to teach visual material and the histories of social movements. In any case, I am very excited to be a part of HASTAC!