My research in literary and cultural studies focuses on the following overlapping areas of inquiry:
Storytelling, narrative, and social change. How have women and marginalized groups of people used writing and other forms of storytelling (such as film and blogging) to change dominant cultural narratives, advocate for human rights, and imagine alternative possibilities for themselves and their communities? How do stories travel across borders, and what are the opportunities and challenges of storytelling in a globalized world?
Identity, the body, and culture. How is human identity formed through gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, disability, illness, nationality, migration, and geography? What is the relationship between our identity and our physical bodies?
Gender and caregiving. What does it mean to “mother” and to “father”—or to parent? What can we learn from examining cultural representations of motherhood and contrasting these images with the diverse range of stories about mothering, parenting, and caregiving?
More recently, I’ve also written a handful on articles about teaching women’s and gender studies.
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Human Rights: Teaching Nervous Conditions in a Transnational Feminist Framework
Teaching Human Rights and Literature • MLA Press (forthcoming)
Rewriting Human Rights: Gender, Violence, and Freedom in the Fiction of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Critical Imagination in African Literature • Syracuse University Press (forthcoming)
Mothering Across Borders: Narratives of Immigrant Mothers in the U.S.
Intersectionality: A Foundations and Frontiers Reader • Westview Press, 2014
(Reprinted from WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 2009)
Toward a Feminist Analysis of Motherhood, Family, and Food Allergies
What Do Mothers Need? Motherhood Activists and Scholars Speak Out on Maternal Empowerment for the 21st Century • Demeter Press, 2012
Women’s Studies and Transnational Feminism
Women: Images and Realities, A Multicultural Anthology • McGraw-Hill, 2011
Translating Desire: Exile and Leila Aboulela’s Poetics of Embodiment
Expressions of the Body: Representations in African Text and Image • Peter Lang, 2009
Of Motherhood Born
Mothering in the Third Wave • Demeter Press, 2008
At the Crossroads: Disability and Trauma in The Farming of Bones
MELUS • 2006
Talkin’ Bout a Revolution: Building a Mothers’ Movement in the Third Wave
Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering • 2006
You Are Not Alone: The Personal, The Political, and the ‘New’ Mommy Lit
Chick Lit: The New Woman’s Fiction • Routledge, 2006
Coming of Age: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the Voice of the Third Generation
English in Africa • 2005
In Search of an ‘I’: Embodied Voice and the Personal Essay
Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal • 2004
My Sister’s Family
The Scholar and Feminist Online • 2004