I’ve been invited to give talks at college campuses and professional conferences, including the WSQ Mother Symposium at CUNY Graduate Center, the “Empowering Mothers/Maternal Empowerment” Symposium sponsored by the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI) in Toronto, and the University of Indiana, whose fall 2014 “Themester” will focus on “Eat, Drink, Think: Food from Art to Science.” In 2014, I’ll be giving talks and writing workshops at the first FARE National Food Allergy Conference, the second annual Food Allergy Bloggers Conference, and at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. Below, I’ve listed upcoming and recent topics.

Contact me for scheduling a talk, keynote, or workshop.

Talks and Keynotes

Food Allergies, Exclusion, and Disability

The field of medicine primarily understands food allergy as a disease that appears to be on the rise, particularly among children. In this talk, I examine the way that food becomes a tool for inclusion or exclusion towards kids with food allergies. By looking at how food can affect those with food allergies in rituals and communal gatherings as well as in schools, we can see how food allergies can also be understood as an invisible disability that’s deeply social in nature.

Writing Workshops

Personal Writing About Food and Food Allergies: A Workshop for Teens

In this workshop, I bring over fifteen years of classroom experience as a teacher of writing, literature, and women’s and gender studies to the task of exploring food allergies through creative writing. Participants focus on reflective writing, reflection, and discussion about food and food allergies. The workshop includes brief lectures, writing exercises, reading excerpts from published personal narratives, short video clips, role playing, and small and large group discussion.

Writing for Change: Women, Influence, and Media

Where are women in today’s media landscape? Organizations such as the Women’s Media Center, the OpEd Project, and VIDA have brought public attention to existing inequities in publishing, finding glaring disparities between the numbers of published women and men in every kind of media. For example, the OpEd project found that in 2011, women wrote only 20% of opinion essays in traditional media and 33% of opinion essays in new media sources.

In this writing workshop, we explore how to write with authority about what we know. Topics include the role of opinion writing in the public sphere, the ethics of opinion journalism, the elements of good opinion writing (argument, evidence, and credibility), and practical considerations to consider when deciding whether to publish in traditional venues or online blogs. Participants read published essays and blogs and engage in group exercises, discussion, and freewriting.