I am a writer, performer, activist and professor living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Arts, Culture & Media and the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto. I am also an organizer with FemTechNet (Feminist Technology Network) and the Center for Solutions to Online Violence (CSOV).
In January 2017, I returned to Canada after several years working and living in the United States. From 2013-2015 I was Chair of Experimental Pedagogies in the School of Media Studies at The New School and most recently, from 2015-16, I was a Presidential Visiting Professor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and the Digital Humanities Lab at Yale University.
My academic work focuses on the cultural and intellectual economies and social lives of trans- feminist and queer grass-roots performance (in the broadest understanding of performance). This work includes a book on translocal cultural economies of queer and trans- feminist cabaret in Montreal, Mexico City and New York City, entitled Sliding Scale. I am also developing a collaborative research-creation project with Jasmine Rault and Dayna McLeod, called the Cabaret Commons: a user-generated digital archive and gossip rag for grass-roots queer and feminist artists, audiences and researchers. We are preempting the creation of this archive through a project/process we’re calling “Feeling Speculative in Digital Space.” My first book, entitled Poetry’s Bastard: The Illegitimate Genealogies, Cultures and Politics of Text-Based Performance, is under contract with Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
I also write and teach on contemporary digital cultures, labour, affect, politics and pedagogies and work with the Feminist Technology Network on the Distributed Open Collaborative Course — the DOCC — on cyberfeminist approaches to online education and activist pedagogical publics. I am co-authoring a book entitled Checking In: Feminist and Queer Labor in Networked Economies with Jasmine Rault.
As an artist I got my start in the booming (largely feminist) spoken word scene of Vancouver in the late 1990s and since then have been making work that draws from cabaret, costume-based and alter-ego performance, agit-prop theatre, stand-up comedy, video and sound art, installation and intervention. These performances reflect an ongoing quasi-pseudo-autobiographical meditation on feminine composites, class mobility, sexuality and style.
Overall, I am deeply committed to the knowledges and aesthetics of transformational media, performance, subjects and scenes, and my art-research-activism-teaching moves through the politics, spaces and places of genre, memory, agitation, consolation, desire and diverse identifications.