An essayist and a teacher of writing and rhetoric, I am from a working-class Massachusetts town.
499Independent Research For The Master's Thesis
I am an essayist and a rhetorician interested in investigating instances of failed persuasion, persuasion that steps over the line into abuse, and persuasion used as a precursor to violence. Language that claims to be something it isn’t, language that feigns innocence. I write to understand how language is used to shut others down, to shame them into silence, to control them and, on the flip side, how language is used to break silences and to break the stories that have ensured those silences. My preoccupations with belief, with failed persuasion, with deception, and with empathy, compassion, and vulnerability are neither simply personal nor merely academic. They are what drive me to continue thinking through cultural expectations of honesty and sincerity and public refusals to demonstrate the vulnerability that unites us all as human beings. My work is my life, and by this I don’t mean to suggest that I’m a workaholic. Instead, my work is my life in the sense that my scholarship is my autobiography, and I would wager a guess that I’m not alone in this.