Born in Oklahoma, I went to college with every intention of traveling the world and becoming an international diplomat. But, after taking my first political science class, I quickly realized that I was not meant to work in that field. Instead, I returned to the arts, which I had loved passionately as a child. My introduction to art history proved enlightening, and I quickly changed my focus. Presently, I am an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where I teach undergraduate and graduate classes in a wide variety of subjects, including the introductory art history surveys, contemporary art, modern art, history of photography, women and art, architecture, among others.
My main body of research and book project concerns female body image and contemporary art, in particular, looking at the way that artists have addressed issues of women's body size by exploring dieting, obesity, eating disorders, cutting, self-harm, etc.
Further, I'm particularly interested in the intersection of popular culture and art history. One of my guilty pleasures is to indulge in a Lifetime movie marathon, so it seemed logical to edit a collection on Lifetime with a good friend and former colleague (Emily Witsell).
I attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where I pursued an undergraduate degree with a double major in Art History and Studio Art. Afterwards, I recieved an MA in Art History at The Pennsylvania State University, where my Masters' thesis was on Sarah Lucas and her use of identity in her self-portraits. Continuing my education, I completed my PhD at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, working with Anna Chave on my dissertation, "Weighing the Body: Female Body Image in Contemporary Art."
Female Body Image in Contemporary Art: Dieting, Eating Disorders, Self-Harm, and Fatness - published with Routledge Press, 2018.
Co-editing a collection with Emily Witsell for McFarland Press on Hallmark Channel, forthcoming 2019.
New book projects:
Burn Your Bras: Feminist Fashion in United States Protests
Contemporary Art on Television
Femininity in Sports via Visual Culture