I am a feminist, qualitative, cultural-historical geographer with research interests in areas of landscape, social memory, practice, performance, tourism, mobilities, qualitative research, collaborative and participatory research, writing, and the scholarship of teaching.
My research has been both archival and ethnographic, engaging a wide array of qualitative methods (including participant observation, auto-ethnography, interviewing, life history, and archival research) in efforts apprehend topics including:
- how ghost towns in the US West are and have been understood by residents, and visitors through their landscapes of absence and abandonment how the nineteenth-century novel Ramona structured the ways that tourists and locals would understand and experience southern California’s past through both fictional and factual landscapes, and how the practices of tourists transformed those landscapes
- how seemingly mundane kitsch souvenirs shape intimate geographies of social memory, my own included
- how women pilots in the late 1920s and early 1930s used their practices of flying to advance feminism in the post-suffrage era
- how feminist understandings of embodiment and geographies of practice and influence scholarship on mobilities
- how monuments contribute to a gendered spatial framework for the creation of social memory, and how, in the case of an Oklahoma monument to a woman settler, representations of women in the American mythic West structured its creation
- how neon-sign production engages both art and craft in an active practice that forms representational messages out of gas, glass, and electricity
I serve as the fourth North American editor (together with Tim Cresswell in the UK) of the journal cultural geographies (a journal co-founded by my MA/PhD advisor Jim Duncan and Denis Cosgrove as Ecumene in 1994).