I have two main research areas: science fiction and fictional futures, and digital media and fandom. I approach both with a queer cultural studies methodology and close attention to issues of gender and race. My work on science fiction focuses on cultural production by marginalized creators––mainly women, queers, and people of color––in Britain and the US, from the early twentieth century to the present. My work on digital media has so far focused on the new artistic forms that are emerging from fan communities, particularly digital remix video (vidding), especially as these forms engage critical readings of media texts and are used to participate in social justice activism. I am interested in both documenting and utilizing fan vidders’ creative and critical techniques.
My book manuscript, Old Futures: The Queer Cultural Politics of Speculative Fiction, explores alternative futures dreamed up by feminists, queers, and people of color in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Britain and America––from feminist utopians to video remixers––in order to inquire into historical and political narratives that the seemingly transparent terminology of the future has obscured. I argue that, as speculation becomes a crucial theoretical framework from which philosophers and cultural critics analyze the present and the future, the history of speculative cultural production that has emerged from bodies marked by race, gender, and sexual deviance must be part of the conversation.
I am also developing a second book project, provisionally titled Queer Geek Politics: Fandom, Social Justice, and Transmedia Cultures of Radical Critique, that will give a cohesive form to my growing body of work on digitality, media, and the amateur creative cultures and grassroots social justice politics of queer, feminist, and antiracist fans’ subcultural production. My experimental work in using vidding as a mode of scholarly communication forms a part of––and has shaped the thinking in––both projects.
Finally, I am a founding member of the Transformative Digital Humanities collective, which is working to highlight the work of critical queer, feminist, and ethnic studies work in and with digital scholarly practices.