Academic

Published Work

Blogs

"A Look Toward the Future: Post-Apocalypse and the DLR"

For this post for the DLR Blog , I interviewed Dr. Adam Beach about his plans for the 2017-18 journal.

"Where Do Monsters Come From?"

In this DLR Blog post, I analyze the etymology of the term "monster."

"'People Are Alike All Over': On the Universality of the Gaze"

This post for the DLR Blog dissects an episode of the Twilight Zone that features a literal human zoo.

"Watching Television with a Critical Eye: An Analysis of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

In this post for the DLR Blog , I analyze the portrayal of child enslavement in an episode of SVU.

Research Papers

"'Who Killed the World?': Monstrous Masculinity and Mad Max"

In this paper for the DLR , Vol. 4, I utilized monster theory in conjunction with gender studies to examine toxic masculinity in the Mad Max film franchise.

"'Man's Hatred Has Made Me So': Freakification and the Shifting Gaze in The Phantom of the Opera (1925)"

In this paper for the DLR , Vol. 3, I look at the 1925 silent film version of The Phantom of the Opera and the ways that the movie and the actor (Lon Chaney) create a character who transcends the category of the freak into the realm of the monstrous.

"Kinderbrutanstalt and Kindchenschema: The Child Hatchery and the Psychology of Cute"

This group paper for the DLR looks at a human zoo that housed tiny humans only: in the early 1900s, Martin Couney exhibited infants in the “Mechanical Mothers” of the newly-developed incubators throughout Europe, before settling his zoo in Coney Island.

My specific research in this project was to look at the psychology of cute and how this aspect of the exhibit amplified its appeal and influence on audience members.

"Children in Chains: On the Productive and Exploitative Tendencies of Representation in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

In this paper for the DLR , Vol. 2, I examine several episodes of the television series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, that feature the topic of child enslavement. I interrogate whether the show is productively raising awareness of a serious issue in the modern world, or if it veers too far into the realm of the exploitative in doing so to the point where the show is doing more harm than good.

"A Critical Introduction to Twelve Years a Slave"

This group paper for the DLR analyzes the film, 12 Years a Slave . In my section, I look at the cinematographic elements of the movie and argue that these aspects force audience members to confront their discomfort with the issues at hand.

Selected Essays

"My English Major is Making Me Hate Books" | 11 December 2015

I wrote this paper for a course for the Honors College after reading Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins.

Reading that book strictly for fun (we were specifically told not to take notes or analyze it, and that we were supposed to just read it like we would have before we started studying texts) reminded me of why I chose my major in the first place: I love books, I love reading... or, at least, I used to, before I started studying them.

Reading this book caused all of those feelings to come flooding back; I wrote this essay reflection at like 2AM right after finishing it.

"Seeking Growth and Understanding Through Doubt: An Examination of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt: A Parable" | 8 December 2015

This paper was my final for an Honors Colloquium course entitled, "Theatre, Politics, and Religion: A Class You Don't Talk About In Polite Conversation."

At the beginning of this course, we decided as a class what plays we would read; the assignment for this term paper was to select a play that should have been in that syllabus, and make a case for it.

I chose Doubt: A Parable" by John Patrick Shanley because of its relation to course topics such as epistemology, racism, religion, and politics within religious institutions.

"Equality as a Premise, Not a Purpose" | 10 September 2015

This reflection paper deals with the issue of equality in today's society.

"'D' is for Different: An Extended Rant against Modern Educational Standards" | 2 February 2015

In this paper, I talk about the problems with the way that our education system evaluates intelligence.

"Ball State Students for Life: A Leadership Theory Analysis" | 19 November 2014

For EDHI302, a course for my leadership studies minor, I had to perform an intensive study on a student organization on campus, applying a plethora of leadership theories to the research in order to come to conclusions about the group and improvements they could make.

In this paper, I examined the Pro-Life student organization; I selected this club because I knew their meetings were during one of the rare gaps in my hectic schedule, and because I knew virtually nothing about it, so I wouldn't be going in with preconceived notions about the group's aptitude or accomplishments.

Journalistic

BSU Daily News

"'The Normal Heart' Updates Story of AIDS Struggle in 1980s" | 01 April 2016

This article previewed a show at Muncie Civic Theatre , which is the local community theatre in the town that Ball State University calls its home.

Although I usually write preview stories for the Department of Theatre and Dance (DoTD), I occasionally get solicited to write such pieces about non-university events; this was one of those cases. The director of the show contacted the paper and asked if we could write up a story on the play, and my editor asked me to write it since it fits into my beat.

It was great to write about a community event because it allows me the opportunity to write for a broader audience of thespians than the ever-so-slightly more limited audience of on-campus shows.

"Pioneering Dance Majors Create Choreography Showcase" | 29 October 2015

I don't often get to write about dance-related events apart from the show they present at the end of the semester, but this show was an unexpected and delightful exception!

This article focuses on the Senior Choreography Showcase, which was an event created entirely by seniors in the program and focusing on highlighting their skills and talents.

"Director of Immersive Learning Copes with Tragedy Through Playwrighting" | 15 March 2015

For this article, the title pretty much speaks for itself: it's about a member of the BSU faculty who dealt with life's difficulties and curve balls through her writing.

Many artists turn to their art in times of distress, whether their medium is clay, paint, or words. In this case, the result of this individual's pain was something that many, many people could benefit from. The play is heartwrenching and powerful; I had the privilege of writing about it.

"Starbucks' Secret Menu Items Change Up Routine" | 28 October 2014

This piece was a part of a series I wrote in the fall semester of 2014, all pertaining to the Starbucks Secret Menu items. For those of you who don't know, there are hundreds of off-menu items you can order at this coffee shop; even if the barista has never made it before, the recipes are out there so all you have to do is tell her exactly what you want!

(My current favorite secret menu item is the French vanilla frappuccino: order a vanilla creme frappe, add hazelnut syrup, and have them drizzle caramel sauce on the inside of the cup and on top of the whipped cream!)

For this series, I compiled a bunch of these underground concoctions and grouped them into categories, like chocolatey drinks or raspberry beverages, and then composed an alt-structure story for each grouping. I also included a small blurb about what the drink tastes like, and the photo section took some stellar images to accompany each one.

These were published regularly during that semester, and I was sad to see the series go because so many people who don't normally pick up a copy of the DN were telling me they loved the article! Hopefully I can convince my editor to let me revive the series in the future.

"Ball State Alumna Works as Staff Writer at Buzzfeed" | 19 November 2014

Writing an article about a real, flesh-&-blood Buzzfeed employee was fantastic, to say the least. (You could even say that it was a "buzz"... but that's only if you're into bad puns and lame jokes... which I'm obviously not [shifty eyes].)

For this article, I conducted the interview via telephone, and I basically asked her all the questions I had always wondered about the company, since I'm much more of an avid content reader than I care to admit. It was especially interesting because this employee was a former graduate of teh BSU Dept. of English, of which I am currently a student!

"Clothing Boutique to Open in Village This Month" | 08 September 2014

Writing an article about a grand openning was quite out of the ordinary for me, and so it was a great change of pace from my usual DoTD beat. While I absolutely love writing theatre previews, it's always nice to diversify my portfolio with some stories like this.

"Technical Worker for Cirque Du Soleil Production Now Working for Ball State" | 29 August 2014

As soon as I found out we had someone on the DoTD staff with this interesting of a backstory, I knew I had to write a profile article on him!

It was fascinating to learn about someone who actually worked in the circus, and to see the ways that those experiences will benefit his students here at BSU.

"The Cave is Out of Hand" | 18 February 2014

Ok... so this article is where what I said earlier about not being into bad puns will come back to bite me. This title is a blatant pun, for anyone who is familiar with the show. I'll give you a hint: one of the show's props is (you guessed it) a severed hand.

Hopefully, the quality of this preview article convinced readers to forgive the horrible joke of a headline and go to see the show, because it was awesome!

"Bringing 'Frankenstein' to Life" | 24 October 2013

Out of all the shows I've seen here at BSU, their rendition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has got to be the most riveting. Writing this article, I learned about how the cast and crew literally built this show from nothing but the original text. It was a completely devised and original piece, and I've never wanted a show to last forever as badly as I did when I watched the show myself.

I just hope this preview article got more people in those seats because not seeing this was a show would have been a grave (...Sorry, couldn't help myself; I had to throw in one last pun!) mistake!

Kokomo Herald

"'Simply Give' Benefits Kokomo Urban Outreach" | 12 June 2014

Many companies have community outreach/charity programs to benefit those in need; 'Simply Give' is Meijer's way to give back to the towns and cities that the stores gets to call their homes.

For this article, I got to have the experience of calling the Meijer corporate office and going through telephone trees to find the Community Relations Specialist for the store, as well as interviewing the director of the food pantry, Kokomo Urban Outreach , that would be receiving the funds.

"Circus Coming to Russiaville" | 29 May 2014

The circus is a children (in years as well as those at heart) should have the opportunity to experience. When the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus came to Russiaville, many individuals who had never got that chance got to go! In order to publicize the event, I wrote this piece about the event.

"Western Students Participate in Russiaville Community Day" | 26 May 2014

Each year, the senior class of Western High School participates in an event called Community Day. For this project, the students spend a day giving back to the Russiaville, IN, community through acts of service to local businesses, public buildings, and homes (particularly of the elderly).

This article is a bit different than the ones I usually write: instead of being mostly words with the occasional picture, this one is mostly images.

I wrote a short paragraph to accompany them, but the pictures I took at the event spoke for themselves. The smiling faces of the students and Russiaville residents show the impact of this event more than words ever could.

"Summer, Glen Brown Continue Swimming Legacy at Western" | 27 September 2012

This article demonstrates some of my diverse writing abilities within the journalistic genre. I wrote several sport-related stories for the Herald , like this one that profiles a family with an acumen for the deep end.

"WSC September Board Meeting" | 20 September 2012

As the Herald's resident reporter for the high school, I wrote regular reports (like this one) on the Western School Corporation (WSC) board meetings. In order to write these articles, I attended the monthly meetings, took diligent notes, and composed a succinct, informative report on the proceedings.

Often, I was the only student in attendance, and it was fascinating to learn about this aspect of my school.

"Allison Lindley Places Fourth in State Golf Finals" | 11 October 2012

Another sports article, this story focuses on a student at Western High School who has phenomenal talent when it comes to golf.

"Western School Students Participate in Liberty" | 27 September 2012

In celebration of Liberty Day, the students of my high school heard from local residents and members of the Lions Club about the Constitution. This article, is representative of how often, the articles I wrote for the Herald were to inform the public about events that happened at the local schools.

"RHS Determines Next Step in Restoration Project" | 12 September 2012

In preparation for writing this article, I attended a meeting of the Russiaville Historical Society (RHS), took notes on the proceedings, and interviewed members of the organization about the project.

"Panthers Show Support for Wounded Marine" | 12 September 2012

The Western community faced a tragedy when a 2010 graduate became paralyzed from the chest down due to a spinal cord injury suffered in the line of duty as a Marine; this article talks about the efforts the Western community made to aid him and his family in this time of need.

"Local Boy Scouts Travel to Japan" | 12 July 2012

This story highlighted the travels of a group of young men who decided to spend part of their summer vacation exploring Japan.