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Emerging from a Composition Notebook at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

Academic Writing

Avian Figures and the Fluidity of “Jizz” (2019)
Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment (ISLE)

This essay profiles the term “jizz,” a word of enigmatic etymology, arguably canonized in birding vocabulary before being popularized as sexual slang. While mapping out the polysemic entity of “jizz,” I investigate how avian discourse has been negotiated by citizen and professional scientists in the English-speaking world, and suggest applications for its productive use in literary and rhetorical studies.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Grip the Raven (2018)
Frame: Journal of Literary Studies

Grip was the first and favorite of several ravens Charles Dickens owned. Dickens declared his love for Grip in letters, fictionalized him in Barnaby Rudge (1841), and had the bird taxidermied. After Dickens’ death, the stuffed raven spent years in auctions before landing in Philadelphia, where Dickens met Edgar Allan Poe. Poe had reviewed Barnaby Rudge and critiqued Dickens’ Grip before composing his own raven masterwork and “Philosophy of Composition” (1846). Grip’s remains now reside alongside the handwritten manuscript of Poe’s “The Raven” in Philadelphia. This project explores Grip’s iterations — living, fictionalized, taxidermized — and parallels between biography and taxidermy.

Forms & Feet of Fowl: Twisted Histories of Poultry & Prostheses (2017)
Trace: A Journal of Writing, Media, and Ecology

This anthrozoological essay features the tales of several footless fowl who rose to fame after being fitted with prosthetic devices. All of these disabled birds developed prosthetic relationships with their adopted human owners, to some extent, causing the birds and their owners to become unusual extensions of each other. By connecting a range of narratives and perspectives on poultry and prostheses in literal and figurative forms, I experiment with how juxtapositions of these stories and ideas might be productive in generating multidisciplinary conversations and critical-creative scholarship.

Local Reporting

Aviary Debuts Andean Mountain Habitat and Golden Eagle (2019) in The Northside Chronicle

Annual Owl Brunch Marks Halloween Season at the Aviary (2018) in The Northside Chronicle

Panel Explores the Politics of Tastemaking at Alphabet City (2018) in The Northside Chronicle

Getting Involved with Audubon Day and Pittsburgh’s Birds (2018) for Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh

Revisiting Pittsburgh’s Pigeondom (2017) for Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh


Photographer for the Northeast MLA Convention (2018)

Photographer for Altered States by Sara Button (2014) in Pittsburgh Magazine