By Shattering the Vulture’s Nose (2020)
The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada
This project explores an unusual ornithological debate between 19th-century naturalists John James Audubon and Charles Waterton on the olfaction of vultures. Both naturalists involved were also artists—certainly more than they were scientists—and prone to artifice and performative amplification. This article examines the rhetorical dynamics of this niche but sensational debate on avian olfaction, and its problematic influence on scientific progress.
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.
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
Podcast appearance on Your Bird Story, interviewed by Dr. Georgia Silvera Seamans for “Spark Bird” (2020)
Photographer for the Northeast MLA Convention (2018)
Photographer for Altered States by Sara Button (2014) in Pittsburgh Magazine