My research centers on border-cultural rhetorics and is concerned with questions dealing with issues of identity, ethics, and social justice in rhetoric and writing studies. I study Euro-American (mis)conceptions of non-Western, indigenous, and underrepresented cultures’ rhetorical practices and histories as sites where these issues emerge in tension. I integrate culturally-situated and feminist approaches to my research and practice decoloniality as a methodological frame to “explore ‘border thinking’ as the site of knowledges and epistemic alternatives that can move us beyond Western categories” (Rome Garcia and Damian Baca, Rhetorics Elsewhere and Otherwise, p. 2) through voices and histories that are considered to be fractions of and deviations from the grand Euro-American rhetorical landscape.
Within the broader scope of my research, I perform rhetorical cartography and work with maps—in physical and digital forms—both as rhetorical-cultural texts and scientific-technical documents. I investigate how dominant discourses of power use the scientific-technical ethos of cartographic information design to invent borders/boundaries that dictate us vs. them binary thinking and, as a result, dehumanize and devalue rhetorical-cultural practices and identities deemed as ‘other.’ In response, I practice community engaged participatory research methods and work with bordered bodies by developing and implementing culturally-sustaining, meaningful, and respectful strategies that humanize borders.
My book project, Heterotopic Spaces of Oriental Memory, investigate the colonial past of the Oriental memory by adapting a global-local approach and aim to capture the cross-geographical and cultural presence of Oriental memory in producing images of otherness. As I continue to work with maps, I apply Amy Propen’s understanding of maps as heterotopic spaces that are intra-active with material affects over the bodies inhabiting the lands a map represents (Visual-Material Rhetorics and Visualizing Posthuman Conservation in the Age of the Anthropocene). I focus on the act of ‘orienting’ in the root of Orientalism and trace various border making practices of orienting otherness present in maps of different geographies of cultures. My purpose is to map the marks of Oriental memory across space and time and develop a contextual understanding of ‘Orienting’ as a global rhetorical tool of inflicting epistemic border-violence of identification.
*For more specific and detailed information about my research, please go to the appropriate links below, see my CV, and visit the 'Projects' section of my website.