I am a Detroit native and spent much of my past life in advertising writing car commercials. This life experience led to my research interest of the relationship between women and cars, a subject that has not received much attention in scholarship. I pursued this interest as a master's student in Women's and Gender Studies at Eastern Michigan University, as a doctoral student in American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University, and as a 2015-2016 BGSU Center for Popular Culture Studies Research Fellow. I have had a number of papers published and am currently working on other projects which include a book manuscript. Since I am currently 67 years of age, I am not pursuing an employment opportunity; rather, my goal is to continue my research on the subject of woman and cars as long as my faculties remain intact. My hope is that NCIS membership will provide access to the resources - digital and human - that will make that goal a reality.
Current research areas:
The central focus of my research is women’s relationship with the automobile, a subject that has received very little attention in scholarship. My interest is in the investigation of non-hegemonic car cultures in general and alternative constructions of the “woman driver” in particular.
Subject areas include: automobiles, gender, American studies, cultural studies, women's studies, technology, transportation, material culture
Recent scholarly activity:
2015 - 2016: Center for Popular Culture Studies Research Fellow, Bowling Green State University
May 2015: PhD in American Culture Studies, Bowling Green State University
May 2009: Master's of Liberal Studies in Women's and Gender Studies, Eastern Michigan University
“Out on the Highway: Cars, Community, and the Gay Driver.” Culture, Society, and Masculinities 7.2 (2015): 121-139.
“Women Auto Know: Automotive Knowledge, Auto Activism, and Women’s Online Car Advice.” Feminist Media Studies (2014): 1-17.
“Born to Take the Highway: Women, the Automobile, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The Journal of American Culture 36.3 (2013): 161-176.
“Women with Muscle: Contemporary Women and the Classic Muscle Car.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies 34.2 (2013): 83-113.
“The Evolution of the Chick Car, or What Came First, the Chick or the Car?” The Journal of Popular Culture 45.3 (2012): 216-231.
Women Get Muscle: The American Muscle Car and the Woman Driver [book manuscript in process]
"A Woman and Her Truck: Pickups, the Woman Driver, and Cowgirl Feminism" [in submission to academic journal]
"Driving the Past: Elderly Women's Recollection of the Early Automotive Experience" [research in progress]
I also have a number of other projects in the development stage. The first - "Woman's Car to Chick Car: A Social History of the Woman Driver" - is a book-sized project that calls upon the vehicle category "chick car" to examine the evolution of the woman's car from a gendered domestic tool to a symbol of women's empowerment. Relying on historical accounts, my past work on the chick car phenomenon, as well as the contributions of over 50 chick-car-driving-women, this project brings attention to longstanding auto industry efforts to constrain women's car choice through reliance on "innate" biological natures, and the ways in which female motorists have persistently challenged such directives and in the process, reimagined what it means to be a woman driver.
A second project focuses on three accomplished female auto journalists who work in a variety of media. Through interviews, as well as an examination of their collected body of work, I hope to uncover not only the strategies women employ to overcome obstacles in a male dominated field, but also how the writers call upon their own automotive experiences as women to add an important and often missing point of view to auto journalism.
Other projects in development include an examination of publications - print and online - created by and for the female car enthusiast as well as an analysis of the relationship between women and cars in film that is not Thelma and Louise.