Hi all! My name is Elise Dixon. I’m a 5th year PhD candidate in Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, and a second-year returning fellow at CHI. I’m thrilled to be back at CHI– it has been one of my favorite experiences as a graduate student at MSU. My favorite part about CHI was developing some cross-disciplinary camaraderie with the other fellows, and I’m looking forward to developing those friendships again with this large cohort.

The last time I was in CHI in 2017-2018, I developed a project using Twine to build Queer Continuum, a non-linear digital experience that argued for the use of more non-linear composing practices as a way to enact queer thinking. I learned so much about coding and about Twine, and you can go back and read my very desperate blogs about trying to learn Twine.

This year, I’ll be working on a mapping project that extends my dissertation. In my dissertation, “It’s all Kind of Making, Isn’t It?”: A Cultural Rhetorics Approach to Queer Activist World-(Un)Making, I develop a cultural and queer rhetorical framework for understanding how collaborative composing practices allow communities to create a sense of critical agency. Through ethnographically informed qualitative interviews, I worked with former members of the Lesbian Avengers—an activist group prominent in the 1990s—to illuminate how the communal practice of making is a deliberate and complex rhetorical act of world-building, especially for marginalized communities. 

My mapping project will display all of the activist projects and demonstrations that the Lesbian Avengers completed in New York City in the 1990s. Drawing from notes found at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, I will include locations where the acts took place, along with pictures and videos from the events.