I am an anthropologist and writer based in Austin, Texas. I divide my time between leading applied projects at the Texas Center for Disability Studies, teaching at The University of Texas at Austin, and dabbling with an array of research and writing projects as a freelancer. As a scholar, I am committed to producing research that has a real-world impact. My writing has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, Texas Monthly, Austin-American Statesman, San Antonio Express News, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Amarillo Globe News, Somatosphere, Nursing Clio, Disability Studies Quarterly, and more.
My academic research and writing center on the social life of diagnosis, particularly in the case of disability. I like complexity, and I am most interested in stories of disability and health that resist tidy categories or easy understandings. I was drawn to anthropology originally by its central question – the relationship of the individual to society – and my work explores the role of diagnosis and difference within that framework.
As an anthropologist, I use ethnographic methods and theories to study daily life, practices, and beliefs regarding disability. I have conducted research at various sites in the U.S. and Central America. For my dissertation, I conducted over 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork on family experiences with rare and undiagnosed disabilities.
I have worked, studied, and volunteered on four continents, plus a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, M.A. from the University of Chicago, and B.A. from Carleton College.