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Office: Merrifield 122B
Phone: (701) 777-4462
- Ph.D. (University of Michigan, 1991)
- I am currently Professor of English and Director of Women and Gender Studies. My background includes feminist and lesbian political work in Seattle in the 1970s, where I was involved in collectives, intentional communities, and the like. My entry into academe transpired under the aegis of the Equal Opportunity Education Act, as a teacher of literacy to disadvantaged college and university students, mainly comprised of what was then called "racial minorities". Politics and ethics have always been dear to me, and they are reflected in my teaching, research, and extracurricular activities. At the University of Michigan, I was fortunate to be admitted into the Joint English and Education PhD Program, then led by my beloved mentor Jay L. Robinson. There my specialty was Rhetoric and Composition.
Although I have taught and published in that field for some decades now, my intellectual interests are not entirely captured by the phrase. "Rhetoric" I see as an aid to theorizing, generally; its strategic application to democratic action is equally useful. "Gender Studies" is for me a feminist practice because feminism requires the acknowledgement of structural power differences; the same is true for "Cultural Studies," although the latter phrase suggests a heavier emphasis upon class differences. It seems to me that anyone interested in social justice should want to go beyond institutionalized slogans. Most North American and European public institutions profess an openness to difference—in the past often recited as a litany of differences ("race, class, sex/gender," and so on)—but nowadays generally known by the shorthand "diversity." This term seems insufficient as a marker of the project of social justice.
The particular rhetoric that I most frequently practice is poststructuralist, which I interpret primarily as a method of critique, and it is critique that is most missing from public discourse of any kind today. Critique is central to the life-long intellectual/activist project of the founder of postcolonialism, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, my hero of this particular historical moment. To practice effective Spivakean critique, one must attempt to understand the circulations of power in both systemic and seemingly random ways, and one must make this happen with reference to transnational relations. But first, and always, comes self-critique. Other than the literal survival of ourselves and our planet, there is no course of study more urgent to pursue.
It is perhaps helpful to mention that I have spent some time abroad in Western, Eastern, and Southern Europe. Thessaloniki, Greece I count as one of many "homes" on earth, and still maintain active friendships and collaborations in Bulgaria (the site of my 2007 Fulbright Scholar Award), and Belgium.
- Member of United Church of Christ Church Council, Grand Forks, ND
- Member of Amazing Grains Food Co-operative, Grand Forks, ND
- I play B-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, and alto saxophone. At one time, also the shawm (ancestor to the oboe) for a local Renaissance Loud Band.
- I co-parent two teenage girls with my partner and their biological mother, Nan.
- A country commune is in the works for the future. Let us hope it can become a community center of sorts for inter-generational, rural/urban sustainability, and transnational connections.
2010 Red River Women's Studies Conference, UND, Grand Forks. Oct. 1, 2010
2012 and 2011 International Women's Day Panels. UND International Center, March 2011 & 2012
- Invited Speaker:
2011 Red River Women's Studies Conference, NDSU, Fargo
- Rhetorical, feminist, and gender theories
- Cultural studies
- Literature generalist
- Art and humanities under the sign of neoliberalism
- 2011 UND Spirit Award
- 2007 Fulbright Scholar
- 1991 Mina P. Shaughnessy Writing Award
Books & Guest Editing
- Diversity and its Discontents. Special issue of the North Dakota Quarterly 77.1 (Winter 2010--but published in Nov. 2012). Co-edited with Magda Michielsens.
- The Global Village Re-visited: Art, Politics, and Television Talk Shows. Rowman Littlefield (under the impress of Lexington Books), 2009.
- Outbursts in Academe: Multiculturalism and Other Sources of Conflict. Heineman Boynton/Cook, 1998.
- Making Relationships: Gender in the Forming of Academic Community. Peter Lang, 1997.
- "Washington State," "Idaho," and "Montana." ABC-CLIO. Proud Heritage, a 3-volume encyclopedia on LGBTQ history, politics and culture of the United States, co-written with Cassandra Scherr and Cody Stanley. ABC-CLIO Press. Forthcoming.
- "Battle of the Sexes: A Rhetorical Analysis of a Faculty Rights Hearing." (scholarly essay) in North Dakota Quarterly 77.1:60-77.
- "Affirming and Challenging Baudrillard, Or Some Women of the Global Village." (With Daniela Koleva) International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, 4.2 (March 2007), http://www.ubishops.ca/BaudrillardStudies/vol4_2/v4-2-dixon-koleva.html.
- "Deploying Identity for Democratic Ends on Jan Publiek--A Flemish Television Talk Show." (co- authored with Sonja Spee) European Journal of Women's Studies 10(4): (2003): 409 - 422.
- "The Dialogic Genres of Oprah Winfrey's 'Crying Shame.'" Journal of Popular Culture 34.4 (Spring 2001): 125-145.
- "University of North Dakota-Grand Forks: Teaching College English." Composition Studies 23.2 (Fall 1995): 72-77.
- "Gendering the 'Personal.'" College Composition and Communication 46.2 (May 1995): 255-275.
- "Intellectual Development and the Place of Narrative in 'Basic' and Freshman Composition." Journal of Basic Writing 8.1 (Spring 1989): 3-20.
- "Oprah and the New News." Stories of Oprah: The Oprahfication of American Culture. Scholarly Anthology. Eds. Kimberly Springer and Angela Cotton. Jackson, Miss.: University of Mississippi Press, 2010: 115-129.
- "Gang Life in the University: Revisiting White Feminist Authority." Outbursts in Academe: Multiculturalism and Other Sources of Conflict. Ed. Kathleen Dixon. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 1998.
- "Making and Taking Apart 'Culture' in the (Writing) Classroom." Left Margins: Cultural Studies and Composition. Eds. Karen Fitts and Alan France. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1995: 99-114.
- "A Letter from Kathleen Dixon." Left Margins: Cultural Studies and Composition. Eds. Karen Fitts and Alan France. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1995: 289-291.
Proceedings and Reports
- "Aesthetics and Rhetoric in Oprah." The Responsibilities of Rhetoric: Proceedings of the 2008 Rhetoric Society Conference. Ed. Barbara Warnick and Michelle Smith. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, 2009.
- "Talent Matters: Three Television Talk Show Hosts." International Dimensions of Mass Media Research, ed. Yorgos Pasadeos. ATINER: Athens, 2007.
- "'Slavi's Show of Bulgaria as Communal, Transnational Enterprise." (With Aneliya Dimitrova and Yuliyana Gencheva. Electronic Journal of the LCMND (Linguistics Circle of Manitoba and North Dakota), 2006.
- "Cyborg Identities on Jan Publiek, a Flemish TV Talk Show." Gender and Power: The Fifth European Feminist Research Conference (website). Lund, Sweden. August 2002.
- "TV Talk and Democracy: Speech Genres in Bulgarian, Belgian, and American Talk Shows." Knowledge, Power, and Freedom in a Changing World: Proceedings of the 5th Fulbright Conference, May 2002. Sofia, Bulgaria.
- "Writing Across the Curriculum Faculty Profiles: A Qualitative Account of the Writing Across the Curriculum Program." (Report prepared for the Writing Across the Curriculum Program, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, December 1993.
- Rev. of Prairie Silences, Great Plains Quarterly, forthcoming (Prairie Silences is a memoir by a North Dakota-born lesbian).
- Rev. of X-Marks: Native Signatures of Assent. North Dakota Quarterly. (X-Marks is a work of Native American literary and critical theory)
Courses Recently Taught
- WGS 480 Feminist Theory
- ENGL 308 The Art of Writing Nonfiction
- ENGL 228 Diversity in Global Literature: Global Gender Studies