My name is Rebekah. I am a writer and a teacher who lives in a very small, very old house with two cranky orange cats and a sometimes-cranky, mostly-delightful partner in Kansas City. In the spring of 2017 I finished my PhD in creative nonfiction and disability studies at the University of Kansas, and the following fall I started teaching English to a crew of high school students. I am interested in the powerful connection between the cultural stories we tell and the world we live in, from physical spaces and economic opportunities to social roles and interpersonal relationships. As a teacher, I invite my students to think critically about these cultural narratives and challenge them to hone their skills as writers participating in their communities. My academic interests consider self-representation, narratives of embodiment, life writing from social media to memoir, and disability as an identity. I write personal essays that participate in the stories being told about disability, some of which are linked on this website. I also run an Instagram account where I regularly craft “mini-memoirs” that explore what it means to live in my particular (crippled, female) body. I am currently working on a memoir that considers the familial, medical, and religious narratives that shaped my early understanding of my impaired body. The story follows my struggle to reclaim the powerful voice needed to narrate my own stories. Most of all, I am invested in finding ways to create the spaces for marginalized voices to tell their own stories and represent their own experiences.
For more details on my educational and professional background, see my curriculum vitae.