woman looking up into the camera with a smile

Violet Livingston

Assistant Professor
Office: 251 Bessey Hall
Email: living70@msu.edu

Research Areas

Circus Culture, Queer Rhetorics, Consent Education, Creative Nonfiction Writing, Community-based Pedagogies and Methodologies


Violet is a queer femme storyteller, circus performer, and teacher. She works as an Assistant Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures and has also taught for the Residential College in Arts and Humanities (RCAH), Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities (IAH), and the Citizen Scholars Program. Her creative-critical dissertation on The Queer Art and Rhetoric of Consent won the 2016 Conference on College Composition & Communication’s Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship. Her newest interdisciplinary project explores making contemporary circus that matters, blending creative nonfiction, theatrical circus performance, community-based writing and humanities pedagogies.


PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, Michigan State University, 2015

MA in Critical Studies in Literacy and Pedagogy, Michigan State University, 2011

BA in Women and Gender Studies, Oakland University, 2005

Representative Work

“K is for Keep Swinging,” Hippocampus Magazine, 2019 https://www.hippocampusmagazine.com/2019/09/k-is-for-keep-swinging-violet-defiant-livingston/.

“Be Here Now,” Slag Glass City, 2017 http://www.slagglasscity.org/essaymemoirlyric/intimate-graffiti/be-here-now-2/.

“The Poetics of Leaving a Place” (review), Fourth Genre, 2017.

Selected Courses Taught 

IAH 241 D: Theater and Society in the West / Contemporary Circus Cultures

RCAH 111: Writing in Transcultural Contexts / The Art and Practice of Consent

WRA 101: Writing as Inquiry / Creative Nonfiction Writing

WRA 331: Writing in the Public Interest W

RA 493 / AL 482: Professional Writing and Experience Architecture Internship

Research or Academic Affiliations 

Queer Theory Playground (QTP), founding member

Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCC)

Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP)