image description: Preston is pictured in foreground smiling in blue plaid Ralph Lauren shirt with magen David necklace. A table and chairs, plants, and stairwell are in blurred background.

I’m Preston Taylor Stone, an Indigiqueer ᏣᎳᎩᏱ ᏕᏣᏓᏂᎸᎩ writer-performer from South Carolina. I’m of mixed-blood Cherokee descent (EBCI). Since 2018, I have been a professional writing tutor and instructor in Miami, FL.

Currently an English PhD candidate at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL, my research is at the intersection of American Cultural and Literary Studies, Black and Ethnic Studies, and Queer Theory. The dissertation project is preliminarily titled The Ghosted Protest: Spectrality & the Speculative in Contemporary American Protest Cultures. Research for this project is graciously funded by the Dissertation Fellowship Award from the Center for the Humanities (2022-2023).

In The Ghosted Protest, I seek to demonstrate the theoretical and cultural work protest literatures produce in their use of the ghost, a figure of the speculative genre known as horror. Rather than staging a metaphorical protest, I argue the literary protest genre ought to be taken literally. This is to say that some cultural producers at the margins perform literal protests in their texts that are similar but discrete to the more ‘traditional’ protests that march through streets. Like the spectrality of the ghost, these protests are neither ’embodied,’ in the flesh, nor dis-embodied, or invisible; they are neither present nor absent; they are not fixed to the present nor the past nor the future timespace — these are, in a literal sense, queer protests. Close-reading the work of poet and essayist The Cyborg Jillian Weise, Native American author Louise Erdrich, filmmaker Nia DaCosta, queer Black writer and essayist Roxane Gay, Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante, and 2-Spirit poet and scholar Qwo-Li Driskill, I ultimately argue that we need literary and cultural studies to interpret the new nonviolent protest cultures we encounter in contemporary media & culture.

I have been fortunate to present most recently at the 25th Annual meeting of the Q-Grad Queer Graduate Student Research Conference as well as at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) Annual Conference, The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS) Annual Conference, and the Marxist Literary Group Institute On Culture and Society.

At UMiami, I have served in the Graduate Student Association (GSA) as Parliamentarian (2021-2022), Senator (2018-), and Chairperson for several committees, including the Constitutional Review Committee (2021-2022), the Committee on Graduate Student Organizations (2021-2022), and the Committee for Social and Civic Engagement (2018-2021). I was recipient of the 2018-2019 Best Senator Award and two consecutive GSA awards for Academic Excellence, Leadership, and Service (AELS). Within the Department of English, I have served as Co-Chair (2020-2022) and am now the Chair of the English Graduate Organization (2022-2023).

My poetry was awarded the First Annual Writers’ Harvest Student Reading Award from the Department of English at Clemson University. My poetry and/or fiction has also appeared or is forthcoming in The Chronicle, Flash Fiction MagazineThe MothPoetry Quarterly, and New Reader Magazine. I was a reader and blogger for Spry Literary Journal and Flash Fiction Editor for Crack the Spine Literary Magazine. Since 2016, I have been the Editor-in-Chief of KAIROS Literary Magazine, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization I co-founded while at Clemson University. KAIROS publishes four times annually, including a print paperback volume, and is a member of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP).