I am interested in many subjects, primarily literature, but also in the intersections between literature and music, and literature and science. In 2017, McFarland published my book about Virginia Woolf, an interdisciplinary work that explores the evolutionary foundations of story-telling entitled Virginia Woolf and the Power of Story: A Literary Darwinist Reading of Six Novels. In 2021, my book entitled FemPoetiks of American Poetry and Americana Music: A Woman's Truth, was published by Rowman & Littlefield. In this book, I explain my theory of FemPoetiks, a feminist discourse that permeates the poems and songs of women in America, such as Anne Bradstreet and Brandi Carlile. The research I do, whether on literature, music, or pedagogy, has a significant impact on my teaching.
As an administrator in Undergraduate Education from 2012 - 2016, I researched subjects such as faculty development, best practices of faculty in pedagogy and theories of student success. Based on this kind of research, OUE created teaching and learning workshops for faculty and students.
In addition, as a teacher of first year students and as an administrator in undergraduate education, I am interested in the ways in which experiential learning impacts student success, and hoping to incorporate more service learning into my courses. Here at the University of Washington, Tacoma, we have the privilege of working with a variety of community partners. Community engagement and service learning are important areas of research for me as it directly impacts my teaching.