Meet the New Composition Faculty

The composition program at Pitt has hired three talented and exciting new assistant professors over the last two years.

Elizabeth A. Pitts (top left) has been here since the 2017/2018 academic year. She received her PhD in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media from North Carolina State University with a minor in Genetic Engineering and Society, and she also holds a BA and MA in English from Georgetown University. Elizabeth’s research blends rhetorical theory, organizational studies, and science studies to examine how technologies influence the nature of professional work and professional identity. She is currently working on a book that offers insights into a movement to make the coding of DNA as pervasive as the coding of software. Her work is informed by her decade of experience as a professional writer and speechwriter at the White House, the US Department of Education, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Read more about Elizabeth here.

Khirsten L. Scott (bottom left) joined the Pitt composition faculty in the 2018/2019 academic year. She holds degrees in English, Literature and Language from Tougaloo College (BA), Composition, Rhetoric, and English Studies from the University of Alabama (MA), and English, Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Louisville (PhD). Her research lies at the intersections of cultural rhetorics, namely African American rhetoric, historiography, and digital humanities. Specifically, her work is centered on HBCU communities and the rhetorical affordances of institutional narratives for revisionist presentations of HBCU histories. With fellow Pitt composition faculty member Lou Maraj, Khirsten founded Digital Black Lit and Composition (DBLAC), which is a digital, inter-institutional network supporting the success of Black graduate students in fields related to English. Read more about Khirsten here.

Also joining the Pitt composition faculty during the 2018/2019 academic year is Lou Maraj (right). He received his PhD from The Ohio State University in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy. Lou’s scholarship lies at the intersections of rhetorical theory and history, digital media studies, critical race theory, and critical pedagogies. His current book project specifically focuses on notions of blackness in academic spaces, centering blackness in frameworks for antiracist agency, while complicating ‘new’ materialist theories through Black feminist relationality. Along with Khirsten, Lou co-founded DBLAC and he also has worked extensively with youth of color, including through Ohio State University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion in various teaching and administrative roles for their Upward Bound and Young Scholars Programs. He is also an award-winning poet, whose work has appeared in several print and online publications. Read more about Lou here.