Jordan Hayes


Mellon Fellow
CL 526


Teaching in San Francisco Bay Area community colleges motivated me to start a PhD at the University Pittsburgh with a composition emphasis. My background includes an MA in English and graduate certificates in the Teaching of Composition and Postsecondary Reading from San Francisco State University. My MA thesis examined the photojournalistic contestation of South African civil religion during the apartheid era. Before coming to Pitt, I completed a fellowship with the Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative.

My current academic interests include human rights writing, rhetorics, and learning, especially as they pertain to refugee rights and advocacy; mobile technology, digital infrastructure, and locative media; literacy studies, digital literacy, and information fluency; pedagogy and teacher preparation.

My dissertation project, "Networked Wayfinding: Digital Literacy, Mobile Technology, and the Human rights of Refugees," responds to media representations of cell phone use among forcibly displaced people fleeing to Europe from Syria with a study of digitally literate practices among refugees sheltering in the Kurdish Region of Iraq. By studying the use of mobile technology by refugees as they traverse infrastructural territories and sovereign bounds, I hope to theorize networked wayfinding's transformation of the human right to free movement.

I currently volunteer with BCAP (Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh) as an ESL/Civics instructor on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh chapter of FORGE (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment). I am an active member of Pittsburgh for CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), which proposed an intersectional gender equity ordinance passed by the Pittsburgh City Council in December 2016. Last, I am the co-founder and Director of Curriculum for Hello Future, a nonprofit organization working to promote global civil society and provide mobile connectivity to refugee youth.