New Full-Time Faculty Join the Composition Program

Jordan Hayes is a visiting lecturer in Composition. He received his PhD from Pitt after completing a dissertation on “trajectories of belonging." The project used a transnational literacy studies framework to engage issues of migration, intersectionality, technology, infrastructure, and affect in the case of Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Jordan came to Pitt with an MA in English Literature and graduate certificates in writing and post-secondary reading pedagogy from San Francisco State University. You may have met him in the role of Composition Program Assistant last year. Jordan has designed several courses in which students collaborate to produce online publications for public audiences. As a fellow with the Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative, for example, he developed human rights-themed writing classes in which students produced web-based texts on issues of their choice. More recently, he collaborated with Pitt faculty to create a public-facing writing assignment sequence for use in teaching the Politics of Human Rights. Jordan’s FYC classes at Pitt culminate in his students’ revision of an ongoing online guide to the “writing moves” they discover in the genres explored throughout the class, including listicles/lexica, food narratives, researched political arguments, digital remediations of those written genres, and map-based compositions. He recently taught English as a second language in Iraq, and is scheduled to return in 2021 to complete (Im)Possible Homes, a participatory media-gathering research collaboration with members of the Syrian refugee community and architecture faculty at Dohuk Polytechnic University in Dohuk, Iraq. You can visit his profile page.

Jennifer Keating is a senior lecturer and the Writing in the Disciplines Specialist for the Writing Institute. Jen formerly served as the assistant dean for Educational Initiatives at CMU, where she organized the Grand Challenge interdisciplinary first-year seminars, which bring together teachers from two to four disciplines to work with first-year students on addressing real world challenges such as global warming, multi-generational human conflict, or the repercussions of developing artificial intelligence. Her scholarship has focused on “societal unrest and emergence from conflict, the expression of individual and group identity in public spaces, the manner in which such constructs are influenced by advancing technology and how they are explored in various forms of literary, visual and performance art.” Recent publications include AI & Humanity (MIT Press 2020) coauthored with Illah Nourbakhsh, Patrick McCabe’s Ireland (Ed. Brill 2019) and Language, Identity and Liberation in Contemporary Irish Literature (Palgrave Macmillan 2010). She is coauthor of the AI and Humanity Oral Archive and recent articles have appeared in AAC&U Liberal EducationACM, and Critical Quarterly. Jennifer earned a Ph.D. in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in English and History at the University of Rochester. You can read more on her profile page.

Xiqiao Wang is an assistant professor in the Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy, and Rhetoric program. She received her PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture from Vanderbilt University and her MA in Rhetoric and Composition from University of South Florida. Before arriving at Pitt, Xiqiao taught first-year writing, new media and multimodal writing, teaching composition at the secondary level, and writing research in transnational contexts in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. Xiqiao’s research program is grounded in an interdisciplinary framework informed by socio-cultural theories of literacy, translingualism, and literacy mobility theories and has appeared in a co-authored book entitled Inventing the World Grant University: Chinese International Students' Mobilities, Literacies and Identities, as well as professional journals such as Research in the Teaching of English, College Composition and Communication, Journal of Second Language Writing, Computers and Composition, Language and Education, Journal of Basic Writing, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy among others. As a teacher, Xiqiao focuses on fluid, evolving language structures, relationships to other languages, and technologies of reading. You can read more about her on her department profile.

Sara Watson is a visiting lecturer in Composition. Sara has a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Cincinnati, where she has continued to teach introductory and intermediate composition online. She also has an MFA and BFA from Chatham University, where she has recently taught a variety of courses. She has taught courses in first-year composition, research writing, English literature, creative writing, and gender, sexuality, and women studies. Sara has published poems in Bedfellows MagazineMiracle MonoclePittsburgh Poetry ReviewRockhurst ReviewBOAATRattleThe Southern ReviewToadPANK, The Minnesota Review, Fourth River, Sugar House Review, and other publications. She served as associate editor of The Cincinnati Review. In her teaching, Sara likes to take a student-centered, inquiry-based pedagogy in which her primary roles are those of facilitator and collaborator. She works to build a community in which students feel safe and valued so that they can learn through writing, through failed attempts, and through inhabiting spaces of ambiguity or unknowing. You can visit her profile page.