About

Jessica Pauszek PortraitHello!  I’m currently a Humanities Center Fellow and PhD candidate in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric at Syracuse University. I received my M.A. in English from Northeastern University, and a B.A. in English and French from Stetson University.

Growing up in the predominantly Polish first-ward of Dunkirk, New York, I didn’t know the term working-class.  But I grew up in a community of laborers — whom I saw working at print shops, ink shops, steel mills, food production plants, and the coal factory. This history motivates the work that I do focused on the literacies of everyday life or the connections between community-based identities (particularly working-class identity) and literacy. In particular, I’m interested in how marginalized communities deploy literacy for social and political purposes, and how communities can also create ideological and structural change through such practices.

This work encourages the blending of theory and practice, in which writing and literacy are embodied through the lived experiences and actions of myself and others. In other words, I see writing and literacy as practices that have a civic dimension, meaning they occur beyond the classroom in public spaces and across multiple (local, national, and international) communities. My commitment to such community-based work extends to my research, teaching, editorial, and service responsibilities, and manifests in multiple venues and across scholarly and non-scholarly networks. It relies on collaboration and a commitment to expanding how we understanding literacy within and beyond traditional learning spaces.