Assistant Professor of English
Jean Bessette, Assistant Professor of English, grew up in the Seattle area, where she received a bachelor's degree and coordinated the Seattle University Writing Center. After a year designing educational toys for a local company, she moved to Pittsburgh to pursue a Ph.D. in English, specializing in rhetoric and composition. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in June 2013.
Jean's research focuses on feminist and queer rhetorics, and the composition and uses of history in various forms of gender-based activism. Her major project investigates the rhetorical activity of three lesbian collectives as they composed and leveraged their histories toward identification and political expediency. She is particularly interested in the role of technology in these rhetorical practices, attending to historiographic media ranging from print newsletters to digital video. Her work has appeared in Rhetoric Society Quarterly and College Composition and Communication.
Outside her academic interests, Jean enjoys disc golf, skiing, sailing, and mysteries