James Austin, an alumnus of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, has been given a 2016-17 Emergent Research/er Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication. The nearly $7,000 award was given for his project “Intra- nationalism: Conceptualizing New Intersections Between US-Based Higher Education Models and Students in Middle East and North African Nations.” The project builds upon his 2015 UCSB dissertation entitled The Literacy Learning Experiences of Egyptian Students at the American University in Cairo: At the Intersection of Transnational Dimensionality and Intranational Flow in Literacy Studies.
In the project, Austin will learn about the educational and sociocultural backgrounds of students attending universities based on US models that are located within their own countries. Austin says, “I am particularly interested in students who come from outside the elite social and economic classes that have traditionally attended these universities in the past.” Research will take place in Egypt and two or three other MENA nations over the next three years, culminating in a book-length project.
Austin earned his Ph.D. from the Language and Literacy emphasis of the Department of Education in 2015. His dissertation committee was Charles Bazerman, Karen Lunsford, Jason Duque, and Dwight Reynolds (who is in Religious Studies). He also has a MA from the Gevirtz School’s Department of Education and a MFA from UC Irvine. He is currently an Assistant Professor in English at Fort Hays State University, where he teaches courses in digital literacy, creative writing, and the teaching of writing.