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Shealy Bio

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” ~Plato

Let me begin by telling you a little about my academic and intellectual background. I have an M.A. in English and an M.S. in Information Science; have taught writing, composition, philosophy, critical thinking, and literature at various colleges and universities; have been a library manager at Dallas Public and Queens Public Libraries (chairing multiculturalism committees for both systems); and have continued to audit graduate classes and participate in academic forums. Areas of scholarly interests have been in linguistics, continental philosophy (esp. Heidegger to Foucault and Baudrillard), feminism(s) and gender studies; my informal reading tends to be somewhat academic. I’ve also had some minor successes as a conceptual artist and musician.

Currently, I teach classes in Composition I & II, American Literature, and Literature by Women at Northwest Florida State and Gulf Coast State colleges. Teaching, connecting with others at the level of shared intellectual curiosity, is something that comes naturally to me. Isn’t it the case that we love what we do best? Extensive experience teaching at the college and university levels and working in related areas (e.g. urban library systems, publishing, music and the fine arts) attests to my understanding of the academic universe, even if my career arc has not been conventional. Years of formal and informal study in literature, philosophy, and the arts (in the United States, Eastern Europe, and South Asia) have prepared me for my current graduate work in Technical Communication & Rhetoric.

My motivation to pursue a doctoral degree stemmed from an intellectual curiosity in the areas of English and philosophy in general, and rhetoric and communications in particular; a desire to improve my teaching online and in the classroom and thereby play a more significant role in the educational needs of my community; and a hope to contribute in a practical, meaningful way to the literature in technical communication, rhetoric, and composition. My dissertation project addresses sexual harassment in digital education spaces. I develop a heuristic for Writing Program Administrators who need to account for material online conditions so that technical, institutional, legal, and ethical issues surrounding acts of online sexual harassment can be coordinated, making for sounder policies. I postulate that materiality, for a New Materialism, can best be understood by contrasting it with an ontology that prefigured it theoretically and historically: simulation for postmodern media. Some baseline questions here might be

  1. Why are sexual expressions or “behavior” or subjects forbidden in online classes?
  2. What exactly is “digital” sex within an online space and how does the embodied student/teacher use it or refuse it?
  3. Just as flesh embodiments of sexual desire and sexual behavior are radically varied, are digital embodiments of the same, the same?
  4. How might institutional policies address something sexual digitally that is not “there” in the same sense that sexuality is embodied within on-site classes?
  5. In what way is simulative presence and agency in an online classroom or digital space both similar to and different from embodied presence in a non-digital space, educational or otherwise?
  6. Is it really practical or even possible to base digital classroom polices on face-to-face classroom policies, especially in regard to personal information and intimate identities?

I will be expanding this section of my website, adding ideas and questions relevant to my scholarly, intellectual, and academic growth, so please visit again to see what has changed.