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Kefaya Diab and Nabila Hijazi: Faculty Reading

Writers At Work 
Tuesday, September 21st 6pm

Kefaya DiabKefaya Diab is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Writing Department at Loyola University Maryland. She holds a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from New Mexico State University. She identifies as an activist-teacher-scholar. Her service, research, and teaching agenda exemplify her understanding of the rhetoric and composition field’s responsibility toward fighting the fight for social justice in and outside of academia. Thus, activism to her implies taking personal risks for the well-being of the collective community.  In her research, Dr. Diab currently works on her monograph “Theorizing a Sense of Agency in the Arab Spring (2010-11), where she theorizes how a sense of capability emerged among Arab revolutionaries from rhetorical ecologies informed by religion and culture in the region. At this time, she is preparing for a documentary film about the Tunisian revolution (2010-11) to film and edit in collaboration with Tunisians who contributed to their revolution. The documentary will offer a counter-narrative to what mainstream Arab and Western media widely circulated during their coverage of the revolution. Dr. Diab’s work has appeared in the WAC Clearing House Open Source Book: Sexual Harassment and Cultural Change in Writing Studies, Composition Studies Journal, and Paideia-16 Textbook. Her article “The Rise of the Arab Spring through a Sense of Agency” is forthcoming in the Rhetoric Society Quarterly (RSQ) Journal. As a teacher, Dr. Diab embodies a critical pedagogy informed by Paulo Freire (1996) where she challenges her students to analyze problems in the world around them and respond to transform reality into a socially just one. She implements community-based learning and anti-racist labor-based writing approaches adapted by Asao Inoue (2019). With her students, she constructs and executes a learning curriculum that critiques biased language standards and promotes writing as a process and assessment as a collective effort in the classroom. 

Nabila HijaziNabila Hijazi is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Writing Department at Loyola University Maryland. She received her doctorate in English Language and Literature with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition in 2020 from the University of Maryland College Park. In her dissertation, “Syrian Refugee Women in the Diaspora: Sustaining Families through Literacies,” which received Honorable Mention in the 2020 President’s Dissertation Award by The Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, she draws on interviews and community-based work with Syrian refugee women in the Washington, D.C. region to examine the cultural, economic, and political dimensions of their Arabic literacy practices and English literacy learning in the United States. Twice, she won first place in “Graduate Research Interaction Day,” under the category, “Exploring Identities and Their Expressions.” Some of her publications (forthcoming) include “Bodies in Conflict: Embodied Challenges and Complex Experiences” in the edited collection, Our Body of Work, where she takes up the notion of embodiment to analyze Syrian refugee women’s experiences that make the physical body a source of knowledge; and a chapter in the collection Feminist Circulations: Rhetorical Explorations Across Space and Time, where she traces Muslim women’s rhetorical tradition by tracking rhetorics that circulate and recirculate in the Middle East to rethink how rhetoric and religion circulate to a different context, temporality, and geographical location and relate to Muslim, gendered identity. Nabila has over a decade of teaching experience, teaching traditional, hybrid, and online classes. She taught classes in academic writing, technical writing, writing center theory and practice, grammar, women’s studies, and comparative literature. Recently, she won the James Robinson Teaching Award, acknowledging her effective pedagogical practices over many years of teaching at Maryland. She worked for the University of Maryland Graduate School Writing Center and helped create resources to train Fellows to effectively work with international graduate students. Also, she has administrative experience, while serving as an Assistant Director for the University of Maryland Writing Center and later for the Academic Writing Program, mentoring new instructors. Nabila continues her research in translingual writing and Muslim, immigrant, and refugee women’s rhetorics and literacy practices.

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