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Jessica Lee

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Houston Writing Fellow

Jessica Lee is a Houston Writing Fellow whose experiences teaching first-year writing composition in a multitude of varying forms for different audiences—basic writers, English as a Second Language (ESL) writers, and traditional and non-traditional students—has instilled within her an appreciation for the ways in which cultural values can inform approaches to writing. In addition to working with diverse populations, she has enjoyed teaching writing for a variety of situations, including upper-division undergraduate writing courses such as Business Writing and Advanced Composition. As a Writing Fellow, she also has the opportunity to focus on writing pedagogy on a more theoretical level when supervising, mentoring, and learning from graduate student teachers.

Her approach to teaching her English courses is informed, in part, by her research interests, which include medical rhetoric, specifically studying the ramifications of medical discourse. Her most recent publication, “Moving Beyond ‘Better Safe than Sorry’: Realizing Community Potential to Transform Approaches to Psychiatric Hospitalization” analyzes how the field of community psychology can help transform aspects of psychiatric hospitalization that may inadvertently reify oppressive social constructs. In particular, she describes approaches to treatment in psychiatric hospitalization that can unintentionally objectify the consumer/survivor and reinforce a standardized approach to treatment that disallows the empathy needed for an efficacious relationship between a healthcare professional and a consumer/survivor. She examines how community psychology commitments are achieved through recovery-oriented care, considering the ways in which the rhetorical concept of agency might be enacted in the context of psychiatric hospitalization to create an environment that advances consumer/survivor agency. Her research informs her teaching as she challenges students to grow as writers by developing a framework from which to analyze ideologies embedded in authorized forms of knowing and being in the Western healthcare system.


  • PhD, University of Arizona
  • MA, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • BA, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Research Interests

  • Medical rhetoric
  • Personal writing
  • Affective domain
  • Confessional discourses
  • Public/private severes
  • Mental health narratives


  • ENGL 1303: English Composition I