mailto:djones@aucegypt.edu

Biography

Doris Jones joined the faculty of the American University in Cairo, Department of Rhetoric and Composition in 2004. Her research oeuvre can be divided into four major interrelated strands: visual and media literacy; social justice and gender in popular culture; epistolary theory; and literacy narratives. These four vectors are held together by a common scholarly interest that argues if people are effectively taught the critical skills to access, evaluate, analyze, and produce media in various forms they will better understand media’s roles and responsibilities in civic life. Ongoing pedagogical inquiries include: how effective are current approaches to teaching students about media’s multiple social roles? How effectively are students learning about the complexities of the media landscape?

In one strand of her research she is investigating the Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz Letter Collection housed at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Her work in this area examines the extant letters testify to their authors’ disclosure of intimacy to uncircumscribed audiences as well as their political views even as their content speaks to the care with which the writers crafted their letters to represent themselves.  Since intimacy, confessions and confidentialities are standard letter forms, the release of the O’Keeffe-Stieglitz Letter Collection to the public exhibits the transformative power of the epistolary narrative.  Using approaches from new epistolary literary criticism and biography, this scholarship examines the construction of a popular communications paradigm – the private letter, and its public gaze in 21st century American culture.