My name is Jagadish Paudel. Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), as well as serving as an Assistant Instructor for the past three and a half years at the same university. As an Assistant Instructor, I teach a wide range of courses here: RWS First-year Composition 1301 and 1302 courses and an upper-division course, RWS Technical Communication/Writing, for the undergraduate level. My research and teaching focus on promoting social justice in multilingual composition classes, translanguaging, decolonizing composition studies, policies in rhetoric and writing programs, critical pedagogy, and non-Western rhetoric.
My scholarship has been published in the Journal of NELTA, CCC, Rhetoric and Communications-E Journal (co-authored), RSA Quarterly (forthcoming), CLJ (forthcoming) and a book chapter in Teaching Practices and Language Ideologies for Multilingual Classrooms. I am at present working on my dissertation, which examines and explores programmatic policies, instructors’ practices, and multilingual students’ experiences in writing classes at the undergraduate level from a social justice perspective. I am also working on an article, “Difference-Friendly as a Framework for Enacting Social Justice in Multilingual First-Year Composition Classes,” which will explore first-year writing instructors’ practices in promoting social justice in the writing class where multilingual students are enrolled. I have also published a book chapter, “Translanguaging as a Pedagogy of Enacting Social Justice in a Multilingual Setting,” which discusses translanguaging pedagogy as a socially just pedagogy, for it maintains the linguistic identities of students, enhances students’ participation in the classroom, makes better sense of content, and fosters students’ literacy. Besides social justice issues, I work on Non-Western Rhetoric. My forthcoming article in Rhetoric Society America Quarterly (will appear in vol. 52.2), is “The Rhetoric of the Bhagavad Gita: Unpacking Persuasive Strategies from a Non-Western Perspective,” and deals with three main rhetorical strategies from a Non-Western perspective: Astikya/bhava (ontological) strategy, jnapaka (revelatory) strategy, and tattva/Nyaya (axiological) strategy. I have used the Nyayasutra method to discuss the strategies, a traditional Non-Western, South Asian rhetorical analysis method. I also have a few articles that I had published from Nepal which deal with empowering students as they learn English as a Second Language.
I am driven to help establish a more just world. So, as in my previous works, and in future works, too, I would like to work in the same area, making the US a research site. I believe that one of the ways I can help to accomplish this is by the process of empowering students in American universities. Writing is considered a very important form of empowerment for students in education. From my experience as a graduate student, instructor, and consultant at the University Writing Center at UTEP, I believe that to be successful in their studies, students need strong writing skills at all levels of their education. Additionally, students need strong writing skills to fight for social change through writing campaigns, crafting public policy, and letting their voices be heard. So, I am strongly motivated to empower students via writing. I believe multilingual students can be capacitated through social justice pedagogy in writing classes.
One of the special reasons why my interest was sparked to work in this area is my own subjective position—a multilingual student coming from a different linguistic, cultural, and educational background and a different geographical origin than typical monolingual English-speaking students from the United States. Second, as an Assistant Instructor, I have been facilitating undergraduate writing courses for three and a half years at UTEP, one of the nation’s leading Hispanic Serving Institutions, and this informs my approach to teaching multilingual student writers. Prior to teaching at UTEP, I had previously taught a “Reading and Writing” course in Nepal for multilingual student writers for more than a decade.
Another reason is that as I progressed through my Ph.D. coursework, I learned that multilingual learners could be promoted through a social justice approach. I believe that social justice and language are tightly tied to each other, as they can also be used to enact (in)justice in the academic space. Language can even be used as a form of oppression, favoring a certain group of students and, at the same time, disfavoring others. As American institutions of higher education are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of languages, culture, and countries of origin, as well as in the educational experiences and practices that students bring to the classroom, the issue of social injustice in higher education is becoming an ever more pressing concern. In this situation, the increasing number of multilingual and international students raises an increasingly important issue to examine and address: That of multilingualism in terms of social justice pedagogy in our writing classrooms.
I have presented my papers at numerous conferences, including NELTA, CCCC, AAAL, TESOL, and the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy. I am constantly working on the issue of multilingual student writers and writing through conference presentations. I presented several papers on the issue of multilingual student writers in higher education papers, such as the 2022 “Enacting Social Justice Through Assignments in a Multilingual First-Year Writing Class” presented at CCCC, US; 2022 “Enacting Social Justice in the Undergraduate Multilingual Writing Classroom,” at TESOL conference, US, etc.
I am also associated with the Writing Program Administrators-Graduate Organization (WPA-GO) Leadership Council, a graduate student organization that supports graduate students in their preparation for Writing Program Administration and professional development and strengthens their network among professionals from the field. Currently, I serve as the Vice-chair for Leadership Council. From the organization side, I have already initiated three speaker events and conducted them as a leading host: “Decolonizing Writing Pedagogy for Multilingual Students” (facilitated by Dr. Suresh Canagarajah on April 29, 2022); “Thinking Through Antiracist Feedback to Student Writing” (facilitated by Dr. Asao Inoue on April 20, 2022); and "Re/Searching: Relational Frameworks, Inquiries, and Im/Possibilities" (facilitated by Romeo Garcia on November 3, 2022). Additionally, I serve as an associate editor at Writing Across Curriculum (WAC) Clearing House Publications for a journal, Open Words: Access and English Studies. Currently, I am leading a special issue of the journal “Multilingual Student Writers in Higher Education.”