Khirsten Lanese Scott
Assistant Professor

Daughter of the US South, Dr. Khirsten L. Scott is a community-driven educator who centers and embodies liberatory Black feminist and womanist practice. She works across the disciplines of rhetorical theory and writing studies, digital and Black studies, as well as critical pedagogy. Khirsten is currently working on her first book which explores HBCUs and their survival within US Higher Education. Within the city of Pittsburgh, she is lead organizer and facilitator of HYPE Media (Homewood Youth-Powered and Engaged Media), a critical literacies program focused on youth-led story-making possibilities that respond to stigmatized narratives of Black girls, Black women, and Black communities. Khirsten is cofounder and director of DBLAC, Digital Black Lit (-eracies and -eratures) and Composition, a virtual and in-person community offering writing support for Black scholars.

She is also director of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project (WPWP). The WPWP site is one of 175 sites nationally, focusing on multimodal literacies across disciplines and levels; the main premise is "teachers teaching teachers," which means that the WPWP fosters teacher leadership and aims to diminish hierarchies. Her work can be found in Kairos, Prose Studies, the Routledge Reader of African American Rhetoric, Mobility in Work in Composition, Bridging the Gap: Multimodality in Theory and Practice and Kentucky Teacher Education Journal. Dr. Scott supervises undergraduate internship opportunities for HYPE Media, DBLAC, and WPWP during the fall, spring, and terms. More information about internship requirements can be found here.

Instructional and Scholarly Interests

  • Black Education Traditions
  • Black Digital Humanities
  • Black Rhetorical Studies
  • Critical Literacies
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Hip-Hop Pedagogy
  • Out-of-School Learning
  • Writing Studies

Selected Grants

  • 2022 “Black on the Edge: Amplifying Pittsburgh HBCU Narratives” Momentum Seeding Grant, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh ($20,000)

  • 2022 “Information and Equity in Homewood” co-written with Elise Silva. Year of Data and Society, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh ($8,000)

  • 2020 Love My Neighbor Grant co-written with Ny’Ela Chapman, Ny’Jay Chapman, Dejahne Fullard, Amirria Green, Andrea Kearney, Tereisa Luster, Vonda Reynolds, Amber Taylor, Tationna Watson, Jhai’lyn White, Ariana Brazier, Jaime Booth, Taylor Waits. Neighborhood Allies ($2,493)

  • 2020 H.Y.P.E. (Homewood Youth-Powered and Engaged) Media, Year of Creativity Grant, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh ($4,330.90)

Featured Publications

  • “Course Design: Teaching Hip-Hop in a First-Year Composition Course.” Diversity is not Equity: BIPOC Scholars Speak to Systemic Racism in the Academy special issue of Composition Studies, edited by Ersula Ore, Christina Cedillo and Kim Weiser. 49.2 (Summer 2021).

  • “(T)racing Race: Mapping Power in Racial Property Across Institutionalized Writing Standards and Urban Literacy Sponsorship Networks.” with Jamila M. Kareem. Mobility in Composition. Eds. Bruce Horner, Megan Faver Hartline, Laura Matravers, Ashanka Kumari. University Press of Colorado/Utah State University Press. (2021).

  • “Classroom Management through Teacher Candidates’ Lenses: Transforming Learning Communities Through a Community of Practice.” with Mary S. Thomas, Penny B. Howell, Shantel Crosby, La’Que Newby, Hannah Evans, Sophie Daneshmand. Kentucky Teacher Education Journal: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Kentucky Council for Exceptional Children: 5.2 (2019).

  • “On Multimodality: A Manifesto.” with Sara P. Alvarez, Michael Bauman, Michelle Day, Danielle DeVoss, Layne Gordon, Ashanka Kumari, Laura Matravers, Amy Nichols, Caitlin Ray, Jon Udelson, Rick Wysocki. Bridging the Gap: Multimodality in Theory and Practice. Eds. Santosh Khadka and JC Lee. University Press of Colorado. (2019): 17-29.

  • Editor, “Black Presence: African American Political and Philosophical Rhetoric.” The Routledge Reader of African American Rhetoric: The Longue Duree of Black Voices: Debates, Histories, Performances. Eds. Vershawn A. Young and Michelle Bachelor Robinson. Routledge. (2018).

Awards and Honors

Engagement, Partnerships, and Professional Service

Khirsten Lanese Scott


University of Pittsburgh
5157 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260