Jessica Hautsch, an Online Fandom Expert, earns a Ph.D. in English

Professor Hautsch is teaching Mass Media at the Ammerman campus this spring semester.


Riley Zalbert

Professor Hautsch, an English professor, is teaching in her classroom at the Islip Arts Building on March 16, 2022. Hautsch has been teaching at Suffolk for over 10 years, starting in 2011.

Riley Zalbert, Staff Writer

Jessica Hautsch, an adjunct English professor, last month defended her dissertation looking at fandom, which earned her a Ph.D. in English from Stony Brook University.

Fandom involves online communities that share art and discussions about characters or shows they enjoy. For scholars, it involves psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, and cognitive humanities.

“Fans leave public and digital traces of reading and writing practices that are often private and invisible, and can serve as a model for thinking about the role of feelings, bodies, and communities in our engagement with stories,” said Hautsch, 35. 

After earning a bachelor’s degree at Assumption College in Massachusetts, Hautsch received a master’s degree in teaching from Fordham University. She started teaching at Suffolk in 2011 and was earning her master’s degree in teaching from Stony Brook which she completed in 2013. She then returned for her Ph.D. in 2017 which she most recently completed in February.

At Stony Brook’s educational program, she works as an English instructor during the summer session with a four-week writing course as part of academic preparation for students going into the fall semester. During the academic year, she teaches writing and literature courses.

“Both are intended to help students to hone the writing and critical thinking skills that they will need to be successful at the university,” she said. 

Hautsch is also involved with the Academy of Civil Life, where she is a part of the administrative side of the program at Stony Brook. There, she handles the logistical side of the program to better students’ campus lives. 

With the new degree, Hautsch said, “ My hope is to continue teaching at the college level, especially a full-time, tenure track job, though right now I’m facing an incredibly difficult job market.”