Bailey Szustak, PhD Candidate in Philosophy, Artist
I'm Bailey Szustak (she/they), a Ph.D candidate in Philosophy, with concentrations in Gender and Women's Studies and the Foundations of College Instruction, at the University of Illinois Chicago. I'm also an artist (primarily in welding, painting, and quilting), nerd, and cat mom to my beloved Kira.
I'm currently crafting my dissertation, "We Want to Be Parts of Constellations: Philosophy, Pedagogy, and Neurodiversity," which in centrally aimed at creating more neuroinclusive undergraduate philosophy pedagogy, starting from lived experience and drawing on interdisciplinary frameworks, neurodivergent theorizing, and inclusive pedagogies. This topic is a window for a broader dialogue on how we can and must change how mainstream Anglo-American academic philosophy understands and practices research, teaching, and representation to allow everyone--and I do mean everyone--to be included in this essential human practice.
My dissertation represents a nexus of the many identities, interests, and commitments that define my work as a scholar and educator. I am a philosopher, teacher, artist, and advocate, all of which are interconnected and mutually influencing. My goal beyond receiving my doctorate is to continue working towards a community-based, support-centered educational system that allows as many students as possible to learn as much as possible, no matter their background.
If you'd like to learn more about me and my work, read on! I also welcome you to reach out with questions, connections, job opportunities(!), recommendations, or interest in collaborating (though I make no promises as to the speed of my reply).
Statement of Commitment
I am committed to access and accessibility, anti-discrimination, harm reduction, and mutual aid such that race, sex, gender, ability, age, religion, class, nationality, ethnicity, and any other category used to divide people are instead sources of learning, solidarity, and strength.
I'm still and always learning more about how to dismantle internalized bias and rebuild loving, just, and care-centered ways of speaking, acting, and being that are grounded in reflective and reflexive theory, evidence, practice, and lived experience.
On this site, I share several highlights from my body of work, organized roughly by topic or area of impact. Pamela Slim describes a body of work as "everything you create, contribute, affect, and impact," which is not limited to academic output or employment history, but includes a number of skills, outputs, and viewpoints developed from across my experiences inside and out of academia that I use to contribute to my community and to develop my own meaningful path. Use the buttons below or the menu above to navigate to sections on research, teaching, professional work, and visual art, or download my CV below if you'd like a summative text document.