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Hi, I'm Bailey Szustak

I am a doctoral student in Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I also work in Gender and Women’s Studies. My primary research areas are in Body Aesthetics, Philosophy of Art, Feminist Philosophy, and Critical Race Theory. My primary research focus is on the intersections of ethical and aesthetic values and judgments.

CV

My dissertation is concerned with the ethical value of beauty practices, exploring cosmetics as a case study to understand the personal value cosmetics users assign to their practice. I am combining frameworks from black feminism, intersectionality, everyday aesthetics, and body aesthetics to create a new theoretical lens to focus on beauty practices. This new lens illuminates the value of these practices to the people practicing them, and the ways that they use these practices to negotiate oppressions of various sorts, navigate social connections and form communities, and engage in skilled artistic practice.

My other areas of research include the philosophy of asexuality, inclusive pedagogy, and pop culture. In progress is a co-authored paper with A. W. Eaton, “Asexuality: a Philosophical Perspective,” for an edited volume on philosophy of sex and sexuality. I am also committed to inclusive pedagogy and student-centered teaching, frequently collaborating with scholars from other disciplines to research, practice, and train others in inclusive teaching practices.

In addition to philosophy, I am a practicing artist specializing in welding and painting. My artistic practice and experience frequently informs my philosophical work on sculpture, intention and interpretation, and body aesthetics.

I am a dedicated cat mom to Kira and Birdie, a collector (some might say hoarder) of plants, and an enthusiast of LEGOs and dinosaurs

Education

June 2025 - April 2026

July 2024 - May 2025

January 2023 - June 2024

This is a Job Description. Briefly describe your specific position, including details about important achievements and milestones. Make sure to include relevant skills and highlights, and don't forget to adjust the timeframe in the subtitle.

This is a Job Description. Briefly describe your specific position, including details about important achievements and milestones. Make sure to include relevant skills and highlights, and don't forget to adjust the timeframe in the subtitle.

This is a Job Description. Briefly describe your specific position, including details about important achievements and milestones. Make sure to include relevant skills and highlights, and don't forget to adjust the timeframe in the subtitle.

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