Sharon Pajka

Professor/Major-Minor Coordinator
Language, Education & Society

Sharon Pajka

Phone Numbers

202-651-5580 (V)

Email

sharon.pajka@gallaudet.edu

Personal Website

http://pajka.blogspot.com/

Location

Hall Memorial Building N207C

Office Hours

(please email for an appointment)

  • Ph.D. in English Education from the University of Virginia
  • Masters of Arts in Secondary English Education from Gallaudet University
  • Graduate Certificate in Public History from the University of Richmond
  • Bachelors of Arts in English and Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University

Sharon Pajka is a Professor in the Department of English. She holds a Ph.D. in English Education from the University of Virginia. Her recent publications focus on deaf characters and dead (e.g. vampire) characters in adolescent literature.

Her doctoral research focused on the portrayals and perceptions of Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature. She currently keeps a research blog on the topic: http://pajka.blogspot.com/.

She enjoys teaching courses in adolescent literature and literary studies along with teaching interdisciplinary courses, including “Vampires: Their Historical Significance in Literature, Film, and Pop Culture,” which made The Washington Post's list of "The 15 Oddest College Courses in the D.C. Region".

In 2018, Dr. Pajka completed a graduate program in Public History at the University of Richmond while developing a course focused on dark tourism.

On the weekends, you can find her in the cemetery giving history tours, and running River City Cemetarians; or, you can find her in the blogosphere at http://Goth-Gardening.blogspot.com/ where she uses “gardening” as a metaphor for living a more gothy life.

I teach courses in the English Department and in General Studies.

Specialization: Adolescent Literature

Areas of Interest: Gothic Literature; Cemetery Tourism; Adolescent Literature; and, all that is dark and spooky!

Recent Courses:

  • ENG 208 Introduction to Literature Studies
  • ENG 410 Adolescent Literature                 
  • GSR 210 Ghost Stories & Haunted History
  • GSR 220 Methods of Multiples Disciplines: The Dead, Cemeteries, and Cultural Memory
  • GSR 300 Dark Tourism

Service at Gallaudet:

  • Battle of the Books Executive Committee Member & Judge (2016-2018)
  • Youth Programs National Literacy Competition Judge (2016-2018)
  • Self-Directed Majors Committee Member (former committee chair from 2010-2016)
  • Faculty Advisor to English Majors
  • Major-Minor Coordinator for the English Department (2020-2023)
  • Committee work within the English Department

Professional Membership:

  • The Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association (PCA/ACA)
  • The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN)
  • National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE)
  • Children’s Literature Association (ChLA)
  • Association of Gravestone Studies (AGS)

Recent Publications:

Recent Presentations:

  • June 26, 2020. "Beyond the Veil and 'Behind the Veil': Clinton Dangerfield in Woodland Cemetery" a presentation at the Association for Gravestone Studies Virtual Mini-Conference in Greenfield, MA. 

  • June 21, 2020. "Student Engagement with University History- reviewing the paranormal investigation of House One" a presentation at the Life & Death Event in Shepherdstown, WV.

  • Accepted but canceled due to COVID-19 April 15, 2020. “Nevermore to visit: Shockoe Hill Cemetery’s most famous non-resident, Edgar Allan Poe” in Circumstances that Influenced Results, paper presentation for the American Culture Association's Cemeteries & Gravemarkers area. PCAACA Conference at Marriott Philadelphia, PA. 

  • September 22, 2019. Guest Lecture-"The Doppelganger and Darkness in 'William Wilson.'" Poe Museum Sunday Readings Series. Richmond Poe Museum, Richmond, VA. Invited Speaker

  • June 27, 2019. “Misfits and Allies: The portrayal of Goth in My Summer as a Goth (2018)”, paper presentation for National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) at Newseum, American University, Washington, D.C. 

  • June 9, 2019. Guest Lecture-“Poe and Shockoe Hill Cemetery.” Poe Museum Sunday Readings Series. Richmond Poe Museum, Richmond. VA. Invited speaker

  • April 17, 2019. “The Making of a Taphophile: One student at a time” in Cemeteries As Cities of the Dead, paper presentation for the American Culture Association. PCAACA Conference at Washington Marriott Wardman Park-Washington, D.C. 

  • June 30, 2018. “Holy water, garlic, or a cross? The American Vampirization of the Female, Immigrant Teacher in Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots,” paper presentation at the 45thAnnual International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association, San Antonio, Texas.

  • March 2018. “Jeepers Creepers: The American Vampirization of the Female, Immigrant Teacher in Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots” paper presentation for The Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association (PCA/ACA). Indianapolis, IN.

  • June 28, 2017. “Media, Social Changes, and Connections to the Deaf Community” in Media Literacy & Underserved Youth, paper presentation for National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Il.

  • June 11, 2016. “Multiple identities in visual-verbal narratives with deaf characters” paper presentation for Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) in Columbus, Ohio

  • June 19, 2015. “Finding Liberty and Death in the Portrayals of Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature” paper presentation at The Children’s Literature Association (CHLA). Richmond, VA.

  • April 3, 2015. “Vampire as the Cultural Other: Understanding Deafula” paper presentation for The Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association (PCA/ACA). New Orleans, LA.

Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature blog: http://pajka.blogspot.com/

Gallaudet

800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002

Gallaudet

800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002