Victoria M. Bryan is a tenure-track English faculty member at Cleveland State Community College and a doctoral candidate in American literature at the University of Mississippi. She has taught English for six years in universities and community colleges. For the past 14 months, she has been involved with the Tennessee Higher Education Initiative, a Nashville-based nonprofit that provides for-credit opportunities for college education to incarcerated learners. During that time, she has been teaching composition and literature courses and advocating for the implementation of higher education programs in prisons in Tennessee.
Her current research, writing, and conference presentations focus on critical prison study, a field interested in interrogating the role of the prison in the United States and the violence that its policies do to the minds and bodies of those touched by the prison industrial complex. Her teaching philosophy in the prison classroom and in the free world classroom emphasizes critical pedagogy, a social movement focused on empowering individuals through education. Her goals within the Tennessee Higher Education Initiative include expanding programing into Chattanooga and the surrounding rural areas.