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Kosciesza, Aiden

Assistant Professor, Communication



Aiden was born in New York City, grew up in Vermont, and relocated to the Philadelphia suburbs before high school. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in English in 2005 from Drew University and a Master’s degree, also in English, from Villanova University in 2011. From 2007-2010, Aiden took time off to teach English in Japan with JET, the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. In 2011, he volunteered aboard Peace Boat’s 74th Global Voyage, teaching English to passengers while circumnavigating the globe and visiting ports in 21 countries. In 2012, he returned to the U.S. and began teaching English at Philadelphia area community colleges. He eventually settled at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), where he earned tenure in 2019, and taught there until 2023, when he joined Central Michigan University.

Aiden identifies as a transgender man and has been speaking publicly about trans identities since 2011. He has served a variety of groups advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion, including CCP’s President’s Advisory Council on GLBTQ Issues and Harvard Medical School’s LGBTQIA+ Adult Community Advisory Group. Both his scholarly research and his advocacy work center the experiences of transgender, nonbinary, and gender variant people.

While teaching, Aiden continues to pursue numerous professional development projects, including research seminars through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Japan Studies Association (JSA), the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA), and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for East Asian Studies. He has developed a variety of curriculum modules that bring material on East and South Asia into the classroom, including the Analects of Confucius, colonial-era famines in India, atomic bomb literature of Japan, postcolonial theatre of Africa and South Asia, and indigenous peoples of Japan. Aiden regularly incorporates global perspectives into the classroom and encourages students to travel widely. He is always glad to discuss opportunities to study or work abroad, especially in Japan!

In 2019, Aiden went back to school to pursue a doctorate in Media and Communication, which he completed in May 2023. His doctoral dissertation, “Traveling Texts, Transgender Lives: Imaginative Resources, Transcultural Media, and the Globalization of Gender” is an interview-based study that looks at how non-cisgender people use transcultural media in processes of gender identity formation.

More about Aiden Kosciesza

Kosciesza, Aiden James. (in press) “Doing Gender in Game Spaces: Transgender and Non-Binary Players’ Gender Signaling Strategies in Online Games.” New Media and Society.

Kosciesza, Aiden James, and Fabienne Darling-Wolf. (2023) “What’s So Great about GTO?: Evolving Discourses of Japanese Masculinity in Great Teacher Onizuka.” Television and New Media.

Kosciesza, Aiden J. (2023) “The Moral Service of Trans NPCs: Examining the Roles of Transgender Non-Player Characters in Role-Playing Video Games.” Games and Culture, 18(2), 189-208.

Katz-Wise, Sabra L., EJ Jarvie, Jennifer Potter, Alex S. Keuroghlian, Jasmine N. Gums, Aiden James Kosciesza, Brady D. Hanshaw, Angel Ornelas, Em Mais, Kai DeJesus, Rose Ajegwu, William Presswood, Carly E. Guss, Rusty Phillips, Brittany M. Charlton, Jessica Kremen, Kesha Williams, and John L. Dalrymple. (2022) “Integrating LGBTQIA+ Community Member Perspectives into Medical Education.” Teaching and Learning in Medicine. (ahead of print)

Kosciesza, Aiden James. (2022) “Intersectional gender measurement: Proposing a new metric for gender identity and gender experience.” Feminist Media Studies.  (ahead of print)

Kosciesza, Aiden James. (2021) “‘It’s Do or Die’: Cultural Labor, Competitive Reality TV, and the Reproduction of Neoliberal Capitalism.” International Journal of Communication, 15(2021).

Ph.D., Temple University (Media and Communication), 2023
Graduate certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
Graduate certificate in Teaching in Higher Education

M.A., Villanova University (English), 2011

B.A., Drew University (English), 2005

  • Gender, transgender and nonbinary identities, and gender variance
  • LGBTQIA+ and queer identities
  • Ethnographic methods
  • Global media
  • Trans and queer media
  • Japan studies
  • Indigenous studies
  • Game studies (both video games and tabletop games)
  • Digital media
  • Media and social justice
  • Transgender theory
  • Queer theory
  • Postcolonial theory