1st Edition

Decolonizing Literacies Disrupting, Reclaiming, and Remembering Relationship in Literacy Education

Edited By Towani Duchscher, Kimberly Lenters Copyright 2024
    212 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume examines the ways in literacy has been used as a weapon and a means for settler colonialism, challenging colonized definitions of literacy and centring relationships as key to broadening understandings.

    It begins by confronting the multiple ways that settler colonialism has used literacy and definitions of literacy as a gatekeeper to participation in society. In response to settler colonialism’s violent acts of extraction, displacement, and replacement enacted upon the land, the resources, the people, and understandings of literacy, the editors propose a unique approach to decolonizing understandings of literacy through a triangulation of disruption, reclamation, and remembering relationships. This is enacted and explored through a range of diverse chapter contributions, written in the form of stories, poems, artworks, theatres, and essays, allowing the authentic voices of the authors to shine through, and opening up the English Language Arts as a space for engagement and interpretation with diverse, racialized understandings of literacy.

    Disrupting Eurocentric, colonized understandings that narrowly define literacy as reading and writing the colonial word, and advancing the movement to decolonize education, it will be of key interest to scholars, researchers, and educators with interest in literacy education, decolonizing education, anti-racist education, inclusive education, land-based literacy, and arts-based literacy.

    1. Introduction: Decolonizing Literacies
    Towani Duchscher and Kimberly Lenters

    2. Artist's Statement
    AJA Louden

    3. Wa’gwan: Graffiti Art
    AJA Louden

    4. Decolonizing Literacies: A Door Back Into Ourselves
    Towani Duchscher

    Section I: DISRUPTING

    5. I Know You Are, and I Am Sorry: An Inquiry Into Anger and Hope
    Lesley Tait

    6. A Reminder of Who I Was 
    Courtney Walcott

    7. Finding Our Way Through Decolonizing English for Second Language Literacies: A Call for Multiple Approaches of Knowing and Being in Curriculum
    Danni Chen

    8. 3 Poems: Listen Again: Poem 1: English Class
    Adetola Adedipe (aka aloT of Poetry)

    Section II: RECLAIMING
    9. Skoden: Graffiti Art
    AJA Louden

    10. Reclaiming Literacy: Embodying the Stories the Land Reveals
    Janis Weasel Bear-Johnson 

    11. Writing it smallLiving it LOUD: Hip Hop Movement, Art, and Diaglogue to Explore Decolonial Imaginaries for Literacy Learning

    Bianca Nightengale-Lee, AJA Louden, and Jay Musodi

    12. Literacies of Love: Exploring Love, Value, and Respect in Diverse Learning Spaces
    Zahra Golneshan

    13. 3 Poems: Listen Again: Poem 2: Live Loud in white walls
    Adetola Adedipe (aka aloT of Poetry)


    14. What Does It Mean to Read/Write Graffiti as Literacy?
    AJA Louden

    15. Anti-Racism Literacies: A Place of Belonging for Racialized Students
    Sonia Aujla-Bhullar

    16. Kistónnoon Ihtaisap’op Tsinikssinistsi – Our Way Is Through Our Stories
    Ahstanskiaki Sandra Manyfeathers

    17. Reflecting Through the Fourth Wall
    Harrison Campbell

    18. Un-settling Settler Allyship: A Response to Harrison Campbell's Reflecting Through the Fourth Wall
    Towani Duchscher

    19. Moving Beyond Awareness Toward Action: An Interview With Dr April Baker-Bell
    April Baker-Bell and Towani Duchscher

    20. 3 Poems: Listen Again: Poem 3: Listen
    Adetola Adedipe (aka aloT of Poetry)

    21. Conclusion: Reflecting on Decolonizing Literacies: Remembering Relationships with Each Other, Our Ancestors, and the World
    Towani Duchscher and Kimberly Lenters


    Towani Duchscher is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Towani Duchscher is a Black, mixed-race educator, dancer, and poet. Duchscher holds a doctorate in the specialization of Curriculum and Learning. Her research attends to how lessons of racism and marginalization are embodied and perpetuated through the explicit, implicit, and null curriculums in schools. Her research interests include decolonization, arts-based research, hidden curriculum, education for decolonization, and anti-racist education. She has authored publications in peer-reviewed journals including Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry and Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies.

    Dr. Kimberly Lenters is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Language and Literacy Education at the University of Calgary where her research focuses on the social material worlds of children’s literacy development. Kim’s work has consistently focused on those students whose literacy practices are seen to be out-of-step (and therefore, generally unwelcome) in classroom spaces. Most recently, Kim’s work has focused on the relationship between play and literacy in spaces beyond the preschool and Kindergarten setting. In addition to several chapters in edited volumes, her work has been published in journals such as Reading Teacher, Literacy, English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Journal of Literacy Research, and Research in the Teaching of English (2019). She is also the co-editor of the volume, Affect and Embodiment in Critical Literacy: Assembling Theory and Practice (2020).