1st Edition

English Language Arts as an Emancipatory Subject International Perspectives on Justice and Equity in the English Classroom

    408 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    408 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    English Language Arts as an Emancipatory Subject explores the changing nature and history of the English Language as an emancipatory subject, as well as how its current activities and projects address and challenge inequalities.

    Various forms of critical literacy have established English teaching as a radical force for social justice and subversion. However, the expert contributors to this book question whether English is a force for good in its capacity to develop literate citizens, or, are there larger contemporary complications surrounding it? This book will re-examine the history of English, its present quality as a classroom subject and its future potential to re-establish itself as an agent of social equality and change. Edited by internationally leading scholars from the UK, USA and Australia with contributions from New Zealand and Canada, this work will also inspire English teachers to view their subject as one through which positive differences are imagined, and complex real-life issues are debated and challenged in the classroom.

    The volume is an excellent overview of research and the latest thinking about the nature of English as an emancipatory subject, its distinguished history and its potential for the future. It will be a key resource for the research and teacher-education community, English teachers, student teachers, and anyone who views English teaching as a catalyst of social change.

    Part I: Establishing English as an Emancipatory Subject

    1. Knowing the Subject, Knowing its History: Examining Key Figures in English who Contributed to its Emancipatory Nature
    Claire Jones and Trish Dowsett

    2. English as an Emancipatory Subject in England: A Historical Perspective, 1875-2024
    Andy Goodwyn

    3. English Teaching for Democratic Futures: The Role of Language, Literacy and Literature in Developing Creative and Critical Thinkers
    Stewart Riddle, Nathan Lowien and Georgina Barton

    4. The English Language Emerging as an Identity for Migrants and Refugees
    Linda Enow and Karima Kadi-Hanifi

    5. Describing the World with Our Students in it: ELA and the Power of ‘Recognition’
    Katie Dunbar, Maryam Jan, Chloe Watterson, Nicole Dingwall and Victoria Elliott

    Part II: Reconfiguring the Curriculum of Emancipatory English

    6. Teaching English to Nurture Social Imagination in the Early Years of Schooling: Emancipation versus Constraints
    Robyn Ann Ewing AM and John Nicholas Saunders

    7. English, Literature and Questions of Emancipation: What does Literature Offer?
    Wayne Sawyer, Jacqueline Manuel and Cal Durrant

    8. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion through Children’s Literature in Higher Education
    Kalsoom Akhtar, Michael Amess, Beth Marley, Catherine O’Leary and Emily Wingfield

    9. Making English Good and Right: Curriculum Reform in Aotearoa New Zealand
    Derek Shafer and Claudia Rozas-Gómez

    10. The Power of English Within and For the Lives of Migrant and Refugee Students
    Sarah Williams and Annmarie Jackson

    11. Rurality, Writing and English: Spatial Justice for Rural Students through English Teaching and Writing Pedagogy
    Jennifer Dove

    12. Transitioning from Critical Literacy to the Ecocritical
    Terry Locke

    Part III: Emancipatory English in Practice

    13. Cultivating Critical Thinking Through Canonical and Non-Canonical Texts: Using a Social Justice Framework to Shape Curriculum and Instruction
    Michelle L. Hock and Leighann N. Pennington

    14. Applying Country-Centred Place Pedagogies to Include All Learners in English
    Jessica Scarcella and Cathie Burgess

    15. The Dignity of Choice: Independent Reading’s Emancipatory Potential as an Instructional Practice
    Josh Thompson, Lisa Vaught, Xavier Gitre, AnnaMarie Huff, Molly McPherson and Aayush Patodiya

    16. Ungrading for Social Justice: De-Centering Grades, Inequity, and White Supremacy
    Lindsey Ives and Mike P. Cook

    17. Recovering Truth-Seeking Ethical Pedagogies for the Literature Classroom in a Post-Truth Age
    Farah Fazirah Vierra, Nah Dominic and Suzanne S. Choo

    18. Shaping Identities: How Marginalized Students Harness Discourse to Reclaim Power in English Language Arts
    Paul Riser

    19. “I Make it What I Want”: Cultivating Fugitive Spaces of Acceptance and Resistance for Minoritized Students in the ELA Classroom
    Marcus North, Asia Thomas Uzomba and Brooks Salter

    Part IV: Teachers of Emancipatory English

    20. Possibilities and Practicalities: English Teachers and Their Creation of Spaces for Students’ Voices and Agency
    Kerry-Ann O’Sullivan

    21. U.S. Teachers, Book Bans, and Sustaining the Self in the Southern Discourse
    Alexa Muse

    22. From Teacher to Teacher Educator: Developing an Anti-Racist, Anti-Biased Stance Kristen Hawley Turner

    23. Reflection and Liberation: The Reimagination of an English Methods Course
    Madison Gannon and Jennifer Ervin


    Andrew Goodwyn is President of the International Federation for the Teaching of English and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. He is also Emeritus Professor, The University of Reading, UK.

    Jacqueline Manuel is Professor of English Education, Sydney School of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia.

    Cal Durrant is retired Associate Professor in English Curriculum and Director of the Literacy Research Hub, Australian Catholic University, Australia.

    Wayne Sawyer is Emeritus Professor, School of Education, Western Sydney University, Australia.

    Marshall George is Olshan Professor of Clinical Practice, Hunter College, City University of New York, USA.

    Melanie Shoffner is Professor of English Education, James Madison University, USA.