Acts of Resistance Edition 2

Subversive Teaching in the English Language Arts Classroom

November 2023
More details
  • Publisher
    Myers Education Press
  • Published
    20th November 2023
  • ISBN 9781975505608
  • Language English
  • Pages 260 pp.
  • Size 7" x 10"
  •    Request Exam Copy
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December 2023
More details
  • Publisher
    Myers Education Press
  • Published
    13th December 2023
  • ISBN 9781975505615
  • Language English
  • Pages 260 pp.
  • Size 7" x 10"

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December 2023
More details
  • Publisher
    Myers Education Press
  • Published
    13th December 2023
  • ISBN 9781975505622
  • Language English
  • Pages 260 pp.
  • Size 7" x 10"
  •    Request E-Exam Copy

2021 SPE Outstanding Book Award Winner

The first edition of Acts of Resistance: Subversive Teaching in the English Language Arts (ELA) Classroom won the 2021 Society of Professors of Education's Outstanding Book Award and garnered other nominations. The second edition includes a foreword by Ashley Hope Pérez, author of the young adult literature novel Out of Darkness, one of the most frequently banned books across U.S. classrooms. Four new chapters reflect sociopolitical changes since the book's publication, including a widespread, coordinated uptick in the banning of books centering authors and characters from marginalized communities; the COVID-19 pandemic and with it, increased acts of violence against folks identifying as Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander; the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other victims of police brutality; the January 6th insurrection; the closing of the Trump era; the passing of anti-CRT and anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation; and a "school choice" movement that defunds public schools, deprofessionalizes educators, and places democracy in peril. Chapters specifically illustrate the storied practices of subversive teachers across the 6-12 ELA context. They provide educators with instructional ideas on how to do anti-oppressive work while also meeting traditional ELA disciplinary elements.

“ELA teachers—now more than ever—are faced with awful decisions in the current context of teaching: Should they do what is best for their students or what will allow them to keep working with students? Dyches, Sams, and Boyd emphatically say, “Both” and I agree the way forward in ELA instruction is to be subversive, to be acutely aware of the dominant discourses and work constantly to help students write themselves into the discussions, texts, and narratives of their multi-faceted and complex lives. These editors and authors provide just what the profession needs at just the right time.”

Christian Z. Goering, Ph.D., University of Arkansas, Professor, English Education, Chair, English Language Arts Teacher Education

“How else to abandon the status quo of generations of inequitable schooling than through subversion? By giving voice to silenced topics, advocating for crafty, alternative assessments, and showcasing the ways these changes ignite their students into lovers of language and advocates in the world, teachers in this book dignify and insist upon the ethics of subversion in the English classroom.”

Sophia Tatiana Sarigianides, Ph.D., Professor & Coordinator of English Education, Westfield State University

Acts of Resistance: Subversive Teaching in the English Language Arts Classroom is timely, thoughtful, and important. Now, more than ever, we need subversive English language arts teachers—public intellectuals and professionals who deeply understand their discipline and know how to use that disciplinary knowledge to engage students in critical, transformative learning. Together, the narratives featured in this book offer a complex, compelling, and accessible picture of what it means to be subversive and to enact change”

Amanda Haertling Thein, Ph.D., University of Iowa, Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Education and Dean of the Graduate College, Professor

“The portraits in this collection highlight teachers, curriculum, and pedagogy that enact subversive teaching—a critical stance in classrooms that promotes opportunity for all students. Situated within our current era of external mandates that are increasingly aimed at standardizing instruction, this text pushes the field to consider what possibilities exist for generative action and agency in ELA classrooms today.”

Heidi Hallman, Ph.D., University of Kansas, Chair, Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Professor

Ashley Hope Pérez

Introduction: What is Subversive Disciplinary Literacy?
Jeanne Dyches, Brandon Sams, Ashley S. Boyd

Chapter 1
We Write Here: Academic Movement in the Writing and Being of Black Learners
Latrise Johnson

Chapter 2
We Are Not the Same, We Deserve to be Seen: Diverse Asian American Text Sets as Resistance
Betina Hsieh and Jung Kim

Chapter 3
Reciprocating Care and Vulnerability through a Pedagogy of Tenderness: Resistance and Transformation in ELA Classrooms
Stephanie Anne Shelton and Tamara Brooks

Chapter 4
Subverting the Canon through Culturally Relevant Young Adult Literature & Student Choice
Sandra Saco and E. Sybil Durand

Chapter 5
Black Words Matter: Bending Literary Close Reading toward Justice
Scott Storm

Chapter 6
Arguing for Empathy: Subverting the Teaching of Argumentation
Crystal Sogar and Melanie Shoffner

Chapter 7
“Well, I Took it There”: Subversive Teaching to (Disrupt) the Test
Leah Panther and Selena Hughes

Chapter 8
Inquiry Ignites! Pushing Back Against Traditional Literacy Instruction
Jill Stedronsky and Kristen Hawley Turner

Chapter 9 “Climb into their skin”: Whiteness and the Subversion of Perspective
Anna Mae Tempus and Carey Applegate

Chapter 10
Making “Safe” and Subversive Space for Students’ Lives Through Open Mic
Caroline T. Clark and Jill M. Williams

Chapter 11
The Responsible Change Project: Subverting the Standardized English Language Arts Curriculum
Heather Coffey and Steve Fulton

Chapter 12
Disability as Pedagogy: Vulnerability as a Social Justice Tool
Katie Roquemore

Chapter 13
Gender Bending the Curriculum: Queer Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare in the High School
Ryan Burns and Janine Boiselle

Chapter 14
Interrupting “Single Stories”: Using Socially Just Media Texts to Teach Rhetorical Analysis
Lori Garcia and Michael Manderino

Chapter 15
Can We Talk?: Promoting Anti-Oppressive Futures for Girls of Color through a Social Justice Enrichment Program
Dorothy E. Hines, Jemimah Young, Rossina Zamora Liu, and Diana Wandix-White

Chapter 16
“Why Can’t They Test Us on This?” A Framework for Transforming Intensive Reading Instruction
Amanda Lacy and Angela M. Kohnen

Chapter 17
The Case of Courtenay: Subversive Resistance in English Teacher Evaluation
Meghan A. Kessler and Angela L. Masters

About the Authors


Jeanne Dyches

Dr. Jeanne Dyches (she/her), an associate professor at Iowa State University, researches the relationship between curriculum, racial literacies, and antiracist teaching practices. Specifically, she works to understand how teachers and students resist limitations of their curriculum in order to engage antiracist, emancipatory, and joyful secondary literacy instruction. A former high school English teacher and literacy coach, Dr. Dyches has won awards for her teaching on both the secondary and post-secondary levels. The American Educational Research Association, American Reading Forum, Society of Professors of Education, and Iowa Academy of Education have recognized Dr. Dyches’ research and scholarly contributions to the field of education. Dr. Dyches has published in many journals, including Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Teacher Education, English Journal, and Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

Brandon Sams

Brandon Sams is an assistant professor of English education at Iowa State University. His work has recently been published in English Teaching: Practice and Critique, The ALAN Review, Changing English, and The Journal of Language and Literacy Education.

Ashley S. Boyd

Ashley S. Boyd (she/her) is an associate professor of English/English Education at Washington State University, where she teaches graduate courses on critical theories and anti-oppressive pedagogies and undergraduate courses on Young Adult Literature and Methods for Teaching English. A former secondary English-language arts teacher, Ashley’s scholarship examines practicing teachers’ social justice pedagogies and their critical content knowledge; explores how young adult literature is an avenue for cultivating students’ critical literacies; and investigates how students select, organize, and implement social action projects. Her books, including Social Justice Literacies in the English Classroom: Teaching Practice in Action, analyze and amplify how teachers subvert traditional classroom curriculum to advance equity and justice. She is co-author of Reading for Action: Engaging Youth in Social Justice through Young Adult Literature, and she has also published in the Journal of Teacher Education, English Education, and The ALAN Review.

subversive teaching; English Language Arts (ELA); social justice; disciplinary literacy; secondary literacy; curriculum; pedagogy; social media; critical pedagogy; multicultural education