"Who Am I but a Combinatoria of Things Encountered, Imagined?" Exploring Teachers' Literary Lives

Publication Date


Document Type


Publication Title

American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2020 Annual Meeting

Conference Location

San Francisco, CA


This paper considers how English teachers’ literary lives inhere in pedagogy. Building with Kirkland’s (2013) notion of literacy lives, the inquiry draws on interviews with five practicing secondary English teachers, finding that teaching with literary lives reoriented teachers’ lessons as helpfully ambiguous, as well as enlivened the classroom by pointing in a renewed way to wonder and awe. Thinking about the lives of secondary English teachers as literary offers an expanded understanding of the profession, reframing English teaching as creative and communal, compelling, complex and deeply personal work that proves fruitful for teachers, students, and education scholars.


This conference was cancelled.


English and Comparative Literature