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Promising Researcher Award Recipient

2017 Promising Researcher Award Winner and Honorable Mention Recipient

The Promising Researcher Award selection committee congratulates Lamar Johnson for being selected as this year's Promising Researcher Award Winner. Also selected for an honorable mention was Jon M. Wargo.

Submitted manuscripts were evaluated based on their statements of research problems, reviews of relevant literature, methodology and data analysis, grounding of evidence, significance of results, and clarity and style.

This year’s committee had the difficult task of selecting recipients. Serving on the selection committee this year were April Baker-Bell (Chair), Tamara Butler, Ramon Antonio Martinez, and Gholnecsar Muhammad.


Award Winner

Lamar Johnson, “Where Do We Go From Here?: Toward a Critical Race English Education”

Lamar Johnson is an assistant professor of language and literacy for linguistic and racial diversity in the Department of English at Michigan State University. He is interested in the complex intersections of race, language, literacy, and education and how English language arts (ELA) classrooms can become sites for racial justice.  His current projects focus on the following questions: (1) How do Black lives matter within ELA classrooms? (2) How are white supremacy and anti-blackness re-inscribed through educators’ disciplinary discourses and pedagogical practices? and, (3) How can Critical Race English Education (CREE) be an analytic framework and methodological tool for literacy teacher educators of Color and teacher educators more broadly? To tackle these questions, he has developed a working theory and pedagogy—CREE.  CREE is a theoretical and pedagogical construct that tackles white supremacy, race, and anti-black racism within English education, ELA classrooms, and beyond. Moreover, CREE centers the Black literacies educators can use to disrupt violence and curricula and pedagogical inequities against Black youth in schools.  

The committee selected Johnson's study for “its powerful and moving account of his journey to understand and confront how English education is implicated in anti-Black racism. He thoughtfully highlighted the relationship between physical and symbolic violence—between Eurocentric curricula and the devaluation of Black lives, and he proposes a generative framework (CREE) for moving forward in English classrooms.”

Honorable Mention

Jon M. Wargo, “Designing More Just Social Futures or Remixing the Radical Present? Queer Rhetorics, Multimodal (Counter)Storytelling, and the Politics of LGBTQ Youth Activism”

Jon M. Wargo is an assistant professor in the Teacher Education, Special Education, Curriculum & Instruction department in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. Prior to receiving his Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education (specializing in literacy education and qualitative research) at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, he taught English Language Arts in Denver, CO. Interested in how writing moves, his research uses feminist, queer, and post-structural modes of inquiry to explore how youth use literacy, and technologies of composition in particular, to design more just social futures.

The committee felt that Wargo’s research “merited an honorable mention because it provided a nuanced and fascinating representation of multimodal (counter)storytelling among LGBTQ youth. His focus on the ‘radical present’ was unique, as was the use of connective ethnography. However, the committee thought the essay warranted a discussion about the intersections between race and queerness given the focal participant identifies as Black and Queer, and his use of counterstorytelling, which is a method/methodology of Critical Race Theory.”

Apply for the 2018 Award

Past PRA Recipients

Complete Listing of Past Recipients

Tamara Butler, Michigan State University, East Lansing, “’We Need a Song’: Sustaining Critical Youth Organizing Literacies through World Humanities”

Christian Ehret, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, “Moments of Literacy Teaching and Learning in a Children’s Hospital: Affects, Textures, and Temporalities”

Logan Manning, University of Texas, San Antonio, "Rewriting Struggles as Strength: Young Adult Reflections on the Significance of their High School Poetry Community"

Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, "Traveling Literacies: Multilingual Writing on the Move"

Gholnecsar Muhammad, Georgia State University, Atlanta, "In Search for a Full vision: Writing Representations of African American Adolescent Girls"

Amy Stornaiuolo, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, ‘Like two different worlds’: Teachers’ perspectives on social networking and schooling,”

Tisha Y. Lewis, Georgia State University, Atlanta, "We txt 2 sty cnnectd: Digital literacies, Meaning-Making, and Activity Theory Systems between an African American mother and son."

Honorable Mention: Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Wayne State University, Detroit, "Sustaining Culturally Responsive Discourse in Black and White: Negotiating Social Solidarities Through English Teacher Talk."

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