2021 CLA Master Class: “Reading Queerness at the Intersections: Using LGBTQ-Inclusive Literature to Move toward Equity, Justice, and Antiracist Teaching”
By S. Adam Crawley, Craig A. Young, and Lisa Patrick on behalf of the CLA Master Class Committee
Starting in 1994, the Children's Literature Assembly (CLA) has sponsored a Master Class at the annual NCTE Convention. This session provides K-12 teachers and teacher educators, as well as other members of the organization, the opportunity to gain insight about the use of diverse children's literature through interactions with leading scholars, authors, and illustrators in the field.
The 28th annual Master Class is titled “Reading Queerness at the Intersections: Using LGBTQ-Inclusive Literature to Move Toward Equity, Justice, and Antiracist Teaching.” This year’s session will take place on Saturday, November 20th from 5:15-6:30 p.m. (Eastern) in the virtual platform of NCTE’s annual meeting (1).
The 2021 Master Class will include a presentation, panel, and discussion with the following esteemed teacher-educators, authors, and illustrators of children’s literature:
2021 CLA Master Class Contributors
Dr. Laura Jiménez will be the discussant for the 2021 Master Class. Jiménez is a Lecturer of children’s and YA literature courses and Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University. In addition to her scholarship in The Reading Teacher, Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of Lesbian Studies, and Teaching and Teacher Education among other outlets, Jiménez is a founding advisory board member of the open-access journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literature and the author of the blog “Booktoss” in which she writes critical response to children’s and young adult literature. This year, Jiménez was awarded the Divergent Award for Excellence in Literacy Advocacy given by the Initiative for Literacy in a Digital Age.
The 2021 Master Class
The 2021 Master Class will focus on how children's literature can provide vital depictions of – and be used to facilitate important conversations about - intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991), specifically where race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and/or gender expression and identity meet and further marginalize. In this session, we bring together scholars, authors, and illustrators of books for young readers whose knowledge, experiences, and published works provide avenues for considering literature’s nuanced portrayal of individuals’ myriad identities. Moreover, both in viewing the presentation and participating in the synchronous dialogue, attendees will have the opportunity to engage in and reflect on conversations that allow them to create paths toward equity, justice, and antiracist teaching in their professional lives.
Participating in the 2021 Master Class will help attendees gauge their knowledge of and comfort with using LGBTQ-inclusive literature in classrooms. Additionally, attendees will learn about the affordances of children's literature that presents stories showing the intersections of diverse identities, especially the voices of individuals whose race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity or expression has been – and continues to be – used to censor or erase them. The Master Class speakers and co-chairs hope attendees leave the session with a reaffirmed and deeper understanding 1) of the need for inclusive representations of marginalized communities and 2) that any move toward equity, justice, and antiracist teaching requires being more inclusive of - and attentive to - intersectional identities.
Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review, 43(6), 1241-1299.
(1) The 2021 Master Class is designated by NCTE to be a “pre-recorded/scheduled” format. The recording will be shown in the conference platform at the scheduled time. Following the recording, there will be opportunities for live discussion between presenters and attendees.
S. Adam Crawley (he/him) is an Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. His current roles with CLA include serving as a Board Member (2021-2023) and Master Class Co-Chair (2020-2022). In addition, he is the secretary of NCTE’s Genders and Sexualities Equalities Alliance (GSEA).
Craig A. Young (he/him) is a Professor of Teaching & Learning at Bloomsburg University of PA. He is currently serving on the CLA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Committee, as well as co-chairing the 2021 CLA Master Class.
Lisa Patrick (she/her) is the Marie Clay Endowed Chair in Reading Recovery and Early Literacy at The Ohio State University. She is a CLA Board Member and Master Class Co-Chair.
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