The Literacy Research Association welcomes Dr. Allison Skerrett as one of its speakers for the 72nd Annual Conference as part of LRA’s Integrative Research Review Panel. LRA’s IRR Panel Session, titled ‘Review and Scholarly Syntheses as Anti-Racist Action’ will focus specifically on the silencing of and importance of BIPOC authors and scholars, along with the history of their work and global impact. Skerrett’s presentation is titled: Banned Books and Banners for Change: Literacy Education for Troubled Times. Dr. Skerrett studies and examines recent research on how younger people of color employ literacies to connect and engage with their worlds. Drawing upon literacy research and mainstream social and political commentary, Skerrett explores how young people have fared in relation to a global health crisis, the heightened visibility of violence against black and other marginalized people, and social and political unrest and activism, including the political censorship of texts. Skerrett posits that how young people have activated and deployed literacies provides an alternative to discourses about “learning loss” and a “COVID-19 Generation.” While these discourses may intend to address the vulnerabilities of young people, she names the possible layering of additional deficit perspectives upon young people that further obscures their resilience and innovation.
Allison Skerrett is a professor of language and literacy studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin. She also serves as the Director of Teacher Education for the College of Education. Dr. Skerrett’s research primarily centers on youth literacy practices and secondary English education in urban and transnational contexts. She has been a member of the Literacy Research Association since 2007 and has served in several roles, including as a former member of the LRA Board of Directors, and is currently one of the editors of the Journal of Literacy Research. Included among her scholarly works are the following books: Teaching Transnational Youth—Literacy and Education in a Changing World (2015) and Teaching Literacy in Troubled Times: Identity, Inquiry, and Social Action at the Heart of Instruction (2022) co-authored with Peter Smagorinsky.