English Research

May 2021 - May 2022

Queer Approaches to #MeToo through Young Adult Literature
Laney Debrabander

Students are exposed at a young age to binary and one-dimensional narratives about sexuality and gender that quickly become normative, including perspectives that are exclusionary, negative, or harmful to queer and non-binary folx. Through the use of literature, English Language Arts (ELA) teachers are uniquely positioned to help students challenge stereotypes and form complex, intersectional, and multilayered perspectives. By engaging students with Young Adult Literature (YAL), teacher's can address the developmental needs of readers by “recogniz[ing] that young adults are beings in evolution, in search of self and identity; beings who are constantly growing and changing, morphing from the condition of childhood to that of adulthood” (Cart, 2008). In addition, queer YAL, in particular YAL that features queer characters and whose subject matter deals with sexual and/or gender-based violence, can offer nuanced ways of understanding how violence can occur, as well as provide healthy, alternative models of relationships and intimacy. From a community perspective, teaching from this lens has much to offer in terms of prevention, reporting, and anti-violence initiatives.

Faculty Advisor: Briana Asmus
Funded by: Aquinas College Summer Scholars Program

May 2018 - May 2019

Building to Write: Using Manipulatives as a Pre-Writing Scaffold 
Jayna Zimmerman  

This presentation discusses using interlocking building blocks and symbolic pieces to help students construct physical models in response to writing prompts. Students can then use physical models to scaffold conversations about topics to help inform writing.

Faculty Advisor: Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil