2019 NCTE Annual Convention

Baltimore, MD
November 21-24, 2019

This fall, when we come together in Baltimore, let’s inquire together. Let’s dare to wonder, to be bold and creative in our curiosity. Let’s reawaken our own spirit of inquiry as teachers, leaders, writers, readers, and thinkers.



Featured Sessions

Each year the Convention Program Chair chooses a selection of sessions to feature that explore the year’s theme in particularly interesting ways. Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing the speakers for these featured sessions below.



1:00–2:15 P.M.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Room 310

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. Professor Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize winning reportage takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Speaker: Matthew Desmond, Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology and Principal Investigator of the Eviction Lab at Princeton University Matthew Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. He is the author of four books, including Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016), which won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Carnegie Medal, and PEN / John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. The principal investigator of The Eviction Lab, Desmond’s research focuses on poverty in America, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, racial inequality, and ethnography. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, and the William Julius Wilson Early Career Award. A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, Desmond was listed in 2016 among the Politico 50, as one of “fifty people across the country who are most influencing the national political debate.”

A book signing will follow the session.



9:30–10:45 A.M.
Who Has Time to Read Books? Carving Out Space for Honest Inquiry into Our Readerly Identities as Teachers Who Support Students as Readers
Ballroom I

The pervasive narrative that all English teachers love reading (and read frequently) bumps up against reminders that while books are good for our brains, “who has the time to read books”? For busy teachers and teacher educators, this session offers an opportunity to slow down and consider our teacher/reader identities in a national context where book reading is in decline. Rooted in wide-ranging inquiries into readerly identities in beginning teacher preparation, inservice teacher interviews, and secondary classrooms, this interactive session targets those working to increase students’ motivation to read and teachers’ ability to support reading, particularly in multicultural, multilingual environments.

Presenters: Alison Crane, Reeds Spring School District, MO Danielle Lillge, Illinois State University, Normal Melinda McBee Orzulak, Bradley University, Peoria, IL

Respondent: Katie Hamill, McCormick Elementary School, Baltimore County Public Schools, MD



2:00–3:15 P.M.
Black Feminist Code: @The Intersections of Digital Technologies, Literacy Research, and Black Girl Literacies
Ballroom IV

Safiya Umoja Noble argues that Black feminist critique unravels the material consequences of white supremacy and imperialism in the transnational technology industry. Based on this Black feminist lens on new media, this panel merges what Noble calls the critical future in “intersectional Black feminist technology studies” with Black girlhood studies and Black girl literacies studies. We thus situate Black girls’ digital production in new understandings of and possibilities for literacy research.

Chair and Presenter: Detra Price-Dennis, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY

Presenters: Delicia Greene, University of Albany, NY Carmen Kynard, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth Tonya Perry, University of Alabama, Birmingham LaToya Sawyer, St. John’s University, Queens, NY



11:00–12:15 P.M.
Family, History, and Untold Stories
Ballroom II

Monica Hesse, award-winning author of The Girl in the Blue Coat and columnist for The Washington Post, will be in conversation with her father, NCTE Past-President Douglas Hesse. Together, they will discuss such topics as the importance of spirited inquiry in research, the responsibility of telling untold histories, the practice of using historical fiction as companion text in curricula, and more. They will also discuss Monica’s forthcoming novel, They Went Left, in which she explores underrepresented aspects of World War II history: the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust and the continued tragedies and remarkable hope that defined the post-war years.

Speakers: Monica Hesse, award-winning and bestselling historical fiction author Douglas Hesse, Past-President of NCTE, University of Denver, CO

A book signing will follow the session.



2:45 –4:00 P.M.
Beyond Spirited Inquiry: Making Commitments to Linguistic and Racial Justice Actionable
Room 310

Three critical language scholars of color will discuss and illustrate how linguistic racism get perpetuated and normalized in our research methodologies, disciplinary discourses, curricular choices, and pedagogical practices. The separate but interconnected presentations offer new insights for working toward racial and linguistic at the intersections of theory, research, and practice.

Chair: Marcelle Haddix, Syracuse University, NY

Presenters: April Baker-Bell, Michigan State University, East Lansing Kisha Bryan, Tennessee State University, Nashville Carmen Kynard, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth Teaira McMurtry, Milwaukee Public Schools, WI



9:00 –10:15 A.M.
Nurturing Spiritual Inquiry into Diverse Religious Student Writing in Literacy Classrooms
Room 309

This panel takes a practice-centered (vs. belief-centered) approach to conceptualizing and conducting spiritual inquiry into students’ religious writing, drawing upon Talal Asad’s work in cultural anthropology and Kwame Anthony Appiah’s work in moral philosophy. We present current inquiries on how classroom-based youth writing intertwines with religious identity and writing practice. A key goal of the panel is to highlight implications of such spiritual inquiry for secondary teaching and teacher education in public school contexts, inviting participants into a conversation about how to frame students’ spiritual and religious lives as assets in the teaching and learning of writing.

Chair: Mary Juzwik, Michigan State University, East Lansing

Presenters: Christina Ponzio, Michigan State University, East Lansing, “’This Story I Have Never Told Anyone’: Writing as Resistance to Chaldean Catholic Oppression” Larkin Weyand, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT Lance Wheatley, Michigan State University, East Lansing, “Examining Social Structures and Agency in Muslim Male Literacies”



10:30 –11:45 A.M.
Radical Listening: Taking an Inquiry Stance in the Reading and Writing Workshop
Room 310

In this session, the presenters will discuss strategies for “radical listening” in reading and writing conferences that help us discover and teach into students’ interests, intentions, and needs as readers and writers, instead of using conferences to simply advance the curriculum. They will also suggest how to have conversations with people in schools and districts who have the power to impede this kind of listening, and broaden their thinking about inquiry-based, responsive teaching.

Presenters: Carl Anderson, Heinemann, “Rules for Radicals: A Primer for How to Listen in Writing Conferences” Dan Feigelson, Heinemann, “Listening to Comprehension: Conferring Toward Independence” Cornelius Minor, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, New York, NY, “Rehearsal for Disruptive Conversations”

Featured Session Speakers