Recovering Black Storytelling in Qualitative Research

Friday 4 February 2022

LLEGO is thrilled to feature a special spring book talk series. We will be hosting a virtual discussion with Dr. Toliver on February 4th.


Dr. Toliver is an assistant professor of Literacy and Secondary Humanities at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She earned her Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education as well as a graduate certificate in diversity, equity, and inclusion from the University of Georgia, and she was a 2019 NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellow. She is also a proud alumna of Florida State University (M.S Curriculum and Instruction, 2015) and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (B.A. English Education, 2011).

Informed by her love of science fiction and fantasy texts as well as her experience as a 9th and 10th grade English and reading teacher, Toliver’s scholarship centers the freedom dreams of Black youth and honors the historical legacy that Black imaginations have had and will have on activism and social change. Specifically, her research hinges upon four central questions: (1) What stories might Black youth tell when they read, write, listen to, and watch speculative fiction? (2) How do Black people use speculative fiction as a social justice tool? (3) How are Black youth positioned in speculative fiction texts? and (4) How can literacy researchers and English teachers use speculative fiction in research and teaching? Through these queries, Toliver discusses the implications of erasing Black children from futuristic and imaginative contexts and assists teachers in imagining how classrooms can use speculative fiction as a means to center Black joy and Black dreams.

Her academic work has been published in several journals, including Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, Journal of Children’s Literature, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and English Journal. Her public scholarship has been featured on LitHub, Huffpost, and the Horn Book.

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