Breaking Down Walls:

Teaching and Learning Through and Across Boundaries

The 2019 JoLLE Winter Conference


February 2-3, 2019


The University of Georgia, Tate Center Grand Hall
45 Baxter Street, Athens, Georgia, 30602


Learners, teachers, and researchers increasingly face the need to gather, conceptualize, and synthesize information and ideas from multiple disciplines and territories. What can we do to guide students in meeting the high demands of a broad spectrum of skills to navigate their lives in and out of school? How can we create more comprehensive knowledge and distribute it in ways that are more inclusive and equitable?

The JoLLE conference is a hands-on and participation-based conference where presenters involve their audiences in the subject, process, and scope of their presentations. This year, we invite teachers, researchers, and students to move beyond conceptual, theoretical, disciplinary, national, cultural, linguistic, social, racial, ability, and gender boundaries, to discuss the embodiments of innovation, affirmation, equity, and liberation. Together, we can propel powerful ideas and actions that can sustain, diversify, and strengthen education and research in the years to come. Please join us in Athens next February to discuss and explore these complex issues and seek ways to transform education from within.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya

Professor of Educational Leadership and Qualitative Research, Kansas State University

Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya is a full professor and program coordinator of Qualitative Research Graduate Certificate at the Kansas State University. Her research interests include contemplative and de/colonizing epistemologies, ontologies, pedagogies, and methodologies. She is the 2018 winner of AERA’s Mid Career Scholar of Color Award and the 2018 winner of AERA’s Mentoring Award from Division G: Social Context of Education. She focuses on creativity in inquiry, and transnational issues of race, class, gender in higher education and has published widely, including articles in Qualitative Inquiry, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Cultural Studies, Critical Methodologies, International Review of Qualitative Research. Her co-authored text with Kent Gillen, Power, Race, and Higher Education: A Cross-Cultural Parallel Narrative has won a 2017 Outstanding Publication Award from AERA and a 2018 Outstanding Book Award from International Congress of Qualitative Research. Dr. Bhattacharya has over 70 publications including refereed articles, books, and book chapters, in addition to editorial responsibilities with a Routledge Book Series entitled Futures of Data Analysis in Qualitative Research. She is also the guest editor of four special issues of journals such as Qualitative Inquiry, International Review of Qualitative Research, and International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Her work has opened up new spaces in interdisciplinary de/colonizing work and qualitative research where creativity and contemplative approaches are legitimized and seen as necessary gateways for cultivating depth, expansive inquiry, and discovering critical insights.

Laughing Across the Borders: Playful Possibilities in Teaching and Inquiry

Sometimes in the midst of engaging in pedagogy and inquiry, justice work, and being serious about work, we forget that playfulness, absurdity, and humor can be effective approaches to address difficult issues within and outside the classroom. The court jester was often known to be the trickster, deconstructivist, and critically smart advisor. Humor and absurdity allow us to take the fangs out of difficult issues so that we may address them intimately without fear. In this talk, Dr. Bhattacharya will discuss how we might tap into humor, absurdity, and playfulness to engage in border crossing work both in teaching and inquiry.

Dr. Jerome Harste

Artists and Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Reading and Writing, Indiana University

Jerome C. Harste is a member of the Alliance of Distinguished Professors at Indiana University in Bloomington. Dr. Harste’s seminal research on what young children know about language and language learning changed the profession’s notions about how to teach reading and writing. Since his retirement in 2006, Dr. Harste has taken up art, working in water-based mediums. He has earned “Signature Status” in several watercolor societies and his art work has been featured in several issues of JoLLE. Dr. Harste uses his art, like he did his professional writing, to speak back to issues of injustice and inequality. As an advocate for an expanded definition of literacy, multimodality, critical literacy, ethnographic approaches to the study of language, semiotics, and socio-psycholinguistics, Dr. Harste has advocated crossing boarders thoughout his professional life

Beautiful Oops!:  Some Parallels Between Written and Visual Literacy Learning

As both an artist and a literacy scholar, Dr. Harste will share what he sees as principles operating across literacy learning in both art and written language. These principles involve taking risks, seeing problems as potentials, and trusting the learning process. Using stories from his career as a writer and pieces of art from his career as an artist, Dr. Harste will illustrate each of the points being made via a PowerPoint presentation.

JoLLE 2019 Winter Conference – Recap
by Tairan Qiu, Conference Chair

During the conference weekend, we engaged in thought-provoking, status quo-challenging, and wall-breaking, conversations, movements, and activities. It was truly energizing and revitalizing for many of us. (At least energizing and revitalizing mentally–we were all exhausted physically!)

During our Pre-conference Workshop (co-sponsored by the Language and Literacy Education Graduate Organization), we solicited fifteen distinct workshops led by faculty from the Department of Language and Literacy Education (LLED) and the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy at the University of Georgia, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Kentucky, the Department of Adult Learning and Leadership at Kansas State University, and the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina. The extensive, diverse, and comprehensive event program attracted approximately 60 attendees from near and far.

During the conference, our keynote speaker, Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya, humored and inspired. She exposed us to the possibilities of playfulness, absurdity, and humor in our research and practice endeavors. Dr. Jerome Harste, also our keynote speaker, illustrated the intersections between art and literacy through his own art and literary processes. He brought us to think deeper into the potentials of risk-taking and to trust our learning process. Additionally, our conference program covered a wide array of topics including usage-based approaches to push theory to practice praxis, self-care for scholars and teachers, transnational literacies and cosmopolitanism, (dis)ability disruption, liberating learning communities, and many, many more. Walking in the hallways of the Tate Student Center, our conference venue, I often hear conference attendees say: “The sessions I went to were all so good!” Positive feedback and satisfaction of our conference attendees are the best rewards that we could ever ask for.

As the 2019 Conference Chair, I’d like to express my deep gratitude to all who were involved in the conference and who made it a stimulating event. I would like to first and foremost thank all attendees for making time for JoLLE and for being in Athens this past weekend, eager to learn and share. I’d like to thank our keynote speakers, for their keynotes that affirmed and inspired. I’d like to give special thanks to Peter Smagorinsky, our faculty advisor, for his continuous guidance, and for always thinking about the bigger picture but also being attentive to every small detail. I’d also like to thank the faculty and students in LLED, for showcasing their work and for their love and generosity in always supporting us in what we do. Lastly and most importantly, I’d like to thank our 2018-2019 Editorial Board members, Stacia L. Long, Alexandra Lampp Berglund, Merida Lang, Lacy D. Brice, Eun Young Yeom, Sharon M. Nuruddin, William Terrell Wright, Caroline Bedingfield, Maverick Y. Zhang, and Kate C. Batson, for their support and encouragement throughout the year of conference preparation, for making sure everything went smoothly during the conference, and for always representing JoLLE so well.

A group of graduate students got together and organized the first JoLLE conference in 2013. Since then, we continued to laugh, sweat, inspire, learn, and share. That’s a wrap for JoLLE 2019. We so look forward to future JoLLE conferences that would continue to build on the legacy that JoLLEers have established throughout the years. Thank you and cheers to all!


The views expressed on this website and contained within featured documents are solely those of the author(s) and artist(s) and do not reflect the views of the Department of Language & Literacy Education, The College of Education, or The University of Georgia.

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