Writing and Literacies SIG 137
Writing and Literacies SIG 137
Message from SIG Chair

Welcome to the Writing & Literacies SIG!


Whass good?! Welcome to the Writing and Literacies SIG. We are one of AERA's largest special interest groups and we work diligently to bring that heat to the field of educational research about all facets of literacy in the situated lives of people across diverse sociocultural settings.

Each year we show up and show out by curating a substantive program at AERA. Importantly, this work is more than an annual convening. This work is more than upholding hierarchies of languages, literacies, and knowledge within the walls of the academy, so we engage the entire W&L community throughout the year. Our critical, community-engaged, digital and public approaches to scholarship allow for this kind of urgent disruption. We are committed to transformative literacy scholarship and praxis that stands firm within a society where linguistic justice can and must change our world. These values are led by the diligent work of our Program Chair, Jen VanDerHeide, our Treasurer, Karis Jones, our Communication Chair, Grace Player, our Graduate Student Board, and our volunteer reviewers.

Let our time together in this work be a turn up, a turning in, and a turning towards the kind of collaborative justice that we want to see reflected in our world.

In Love & Community,

Dr. J

Ways to build with us:

  • Following us on social media (Facebook - AERA Writing & Literacies SIG, Twitter - @writinglit)
  • Listening to podcasts by writing and literacies scholars (see below)
  • Reading and contributing to our twice-yearly newsletters
  • Submitting a proposal to the SIG for the annual conference
  • Making new connections on our Twitter Chat #literacies: http://literacieschat.wordpress.com
  • Volunteering for one of the service positions with the SIG
  • Signing up for the mentoring program at the yearly conference
  • Joining a SIG social hour at other conferences (e.g., Literacy Research Association)
  • Applying for one of our awards
  • Attending the business meeting at the conference to network with international literacy scholars and learn about local literacy initiatives
  • Stay tuned to our social media channels for updates and opportunities related to these activities through the year. We look forward to hearing from prospective and current members and encourage everyone to get involved in the SIG!
SIG Purpose

To promote research in writing and literacy at all age levels and across cultural and social (including institutional) contexts; to provide a forum for idea exchange related to writing and literacy research, theory, and practice across disciplines.

Who We Are

We have over 500 members. 

Consider Joining Us!

AERA Writing and Literacies SIG Executive Committee

Dr. Jamila Lyiscott, Chair, University of Massachusetts Amherst, jlyiscott@umass.edu
Dr. Jennifer VanDerHeide, Program Chair, Michigan State University, jvheide@msu.edu 
Dr. Karis JonesTreasurer, SUNY Empire State College, karis.jones@esc.edu
Dr. Grace D. Player, Communications Chair, University of Connecticut, grace.player@uconn.edu​

AERA Writing and Literacies Graduate Student Board

Trevor Aleo, University of Illinois, taleo2@illinois.edu
Caroline Bedingfield, George State, cbedingfield1@student.gsu.edu
Hayley LindnerLouisiana State University, hlindn1@lsu.edu
Tory Pennington, Clemson, Vpennin@g.Clemson.edu
Holly Sheppard Riesco, University of Arkansas, hriesco@uak.edu
Kyle Smith, University of Michigan, kpsmi@umich.edu
Christopher Terrazas, The University of Texas at Austin, christopher.terrazas@utexas.edu
Writing and Literacies On Air Podcast Series

We are thrilled to have exceptional papers and presentations at this year's conference! Please follow us on social media (@writinglit) and on the AERA conference platform for ongoing updates about our featured sessions and sessions led by our SIG members. The following areas will be explored in connection with the conference theme:

  • Critical media literacies
  • Youth literacies, voice, and activism
  • Global and international literacies research
  • Multiplayer online gaming, video games, and literacy learning
  • Hip Hop and Spoken Word 
  • Content-area and disciplinary literacies
  • Sensory literacies and embodiment
  • Rural and urban literacies
  • Religious, faith-based, or spiritual literacies
  • Media and materials of literacy practices - old and new
  • Ecological literacies
  • Spatiality, networks or rhizomes in literacy practices
  • Digital composition
  • Pedagogies for teaching grammar for different social purposes
  • Multilingual literacies across contexts
  • Social media and literacy practices
  • Intersectionality of race, gender, and other identities in literacy practices 
  • Social and economic marginalization and literacy practice
  • Early childhood, primary, adolescent, and adult literacy practices
  • Literacy practices in homes and communities
  • Play, toys and early literacies
  • Literacy pedagogy, curriculum and assessment
  • Power, policy and literacy
  • Pre-service teachers, teachers and literacy pedagogies
  • Higher education, digital technologies and discourses
  • Writing development (early childhood, childhood, adolescent, adult)
  • Methodologies for studying multi-sited literacies phenomena
  • Translanguaging


Steve Cahir Early Career Award for Research on Writing:

Stephanie Renee Toliver

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award:

Amber Lawson & Rebecca Witte

Michigan State University

"The Joy and Justice of Juneteenth: The Representation of Juneteenth in Children's Literature through Counter-Narrative and Interest Convergence Analytical Lenses"


Welcome our new Communication's Chair!




Grace D. Player

University of Connecticut

Awards History

Steve Cahir Early Career Award for Research on Writing

past winners:

Lauren Leigh Kelley (2021)

Jennifer VanDerHeide (2019)
Lindy L. Johnson (2017)
Amy Stornaiuolo (2015)
Amanda Kibler (2013)
Julianna Avila (2011)
Anne Whitney (2008)
Mari Haneda (2001)
David Wallace (1993)
Peter Smagorinsky (1991)
Melanie Sperling (1990)

Steve Witte Lifetime Achievement Award

past winners:

Sarah McCarthey (2022)

Sarah Freedman (2020)
George Newell (2018)
Jennifer Rowsell (2016)
Peter Smagorinsky (2014)
Linda Flower (2007)

Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award

past winners:

Lindsey Rowe (2022)
Ankhi Thakurta , honorable mention (2022)
Mike Mclane (2021)
Monica Kleeklamp & Alex Corbitt, honorable mention (2020)
Cassie Brownell (2018)
Ksenia Korobkova & Natalia Smirnov (2017)