Home Book publication Letting Go of Literary Whiteness: Anti-Racism Literature Course for White Students to Receive ACTE Outstanding Book Award

Letting Go of Literary Whiteness: Anti-Racism Literature Course for White Students to Receive ACTE Outstanding Book Award


(February 16, 2022, Washington, DC) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) today announced that Letting Go of Literary Whiteness: Anti-racist Literature Instruction for White Students, co-authored by Carlin Borsheim- Black, Ph.D., and Sophia Tatiana Sarigianides, Ph.D., is the 2022 AACTE Outstanding Book Award winner. This annual award recognizes a book that makes a significant contribution to the knowledge base of educator readiness or of teaching and learning with implications for the preparation of educators. Sponsored by the AACTE Committee on Research and Dissemination, the prize is awarded to a book that is well-written and offers a fresh look at current assumptions or practices, shifts thinking in the field, and shows potential for significant impact on the policy or practice in preparing educators. Authors will be officially recognized with the award at the 74th Annual Meeting of AACTE on March 4.

In their candid discussion, the authors draw on the experiences of their own classrooms and those of others to provide discipline-specific practices for implementing anti-racist literature instruction in predominantly white schools. Some of the topics this book examines include designing literature-based units that emphasize racial literacy, selecting literature that highlights voices of color, analyzing whiteness in canonical literature, examining texts through a critical racial lens, managing the challenges of racial discourse, and designing formative assessments. for racial literacy and identity growth. Letting Go of Literary Whiteness: Anti-racist Literature Instruction for White Students, published by Teachers College Press in 2019, was also nominated for the Grawemeyer Award for Education (2020).

Borsheim-Black is Professor of English Education at Central Michigan University. She is a past recipient of the Central Michigan University Excellence in Teaching Award (2016) and currently serves on the executive committee of the Michigan Council of the Teachers of English and as co-editor of the Michigan Reading Journal.

Acting Dean Marcy Taylor of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Central Michigan University said, “Where was that resource when I faced a room full of middle school students in my predominantly white hometown? and tried to make sense of To Kill a Mockingbird with them? Or a room full of white elementary school majors (and almost always women) learning how to build equitable and inclusive literacy classrooms? The structure of each chapter leads teachers to identify practice issues; learn more about threshold racing concepts that open up the problem; examine research-based resources and methods of anti-racist literary pedagogy; and apply these practices to real classroom texts and scenarios. This text is important, especially now, when teachers are under political pressure to ignore the history of racism in the United States.

Sarigianides is Professor of English Education at Westfield State University. She has won several teaching and scholarship awards on her campus, including three Campus Scholarship Showcase Awards, a Campus Teaching Showcase Award, and a Semester Time Award for Research & Scholarship. She has just completed her term on the Executive Council of English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE).

“Westfield State University applauds the challenging and innovative work of our esteemed faculty member, Dr. Sophia Sarigianides, and her colleague, Dr. Carlin Borsheim-Black, in Letting Go of Literary Whiteness,” said Linda Thompson, DrPH, MPH, RN, FAAN President, Westfield State University. “This publication fills a critical need in instructing young people from an unbiased platform and will serve as a valuable resource for progressive educators.”

The 26th Annual AACTE Awards Program honors member institutions and individuals who have made bold, extraordinary and innovative contributions to the profession of teacher education.

Lynn M. Gangone, President and CEO of ACTE, said, “Letting go of literary whiteness: Teaching anti-racism literature to white students illustrates the importance of anti-racism education in our classrooms. . I am delighted to recognize Drs. Carlin Borsheim-Black and Sophia Tatiana Sarigianides for their thought-provoking book at the 74th Annual Meeting.