Elisabeth Johnson is an educator and researcher with 12 years of teaching experience in K-12 and higher ed contexts. She draws on theories of embodiment to re-consider literacy, text, and identity. Elisabeth presents and publishes in the fields of literacy, English Education, and curriculum studies.

Elisabeth comes to the St. Edward's community after five years working as an Assistant Professor of Literacy at the City University of New York College of Staten Island. Prior to her work at CSI, she conducted qualitative research for the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching. Elisabeth taught elementary, middle and high school in Compton, California, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and New Haven, Connecticut. Elisabeth teaches literacy and technology courses across the teacher education program. She employs hybrid pedagogies, engages students in inquiry projects, and works to foster students' repertoires for recognizing, teaching, and practicing critical literacies.

Personal Statement

As a teacher and researcher, I work to engage and embody critical, post-structural perspectives on literacy and identity. This translates to close, ethnographic exploration of classroom curriculum with a focus on conflicts over meanings, understandings and selves. 

Academic Appointments

St. Edward's University
Associate Professor of Literacy, 2014-present

City University of New York, College of Staten Island
Assistant Professor of English Education, 2009-2014

Teachers College, Columbia University
Part-time Instructor, 2009

City University of New York, City College New York
Part-time Instructor 2008-2009

Teachers College, Columbia University
Instructor/Supervisor, 2005-2006

Year Started


Languages Spoken

English and Spanish


Ed.D. - Teachers College, Columbia University (2009)
Curriculum Studies & Literacy Education
Dissertation: Pop culture, literacy, and identity: Performative politics in a high school English classroom

M.S. - The University of New Haven (2003)
Elementary Education

B.A. - The University of Chicago (1997)
English Language and Literature

Achievement & Involvement

Honors and Awards

  • 2017, Technology Learning and Teaching Roundtable Grant
  • 2017, Presidential Excellence Summer Grant, St. Edward's University
  • 2015, Presidential Excellence Summer Grant, St. Edward's University
  • 2015-2018 SPICE Grant, St. Edward's University
  • 2014, 2012, Faculty Center for Professional Development Conference Travel Award, CUNY
  • 2012 Professional Staff Congress/City University of New York Research Grant, CUNY
  • 2011, Teaching with Technology Grant, CUNY
  • 2011, Writing Across the Curriculum Teaching Grant, CUNY
  • 2010, Faculty Fellowship for Publication, CUNY
  • 2007, Spencer Research Training Grant, Teachers College
  • 2007, Policy and Research Fellowship, Teachers College

Organizations, Boards and Memberships

  • Literacy Research Association 2011-present
  • American Anthropological Association 2008-present
  • American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies 2008-present
  • National Council for Teachers of English 2007-present
  • Film Education Research Association 2005-present
  • American Educational Research Association 2004-present


Johnson, E. (2015). Reviewing the literature on literacies and the body. Paper presentation as part of a symposium: Pedagogical Possibilities: Literacies, Learning and the Body at the Journal of Language and Literacy Education Conference, Athens, Georgia.

Johnson, E. (2015). Literacies and embodiment. Video presentation as part of a symposium: A Second Look: Using Visual and Other Modes to Re-present Findings on the Body and Literacy at the Journal of Language and Literacy Education Conference, Athens, Georgia.

Johnson, E. (2014, April), Looking and listening for critical literacy: Recognizing ways youth perform critical literacy in school. Paper to be presented as part of symposium Moving Critical Literacies Forward: A Look at Praxis Across Contexts at the upcoming meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.

Johnson, E. (2012, April), Embodying English: Living and teaching with pop culture texts. Paper presentation as part of symposium: Turning toward the body in educational theory and justice-oriented pedagogy at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, Canada.


My research interests include critical, post-structural perspectives on literacy, with a focus on conflicts around meaning between teachers, texts and students. I am currently conducting an auto-ethnography into my embodied, affective experiences as a literacy educator; practicing and performing digital literacies across personal, professional and pedagogical contexts. I look forward to widening my circle of inquiry to collaborate with students and K-12 teachers exploring our experiences together.

Publications & Articles


Johnson, E. (2018). Hacking my way through digital discomforts as a literacy teacher educator. In N. Ng-A-Fook, S. Pratt, B. Smith, & L. Radford (Eds.) Hacking Education in a Digital Age: Teacher Education, Curriculum and Literacies. Charlotte, NC: Information Age, 159-177.

Enriquez, G., Johnson, E., Kontovourki S. and Mallozzi, C. (Eds.). (2016). Literacies, learning and the body: Putting theory and research into pedagogical practice. London, Routledge.

Johnson, E. and Kontovourki, S. (2016). Introduction: Assembling research on literacies and the body. In G. Enriquez, E. Johnson, S. Kontovourki, and C. Mallozzi (Eds.) Literacies, Learning and the Body: Putting Theory and Research into Pedagogical Practice, London, Routledge, 27 manuscript pages.

Johnson, E. and Enriquez, G. (2016). Conclusion. In G. Enriquez, E. Johnson, S. Kontovourki, and C. Mallozzi (Eds.) Literacies, Learning and the Body: Putting Theory and Research into Pedagogical Practice, London, Routledge, 10 manuscript pages.

Johnson, E. & Vasudevan, L. (2014) Looking and listening for critical literacy: Recognizing ways youth perform critical literacy in school. In J. Zacher-Pandya and J. Avila (Eds.) Moving Critical Literacies Forward: A New Look at Praxis Across Contexts, 98-112.


Schmier, S., Johnson, E., and Lohnes-Watulak, S. (2018). Going public: Exploring the possibilities for publishing student interest-driven writing beyond the classroom. <em>Australian Journal of Language and Literacy</em>, 41(1), 57-66.

Johnson, E. (2015). Sex in the English classroom: Texts, counter texts and social texts. English Journal, 104(3), 61-67.

Johnson, E. (2014) Reconceptualizing vulnerability in personal narrative writing with youth. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 57:7, 575-583.

Johnson, E. (2013) Embodying English: Performing and positioning the White Teacher in a High School English Class. English Education, 5-33.

Johnson, E. and Vasudevan, L. (2012). Seeing and hearing students’ lived and embodied critical literacy practices: Rendering the undetected, drawing on the demonized. Theory into Practice, 34-41.

Johnson, E. (2012). Performative politics and radical possibilities: Re-framing pop culture text work in schools. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 27 manuscript pages.

Johnson, E. (2011). Pop culture conflict in the classroom. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 15(1), 48-55.

Johnson, E. (2011). "I've got swag": Simone performs and produces space for critical literacy in a high school English classroom. English Teaching Practice and Critique, 10(3), 26-44.

Randi, J., Corno, L., and Johnson, E. (2011). Transitioning from college classroom to teaching career: Self-regulation in prospective teachers. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. Jossey-Bass, 2011(126), 89-98.

Johnson, E., Oppenheim, R., Suh, Y. J. (2009). “Would that be social justice?” A conceptual constellation of social justice curriculum in action. The New Educator, 5(4), 293-310.