Assistant Professor of Language, Literacy, and English Education
Office: C648 Wells Hall
Dr. April Baker-Bell is an Assistant Professor of Language, Literacy, and English Education in the Department of English and African American and African Studies program at Michigan State University. An emerging national and international leader in conversations on Black Language, her research interrogates the intersections of sociolinguistics, anti-black racism, and anti-racist pedagogies. As a transdisciplinary teacher-scholar-activist, Baker-Bell’s research draws from and makes contributions to the fields of English Education, Composition-Literacies studies, and Raciolinguistics. The root of her research stems from her experience being ill-prepared to address her Black students’ language and literacy needs when she worked as a high school English teacher in Detroit. As a result, she carved out a research and teaching agenda that creates a pathway to cultural, linguistic, and racial justice for Black students across educational spaces.
Baker-Bell is the recipient of many prestigious awards and fellowships, including the 2018 AERA Language and Social Processes Early Career Scholar Award, the Literacy Research Association’s STAR fellowship, and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color fellowship. Her award winning-research and 16+ years teaching has led to additional honors such as her role as incoming Vice-President elect of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE) and summer faculty at the Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont.
Dr. Baker-Bell’s research has recently been published in the English Education journal, the Journal of Literacy Research (JLR), and the Journal of International Review of Qualitative Research. Her first book, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacies, Identity, and Pedagogy, will be published with NCTE-Routledge later this year.
In addition to her language research, Baker-Bell’s scholarly interests include: anti-racist writing pedagogies, critical media literacies, Black feminist-womanist storytelling, and the health & wellness needs of women of color in academia, with an emphasis on early career Black women.