Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of English
Tamara Butler
Home > People > Faculty > Tamara Butler

Butler 2017.jpg


Office: C705 Wells Hall
Email: tbutler@msu.edu
Website: https://tamaratbutler.com/

Ph.D., Ohio State University
M.A., Ohio State University
B.S., Xavier University of Louisiana

Tamara T. Butler focuses on 20th and 21st century Black women's narratives, Black Girl Literacies, and Black women's activism connected to land and environment.  Her current book project, Rooted Literacies: Black Women's Placemaking and Memory Work, is a study of place based Black feminist storytelling practices emerging from the Gullah-Geechee Corridor. Through a case study of Johns Island, the project documents Black women’s stories as sites of future imaginings of Black rural places.   

She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Standing Committee on Research, and a member of the Womxn of Color Initiatives Project at Michigan State, which was founded in the spring of 2016 by Professors Yomaira Figueroa and Rae Paris

Dr. Butler is the author of six journal publications, including “We need a song”: Sustaining Critical Youth Organizing Literacies through World Humanities", which received the 2016 Promising Researcher Award from the National Council of Teachers of English.  She also co-authored (with Pam Reed, Columbus City Schools educator) "Flipping the Script: When Service Learning Recipients Become Service Learning Givers", which was awarded the 2015 Theory into Practice Best Article of the Year Award.  

In 2017, she served as a guest co-editor of the "From Racial Violence to Racial Justice" special issue of English Education. The journal, published by the Conference on English Education (a constituent organization of the National Council of Teachers of English), serves teachers who are engaged in the preparation, support, and continuing education of teachers of English language arts/literacy at all levels of instruction. She also co-authored chapters in Service Learning in Literacy Education: Possibilities for Teaching and Learning(Kinloch & Smagorinsky, eds., 2014) and The Oxford Handbook of African American Language (Lanehart, ed., 2015). 

Dr. Butler is a first-generation college graduate who earned degrees from The Ohio State University and Xavier University of Louisiana. She is a 2012-2014 Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color Fellow and was awarded a 2017 Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship. 

Selected Courses Taught:

AAAS 390: The BlackGirlLand Project
ENG 308: Literature for Young Adults (Womxn of Color Writers)
ENG 408: Critical Literacies in Communities
ENG 413: Critical Questions in Language and Composition (The Art of Storytelling; Citizens & Witnesses)
ENG 826: "Our Power to Do This": The Activist Work of Black Women's Storytelling