Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of English
Tamara Butler
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Office: C705 Wells Hall
Email: tbutler@msu.edu

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

Tamara Butler is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and the African American and African Studies Program at Michigan State University. Her research and teaching interests focus on critical literacies, youth activism and humanizing research methodologies. Before joining the faculty at Michigan State, Dr. Butler was a fellow in the 2012-2014 cohort of the Cultivating New Voices Scholars of Color fellowship program of the National Council for Teachers of English, and a 2012-2013 Bell Fellow for the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male.

Her current project focuses on the role(s) of storytelling and narrative in marginalized communities' fight for spatial justice, with specific attention to the stories of women of color. In her work, she explores how women of color's testimonies, narratives, and other self-authored texts bring attention to issues of injustice and the interstices of oppression. She suggests that these revelatory resistance narratives can catalyze critical conversations, healing and transformation within classrooms and communities.


Hollie, S., Butler, T. & Gillenwaters, J. (2015). Balancing pedagogy with theory: The infusion of African American Language research with everyday pre-K-12 teaching practices. In S. Lanehart (Ed.). The Oxford Handbook on African American Language. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Reed, P., & Butler, T. (2015). Flipping the Script: When service learning recipients become service learning givers. Theory into Practice.

Nemeth, E., Butler, T., Kinloch, V., Washington, T., & Reed, P. (2014). Transformative service learning initiatives in urban schools and communities: Learning from challenges. In V. Kinloch & P. Smagorinsky (Eds.). Service-learning in literacy education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.


ENG308: Literature for Young Adults
ENG408: Sociopsycholinguistic Approaches to Reading in the Disciplines
ENG413: Critical Questions in Language and Composition
AAAS390: The Lives and Literacies of Youth Activists
AAAS495: Advanced Research in African American and African Studies
AAAS832: Critical Pedagogies for African American and African Studies