Extraordinary Lives of Ordinary People: Oral Histories of (Mis)Educational Opportunities in Challenging Notions of Achievement

In this edited collection, we privilege the use of oral histories to grapple with the complexities of the patterns and legacies of educational (under)achievement. The oral histories featured underscore the power of missed or stolen opportunities as marked by one’s race, gender, and socioeconomic class. As historical subjects shaped by the particular time and place of their early childhood and adult experiences (such as Jim Crow segregation in the South, Cold War, civil rights, and women’s movement in the United States and Australia), they note the strict racial language and gendered codes that inhibited the full range of not only their educational potential, but their full human potential. In spite of such structural means aimed at failure, the narrators also reveal a pattern of educational and community achievement, broadly conceived, to pave future legacies for success. Where quantitative studies fall short, these histories necessarily embed the rich layers of the processes by which we live and through stories. Stories mark our past, present, and future. Insomuch as they create the sum of all our parts, it also provides important placeholders to understand the context of who and why we are.

Gender-linked Variation across Languages

The study of language and gender has been greatly advanced by focusing on the local and the particular. Now is the time to explore what more we can learn by looking at gendered speakers’ use of typologically different languages. How do the resources provided by each language affect the ways in which women and men construct gendered identities in their cultures and communities? What resources do the languages provide at various linguistic levels? What frameworks account for gender-linked variation in specific local contexts? As we advance our understanding of locally constructed masculinities and femininities, these questions impel the studies brought together in this volume, which investigate Maori, Japanese, Hebrew, Tamil, Chinese, Korean, English, Arabic, Sinhala, and Ekegusii. Written for scholars of linguistics, this collection illustrates the current state of understanding of the interaction of language and social gender, and it suggests directions for future research.

Silk Purses, Recast Dies, and Peripatetic Apples: Narratives of Risk and Resilience from within the Academy

Using a risk/resiliency paradigm, this book presents very personal narratives of authors who, in the face of profound challenges, have gone on to become teachers. These authors/teachers are thereby well placed to make a difference in the lives of all those who come under their direct influence, especially those that are most at-risk and/or marginalized. Inclusive of a review of selected seminal research literature, and a full description of the evolution of the project, the essence of this book lives, overwhelmingly, in the telling of personal stories.