Selected Research Activities

Recent Grant Writing Activity and Research Projects

Displaced Syrian Children and Youth in the US, Co-PI with Kate Allman (Johns Hopkins University) and Sarah Dryden-Peterson (Harvard University), 2018

Sarroub, L. K. (October 27, 2018). Keynote Speaker. Understanding the ‘Youth’ in youth literacies across home and school contexts. International Conference on Teaching and Education. Universitas Tanjungpura, Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. 

~ Being enthusiastically greeted by elementary school students in Pontianak, Indonesia, October 26, 2018 ~

Global Perspectives in Curriculum Grant Competition with Ted Hamann: “Migration, Glocality, and Education in Transnational Times,” 2018-2019

Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences Grants (7 UCARE students), 2016-2018 (Data analysis currently on-going)

“Who is a reader? Assessing reading and literacy practices of middle and high school stuents with teachers’ data-driven decision making,” analysis of quantitative data in collaboration with Ph.D. student Aiqing Yu, 2018-2019, and William R. England, Ph.D., 2016-2017

During the past several years, I worked on an multi-year ethnographic project, “Literate Success: American and Refugee Youth In and Out of School.” The purpose of this research is to examine cultural, language, and literacy practices that may either hinder or support the intellectual and social success of low socioeconomic status (SES) students at home and school. Although there is a wide range of research on literacy in the elementary grades–research on reading and writing, intertextuality, socio-linguistics and culture, family literacy–there is a relatively small body of published literature in the U.S. on youth cultures and literacy in secondary schools. This study will serve to inform teachers and researchers about the ways in which students of diverse backgrounds, low SES, and little cultural capital negotiate various literate/non-literate/semi-literate worlds and create spaces in which learning can take place. The combination of this study and the one I conducted in Michigan will contribute to the improvement of education by (1) bringing attention to secondary school literacy practices among low SES populations, (2) reinforcing the notion that the use of language within home and school contexts is mediated by various social, cognitive, and cultural elements, and (3) creating ways for teachers and researchers to better understand youth cultures as linguistic and cultural entities within our schools. Current funding for this long-term research and fieldwork includes Social Science Council grant, UCARE grants, and a Layman grant, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

~ Working with Stephanie Malone, middle school reading teacher ~

‘ Glocal’ Literacies: Anthropology Meets Education (Current): This work is focused on the examination of reproduction theories as the basis for change in education in both local and global contexts in the United States and Europe.

Immigration Discourse in the United States and Europe (Current): This study offers a discourse analysis of public media portrayals of immigrants and refugees.

Past presentations/papers related to publications

Sarroub, L. K. (November 2011). Organized and chaired and presented paper in symposium session: Youth and teachers on the margins: Institutional literacy and language practices at odds with our perceptions. Literacy Research Association meeing, Jacksonville, FL.

Sarroub, L.K. (May 10, 2011). Literacy Learning among low SES US and Iraqi Youth. Featured Research Presentation at International Reading Association meeting. Orlando.

Sarroub, L. K. (Nov. 19, 2010). Organized and chaired symposium session: Beginning ethnographers: Circulating in compelling dilemmas and sites. New Orleans. [with Doctoral students: Bonodji Nako, Sarah Staples-Farmer, Nancy Anderson; colleague: Dr. John Raible].

Sarroub, L. K. (Dec. 4, 2010). “You can’t read!”: Legitimate selves, legitimate texts in a high school literacy classroom. Meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Albuquerque, NM. Chaired Symposium Session: The New Youth and Their Literacies: National and International Perspectives Across School and Community Settings, with co-presenters Glynda Hull (UC-Berkeley & NYU) and Rob Petrone (UNebraska-Lincoln) and Discussants Donna Alverman (UGeorgia) and Colin Harrison (UNottingham). Our symposium offered the NRC audience the opportunity to engage with scholars whose research gives significant insight into youth and their textual interactions, popular culture, school-mandated texts as well as illegitimate school texts, and internet-enabled social networking and multi-modalities in US settings and elsewhere. Salient in each paper is the notion that youth of low-socioeconomic background creatively forge new identities by manipulating and engaging with print, visual, digital, and cosmopolitan literacies in spite of and/or in addition to their lack of school success. The papers indicated that there is a generative power to their literacy learning and practices that can be conceptualized as more sensitive to youthful capacities for well-being and meaning making. The papers also highlighted the importance of examining embedded ideologies in literacy education and how youth consume, subvert, and reproduce these ideologies. Finally, all three papers engaged the NRC audience in both micro and macro-level analyses and implications of youth literacies in a globalized and globalizing world.

Sarroub, L. K. (February 11, 2010). Keynote Talk: Resilience in Ethnographic Research Methodology. NCTE Research Assembly. University of Pittsburgh.

Sarroub, L.K. (March 23, 2009). Transnational literacy practices in and out of school among Yemeni American and Iraqi Youth. Conference on Arab-American women. Kansas State University.

Sarroub, L. K. (Dec. 3, 2008). Cultural Approaches to Understanding Literacy. Area 6 Invited Session Speaker, National Reading Conference, Orlando, FL.

Sarroub, L. K. (Nov. 19, 2008). Reading between the walls: Literacies and socioeconomic status in a high school classroom. Paper to be presented at the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA.

Sarroub, L. K. (Nov. 6, 2008). Literacy and Democracy. Nebraska Honors Forum Lecture. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, City Union Auditorium, 7p.

Sarroub, L. K. (April 3, 2008). Seeking refuge in Education: Transnational Iraqi Youth Dilemmas. Conference: The Undefended Childhood in Global Context: Structural Challenges to Schooling, Health, and Well Being Among the World’s Children. Michigan State University, East Lansing Michigan, Kellogg Center.

Sarroub, L.K. (November 28, 2007). Finding husbands, finding wives: How being literate creates crisis. Paper presented in symposium “Literacy in Times of Crisis: Four Perspectives.” National Reading Conference, Austin, TX.

Sarroub, L.K. (April 2007). Doing literacy and gender ‘glocally’: Transnationalism in the Middle.” Paper presented in symposium “Making it as Muslims in the West: The geopolitics of gender, race, and education.” AERA, Chicago.

Sarroub, L, K. (November 30, 2005). “Midwestern Identities: Negotiating Culture and Literacies in a Red State.” Organized and chairing symposium at the National Reading Conference, Miami , FL.

Sarroub, L. K. (December 3, 2005). Discussant for symposium “Fostering Institutional Critique and Change in Readers’ Stances through Responding to Multicultural Literature” (with Richard Beach and Cynthia Lewis at University of Minnesota, NRC, Miami, FL.

Sarroub, L. K. (April 15, 2005). “Rapping High School Reading: Playing with Literacy and Masculinity.” Paper presented at AERA, Montreal, Canada.