Lamar Johnson

C615 Wells Hall
619 Red Cedar Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824


Associate Professor
English Education; Race and Ethnic Studies; Global and Diasporic Studies


Lamar Johnson is Associate Professor of Language and Literacy for Linguistic and Racial Diversity in the Department of English at Michigan State University. He is interested in the complex intersections of race, language, literacy, and education and how English language arts (ELA) classrooms can become sites for racial justice.  

His current projects focus on the following questions: (1) How do Black lives matter within ELA classrooms? (2) How are white supremacy and anti-blackness re-inscribed through educators’ disciplinary discourses and pedagogical practices? and, (3) How can Critical Race English Education (CREE) be an analytic framework and methodological tool for literacy teacher educators of Color and teacher educators more broadly? To tackle these questions, Lamar has developed a working theory and pedagogy—CREE.  CREE is a theoretical and pedagogical construct that tackles white supremacy, race, and anti-black racism within English education, ELA classrooms, and beyond. Moreover, CREE centers the Black literacies educators can use to disrupt violence and curricula and pedagogical inequities against Black youth in schools.  


ENG140: Literature and Society (Black Intellectual Thought through African American Writers)

ENG308: Literature for Young Adults

ENG408: Sociopsycholinguistic Approaches to Reading in the Disciplines


Johnson, L. L. (2021). Critical race English education: New visions, new possibilities. NCTE/Routledge.

Johnson, L. L., Boutte, G. S., Greene, G. & Smith, D. (Eds.) (2019). African diaspora literacy the heart of transformation in k-12 schools and teacher education. Lexington Books: Rowman and Littlefield.

Johnson, L. L., Gibbs Grey, T. M., & Baker-Bell, A. (2017). Affirming and confirming our humanity: The importance of storytelling for early career language and literacy scholars of Color. (Themed Issue for Journal of Literacy Research). 

Baker-Bell, A., Butler, T., & Johnson, L. L. (2017). From racial violence to racial justice: Praxis and implications for English teacher education. (Themed Issue for English Education).

Johnson, L. L., Bryan, N., & Boutte, G. (2019). Show us the love: Revolutionary teaching in (un)critical times. Urban Review, 51(1), 46-64.

Johnson, L. L. (2018). Where do we go from here?: Toward a critical race English education. Research in the Teaching of English, 53(2), 102-124.

Johnson, L. L. (2017). The racial hauntings of one Black male professor and the disturbance of the self(ves): Self-actualization and racial storytelling as pedagogical practices. Journal of Literacy Research49(4), 1-27.

University News

Graduating Senior Influential with Curriculum Changes
Published February 23, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
Olivia Gundrum, a senior Honors College English major and first-generation college student, graduates this May and will leave MSU having made a positive impact through her work to cultivate a…Read now »
English Professor Earns Edwin M. Hopkins Award
Published December 10, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
man wearing dark blue button-up with black tie who is smiling in front of trees
Lamar Johnson, Assistant Professor in the Department of English, received the 2018 English Journal Edwin M. Hopkins Award for his scholarly article, Loving Blackness to…Read now »
Addressing Issues of Teaching in the Wake of Racial Violence
Published January 1, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
Two women and a man sitting together with a book smiling at the camera
Three College of Arts & Letters faculty members recently worked together on editing a special issue of English Education journal that focuses on teaching in the wake of racial…Read now »
College Welcomes New Faculty
Published September 9, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
side of a building
This fall, the College of Arts & Letters welcomes many new faculty members, including 11 who are either tenured or in the tenure system. Those faculty members include: Cara…Read now »