Photo of Davena Jackson

Davena Jackson

Assistant Professor

Dr. Davena Jackson is an assistant professor of urban education in the Teaching & Learning Department at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, where she focuses on English education, language, and literacy. A veteran English educator of more than 20 years, her research-practice partnerships have sought to disrupt anti-Blackness, anti-Black racism, and white supremacy in secondary English education and classrooms. Her research centers on teachers’ justice-oriented commitments and curricular and pedagogical choices that lead to the transformation and liberation of English classrooms. Her research interests also include critical literacy, culturally responsive teaching theories, justice, equity, and Black Language. In addition, Dr. Jackson is a 2023 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow.

Dr. Jackson is a member of the ELATE Executive Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), 2022-2026. She is also the faculty lead for the affiliates program at the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University and a faculty affiliate at the Center on the Ecology of Early Development at BU Wheelock. Her work has been published in Research in the Teaching of English, Conference on College Composition & Communication, Journal Literacy Research, Teachers College Record, and the International Review of Qualitative Research.

Pronouns: she/her

PhD, Curriculum, Instruction, & Teacher Education, Michigan State University

Graduate Certificate, Urban Education

MAT, Secondary Education (Major: English & Minor: French), Wayne State University

BA, English, Wayne State University

WED EN 631: Educating for Equity and Literacy in the Humanities (4 Credits)

WED ED 206: Family and Community Engagement (4 Credits)

WED EN 711: Critical Literacy as a Lens: Exploring Theories, Processes, and Strategies (4 Credits)

WED EN 520: Pre-Practicum, English Education (2 Credits)

WED EN 507/508: Student Teaching Practicum, grades 5-8 & 9-12 (2 Credits)

WED EN 630: Educating for Equity and Literacy in the Humanities

WED EN 501/701: Teaching Classic & Contemporary Texts

WED EN 701 (Online): Teaching Classic & Contemporary Texts

Book Chapters

Jackson, D. (2023). Black Joy, Love, and Resistance: Using Digital Storytelling to Center Black Students’ Full Black Humanity. In Contemporary Perspectives on Semiotics in Education: Signs, Meanings, and Multimodality. Information Age Publishing Group.

Dao, V., Farver, S., D., Jackson, D. (2018). Getting down to identities to trace a new career path: Understanding novice teacher educator identities in multicultural education teaching. In J. Sharkey & M.M. Peercy (Eds.), Self-Study of language and literacy teacher education practices across culturally and linguistically diverse contexts. V (30) (pp. 55-72). London: Emerald Publishing Group. Advances in Research on Teaching.


Jackson, D. (2022). Making Sense of Black Students’ Figured Worlds of Race, Racism, Anti-Blackness, and Blackness. Research in the Teaching of English, 57(1), 43-66. 

Baker-Bell, A., Williams-Farrier, B., Jackson, D., Johnson, L., Kynard, C., & McMurtry, T. (2020). This Ain’t Another Statement! This is a DEMAND for Black Linguistic Justice! Conference on College Composition & Communication.  

Jackson, D. (2020). Relationship Building in a Black Space: Partnering in Solidarity. Journal of Literacy Research, 52(4), 432-455.

Carter Andrews, D., Brown, T., Castillo, B., Jackson, D., Vellanki, V. (2019). Beyond damage-centered teacher education: Humanizing pedagogy for teacher educators and preservice teachers. Teachers College Record,121(6), 1-28.

Baker-Bell, A., Paris, D., Jackson, D. (2017) Learning black language matters: Humanizing research as culturally sustaining pedagogy. International Review of Qualitative Research, 10 (4), (pp. 360-377).

Jackson, D., Brownell, C., Coles, J., Everett, S., Moten, T. (2020, November). Decolonizing Literacy Practices: Using Multiliteracies as a Medium. National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research. Denver, Co.

Kynard, C., Martinez, D., Baker-Bell, A., Johnson, L., Lee, A., Jackson, D., McMurtry, T. (2020, November). Linguistic Justice: Scholars of Color Converge on Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy. National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research. Denver, Co.

Jackson, D. & Johnson, L. (2020, April). A Justice-Oriented Pedagogical Mutuality: Teaching and Learning Together to Disrupt Anti-Blackness. American Educational Research Association. San Francisco, CA.

Jackson, D. & Johnson, A. (2020, February). Promoting Possibilities for Justice-Oriented Learning in English Education. National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research. Nashville, TN.

Jackson, D. (2019, November). We, Us, and Ours: Building an Alliance that Seeks to Sustain Blackness in an Eleventh Grade English Classroom. National Council Teachers of English. Baltimore, MD.

Jackson, D. (2019, October). Engaging in Critical Conversations That Center, Race, Racism and Language. Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, MA.

Carter Andrews, D., Brown, T., Castillo, B., Jackson, D., & Vellanki, V. (2019, April). Thinking Beyond Damage-Centered Teaching: Enacting a Humanizing Pedagogy in Teacher Education. American Educational Research Association. Toronto, ON.

Jackson, D., & Presberry, C. (2019, April). Radical Mothering as Pedagogy. American Educational Research Association. Toronto, CA.

Jackson, D. (2018, April). Culturally Sustaining Talk: African-American Youth Use Discourse to Make Sense of Race, Racism, and Language. American Educational Research Association. New York, NY.