Laura M. Jiménez

Associate Dean, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Senior Lecturer

Laura Jimenez

Dr. Laura M. Jiménez has always been intrigued by the ways elements such as purpose, person, text, and context, of any given reading event interact to influence reading comprehension and meaning making in the classroom. Studying both literature and literacy with a social justice lens means she focuses on the ways teachers think about and understand not only the systems of inequity and privilege at play in education, but their own roles within those systems, as well as the texts and the ways those texts are used in the classroom.

Dr. Jiménez’s dissertation was a study motivated by questions around the ease of graphic novel reading. The findings have been published in the scholarly journals such as Journal of Literacy Research, and Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. She teaches children’s literature courses within a literacy program and so her scholarship spans both literature and literacy.

Dr. Jiménez believes it is her responsibility to provide a variety of avenues and opportunities for teachers to actively engage with children’s and young adult literature, to keep the growing diversity of students in the K-12 classroom in the forefront of her practice, and to critically evaluate the representation of mis- and undervalued communities within literature we teach children. Keeping students interested, engaged, and invested is paramount to learning; as such, modeling the kinds of classroom experiences that are cognitively flexible, vibrant, challenging, and fun is paramount in teacher education.

Her scholarship appears in the Reading Teacher, Journal of Lesbian Studies, and Teaching and Teacher Education. Her graphic novel reviews can be found on her blog, Booktoss.

Appointments & Service

PhD, Educational Psychology and Educational Technology, with a Language and Literacy option, Michigan State University

BA, Humanities, with an emphasis on creative writing, New College of California

My research spans both literacy and literature with a social justice foundation. I have a special interest in graphic novel reading comprehension, and issues of representation across young adult literature.

My central interest in teacher education is empowering allies to speak and practice socially just pedagogies in the classroom.

Booktoss: No Easy Book Love, contains graphic novel reviews aimed at k-12 readers

Featured on Reading While White

Current Projects

Theorizing a framework to help teachers better understand the multiple dimensions at work in graphic novels.

Researching intersectional representations in graphic novels that feature female protagonists.

Working with a set of middle school teachers to develop lesson plans and other materials they can use in the classroom to leverage student engagement with multi-modal literature.

Visit Dr. Jiménez’s Faculty Profile
Booktoss: No Easy Book Love
Dr. Jiménez Published in The Journal of Language and Literacy Education
Dr. Jiménez Published Article in The Journal of Lesbian Studies
Dr. Jiménez publishes article on Navigating Graphic Novels
Lecturer, Dr. Laura M. Jiménez, Founding Member of New “Research on Diversity in Youth Literature” Journal

Jimenez, L. M. (2014). “So, like, what now?”: Making identity visible for pre-service teachers. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 10(2), 68-86.

Jiménez, L. M. and McIlhagga, K.K.A., (2013). Books for Young Readers: Strategic Selection of Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Journal of Education, 193(3).


Jiménez, L.M. (2014, April). Negotiating Graphic Novels: An Analysis of Expert Readers’ Metacognitive Strategies. An accepted paper presented at the AERA Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Jiménez, L.M. (2013, December) Inside the Box: Expert Readers Attention Patterns in Graphic Novels. Accepted paper to Literacy Research Association annual conference, Dallas, TX.

Jiménez, L.M. (2013, November) Going graphica: Diverse contexts, shared purposes. National Council of Teachers of English annual conference, Boston, MA.

Jiménez, L.M., Wargo, J., and McIlhagga, K.K.A. . (2013, November) “I Just Can’t Go There”: Examining Preservice teacher responses to LGBTQ Literature. National Council of Teachers of English annual conference, Boston, MA.

Jiménez, L.M. (2013, April) Visual attention mapping: Expert readers journey across the graphic novel page. Roundtable presentation AERA Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Norman, R.R. and Jiménez, L. M. (2011, December). Readers Creating Narratives: Making a Story out of a Picture. Literacy Research Association, Jacksonville, Florida.

Jiménez, L. M. (2011, December). Applying research in the classroom: Beyond a common text. Alternative session presentation, Learning about Literacy in Pre-service and In-service Settings: Research and Developments from the Literacy Achievement Research Center, Literacy Research Association, Jacksonville, Florida.

Jiménez, L. M. (2011, April). Interest Matters: Fourth-Graders Reading Multiple High- and Low-Interest Texts. AERA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Jiménez, L. M. (2010, August). Accidentally stereotyping: White readers reading multicultural texts. The American Psychological Association, San Diego, California.

Jiménez, L. M. (2010, April) Comprehending Captain Underpants: A content analysis for good reading in bad books. Bright Ideas Spring Conference on the English Language Arts, East Lansing, Michigan.

Jiménez, L. M. (2010, March). Defending Captain Underpants. Michigan State University Graduate Academic Conference, East Lansing, Michigan.

Jiménez, L. M. (2009, October). Praise and vilification: A Comparative Reading of Ramona the Pest and Junie B. Jones. Midwest Popular Culture Association and Midwest American Culture Association Conference, Detroit, MI.

Jiménez, L. M. (2009, October). A Place for Inappropriate Literature in the Classroom. Midwest Popular Culture Association and Midwest American Culture Association Conference, Detroit, MI.

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