Esther Ohito

Assistant Professor of English Education/Literary Education
Learning & Teaching
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Esther O. Ohito, Ed.D. is a curriculum and cultural theorist and an educational researcher with a focus on English/literacy education and expertise in (Black) feminist qualitative approaches. Broadly, her lines of inquiry concern the entangled politics of Blackness, gender, race, and knowledge production at the nexus of curriculum, pedagogy, embodiment, and emotion. Dr. Ohito’s research agenda is split into three overlapping strands: 1) the poetics and aesthetics of Black knowledge and cultural production, 2) the gendered geographies of Black girlhoods, and 3) the gendered pedagogies of Black critical educators. Dr. Ohito’s interdisciplinary research is as inspired by Black intellectual traditions as by (memories of) her lived experiences, including herstories as a multilingual, transnational, first-generation Black/African/Kenyan immigrant student in the United States, a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system, and a U.S-based teacher/educator in various educational spaces across the African diaspora.

• Ed.D, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2017
• M.A.T, National Louis University, 2004
• B.A, Hampton University, 2003
• Specialized certification: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; specialization in Early Adolescence/English Language Arts
• American Educational Research Association (AERA)
• American Educational Studies Association (AESA)
• American Studies Association (ASA)
• Association of Teacher Educators (ATE)
• International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (IAACS)
• National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
• National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)

  • Esther Ohito's CV
  • Expertise & Research Interest:
    • Affect, Embodiment, Memory, and Trauma Studies in Education
    • Black Study and Black Studies
    • Black Feminisms and Black Girlhoods
    • Curriculum and Cultural Studies
    • Critical Literacies and Pedagogies
    • Family Studies
    • Feminist Qualitative Research Methods and Methodologies
    • Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Recent and Selected Publications:
    1. Ohito, E. O. (2021). “I’m very hurt”: Un/justly reading the Black female body as text in a racial literacy learning assemblage. Reading Research Quarterly.
    2. Min Wotipka, C., Anderson, E. W., Vanner, C., Kellly, K., Lukose, R., Takayama, K., Blanco, G. L., Webster, N., & Ohito, E. O. (2021). CER Moderated Discussion on “‘Participation Does Not Equal Voice”: Gendered Experiences in an Academic and Professional Society. Comparative Education Review, 65(3), 555-572.
    3. Ohito, E. O., & Brown, K. D. (2021). Feeling safe from the storm of anti-Blackness: Black affective networks and the im/possibility of safe spaces in Predominantly White Institutions. Curriculum Inquiry.
    1. Ohito, E. O. (2021). How to be an antiracist teacher educator in the United States: A sketch of a Black male pedagogic provocateur. Teaching and Teacher Education, 98, 1-9.
    2. Ohito, E. O., Lyiscott, J., Green, K. L., & Wilcox, S. E. (2021). This moment is the curriculum: Equity, inclusion, and collectivist critical curriculum mapping for study abroad programs in the COVID-19 era. Journal of Experiential Education, 44(1), 10-30.
    3. Ohito, E. O. (2020). Some of us die: A Black feminist researcher’s survival method for creatively refusing death and decay in the neoliberal academy. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Advance online publication.
    4. Deckman, S.L., & Ohito, E. O. (2020). Stirring vulnerability, (un)certainty, and (dis)trust in humanizing research: Dialogically re-membering unsettling racialized encounters in social justice teacher education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 33(10), 1058-1076.
    5. Ohito, E. O., & the Fugitive Literacies Collective (2020). “The creative aspect woke me up”: Awakening to multimodal essay composition as a fugitive literacy practice. English Education 52(3), 186-222.
  • Honors and Awards:
    Inaugural Toni Morrison Faculty Fellow, University of Massachussets Amherst’s Center of Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Research
    2021 National Council of Teachers of English Janet Emig Award for Exemplary Scholarship in English Education
    2020-2021 Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program Fellow at Maseno University (Kisumu, Kenya)
    2016 Distinguished Graduate Student Paper Award, Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association
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