Author Biographies

Jeff Spanke is a former high school English teacher and current assistant professor of English at Ball State University. He teaches courses in Rhetoric and Composition, Introduction to English Education, Young Adult Literature, and Literature Teaching Methods. His research interests include citizenship education and teacher identity in the ELA classroom.


Through employing a narrative, reflective approach, I discuss how the experience of working with international students during a summer institute informed the developed and implementation of a civically minded project in a college Young Adult Literature seminar. The project sought to frame "America" as an actual teenager, relative to other, more "adult" countries in the world, and asked students to construct a conventional YA narrative featuring America as the primary character. Through this narrative, I explain the various successes of the project and ultimately argue that students' stories and original compositions offer a viable mechanism for progressive, democratic citizenship education and could ultimately counter the rise of nationalist sentiments and their corresponding ambiguous effects on citizenship development.

Publication Date


Available for download on Sunday, August 01, 2021