Wendy Glenn
Professor • Program Chair of Secondary Humanities
C&I: Literacy Studies • C&I: Humanities Education • Research on Teaching & Teacher Education

School of Education, Room 112
University of Colorado Boulder
249 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309

Wendy J. Glenn is Professor of Literacy Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder where she teaches courses in the theories and methods of teaching literature, writing, and language. Dr. Glenn was named a University Teaching Fellow at the University of Connecticut in 2009 and Fulbright Scholar to Norway in 2009-2010. Her research centers on literature and literacies for young adults, particularly in the areas of socio-cultural analyses and critical pedagogy. She is the former President of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English (ALAN) and current Senior Editor of the organization’s peer-review journal, The ALAN Review.


  • PhD Curriculum and Instruction in English Education, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences/ School of Education, Arizona State University, 2001
  • MEd Secondary Education, School of Education, Arizona State University, 1994
  • BA English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences/Honors College, Arizona State University, 1992

I explore questions related to teaching and teacher education in the areas of young adult literature and culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogies. My first line of research centers on young adult (YA) literature (fictional texts intended for readers, ages 12-18). I generate critical literary analyses (socio-cultural, Critical Race, Marxist, feminist, reader response, intersectional) of YA texts to highlight the affordances and limitations of literature published for young people and how it is and might be incorporated into curricula and classrooms. My second line of research focuses on issues of equity, democracy, and social justice, especially in training future teachers to successfully support and engage students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This work examines how preservice teachers define and negotiate the tensions that emerge when they imagine themselves as culturally responsive educators. These lines of research have merged in explorations of how young adult literature might be used to help preservice teachers recognize, better understand, and more sensitively respond to issues of power and privilege in their and their students’ lives in and out of the classroom. 

My teaching is guided by the assumption that inviting classroom spaces and genuine student learning and development are predicated on the creation of a classroom community in which each member feels valued, supported, and capable. When students and teachers work together to build trusting relationships growing from knowledge of and respect for individual needs and interests, opportunities for authentic learning, growth, and humanistic connection are fostered.

As an English/Language Arts teacher in Arizona, I worked with culturally, socioeconomically, and linguistically diverse students in middle and high school settings. As a university faculty member, I am a teacher of teachers, one who works with both preservice and practicing educators to collaboratively study and implement innovative practices that encourage student learning and engagement. A grant project afforded me the opportunity to spend an academic year teaching with a remarkable educator and working with middle school students identified as struggling writers. Although students were reluctant to engage in an authentic writing process and tackle topics that mattered to them, with time and the creation of a trusting community, students demonstrated a keen awareness of one another as authors and learned to call themselves writers. Additionally, I collaborated with a classroom teacher to learn more about the reading experiences of high school juniors and seniors enrolled in her Young Adult Literature elective course. The majority of these young people devoured books in our time together but were persistently labeled by school officials as non-readers. Most recently, I worked with a high school teacher in the development and implementation of curricula centered on reading and conversation around young adult literature with Islam-related content and Muslim protagonists to help freshmen students build more complex understandings of representations of a less familiar religion and culture.

(For a complete list of publications, please see the faculty member's curriculum vitae.)


Glenn, W. J., Ginsberg, R., & King, D. (In press, 2018).  Resisting and persisting: Identity stability among adolescent readers labeled as struggling. Journal of Adolescent Research.

Ginsberg, R., Glenn, W. J., Moye, K. (2017). Opportunities for advocacy: Interrogating multivoiced YAL's treatment of denied identities. In Bach, J., & Bull, K. B. (Eds.). Multicultural and multivoiced stories for adolescents [Special issue]. English Journal, 106(7).

Glenn, W. J. (2017). Space and place and the “American” legacy: Female protagonists and the discovery of self in two novels for young adults. Children’s Literature in Education. http://rdcu.be/ofth.

Glenn, W. J., & Ginsberg, R. (2016).  Resisting readers’ identity (re)construction across English and young adult literature course contexts. Research in the Teaching of English, 51(1), 84-105.

Glenn, W. J. (2016). Vying for position: The role of sport in postcolonial young adult literature. SIGNAL: International Literacy Association, 39(2), 28-33.

Glenn, W. J. (2015). Understanding unfamiliar literary aesthetics: White preservice teachers examine race through story. Action in Teacher Education, 37(1), 23-44.

Groenke, S., Coleman-King, C., Glenn, W., Haddix, M., Kirkland, D., & Price-Dennis, D. (2015). “What if we viewed them as human?”: Disrupting and dismantling the dominant vision of youth of color. English Journal, 104(3), 35-40.

Glenn, W. J. (2014). To witness and to testify:  Preservice teachers examine literary aesthetics to better understand diverse literature. English Education, 46(2), 90-116.

Glenn, W. J. (2013). Omdefinerer en Norsk Norge[1]: The influence of changing demographics on Norwegian schooling for social democracy. Equity and Excellence in Education, 46(1), 36-47.

Glenn, W. J. (2012). Developing understandings of race: Preservice teachers’ counter-narrative (re)constructions of people of color in young adult literature.  English Education, 44(4), 326-353.


Glenn, W. J. (2009).  Laurie Halse Anderson: Speaking in tongues. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield/Scarecrow. [Studies in Young Adult Literature series]

Gallo, D., & Glenn, W. J. (2008).  Richard Peck: The past is paramount. Lanham, MD:  Rowman & Littlefield/Scarecrow. [Studies in Young Adult Literature series]

Glenn, W. J. (2005).  Sarah Dessen: From burritos to box office. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield/Scarecrow. [Studies in Young Adult Literature series]

Book Chapters

Glenn, W. J. (In press). “No books left on the shelf”: Addressing school censorship in the university YAL course. In K. Coats, M. Cadden, & R.S. Trites (Eds.), Options for teaching young adult literature. New York, NY: Modern Languages Association.

Glenn, W. J., & Gort, M. (2014). Preservice teachers’ evolving knowledge and practice toward linguistically- and culturally-responsive pedagogy. In T. Levine, L. Howard, & D. Moss (Eds.), Preparing classroom teachers to succeed with second language learners: Lessons from a faculty learning community (pp. 190-218). New York, NY: Routledge. [Research in Teacher Education series]

Glenn, W. J. (2009). Fictional boys defying patriarchal expectation:  A feminist critical analysis of the young adult novels of Karen Hesse.  In K. Sanford & R. Hammett (Eds.), Boys, girls, and the myths of literacies/learning (pp. 237-252). Toronto, Canada: Canadian Scholars’ Press