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Deborah Appleman

Deborah Appleman is the Hollis L. Caswell Professor of Educational Studies at Carleton College. She taught high school English for nine years before receiving her doctorate from the University of Minnesota. She was also a visiting professor at Syracuse University and at the University of California, Berkeley. Appleman’s books include Critical Encounters in Secondary English: Teaching Literary Theory to Adolescents, Third edition – winner of the Richard A. Meade Award. Her most recent book, Words No Bars Can Hold: Literacy Learning in Prison, draws from her experiences teaching college and creative writing courses in a high security prison for men.

Recent & Notable Works



Words No Bars Can Hold: Literacy Learning as Liberation (W. W. Norton & Company, 2019)

Adolescent Literacies: A Handbook of Practice-Based Research, co-editor with K. Hinchman (The Guilford Press, 2017)

Teaching Literature to Adolescents, 3rd ed., co-editor with R. Beach, B. Fecho, and R. Simon (Routledge, 2016) (2nd ed., with R. Beach, S. Hynds, and J. Wilhelm, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2011; 1st ed., 2006)

Critical Encounters in Secondary English: Teaching Literary Theory to Adolescents, 3rd ed. (Teachers College Press, 2015)

UnCommon Core: What the Authors of the Standards Got Wrong About Instruction and How You Can Get It Right, with M. Smith and J. Wilhelm (Corwin Press, 2014)

Reading Better, Reading Smarter: Designing Literature Lessons for Adolescents, with M. Graves (Heinemann, 2011)

Adolescent Literacy and the Teaching of Reading: Lessons for Teachers of Literature (National Council of Teachers of English, 2010)

Critical Encounters in High School English: Teaching Literary Theory to Adolescents, 2nd ed. (Teachers College Press, 2009; 1st ed., 2000)

From the Inside Out: Letters to Young Men and Other Writings, Poetry and Prose from Prison, editor, with author Student Press Initiative (Teachers College Press, 2009)

Reading for Themselves: How to Transform Adolescents into Lifelong Readers Through Out-of-Class Book Clubs (Heinemann, 2006)

Braided Lives: An Anthology of Multicultural American Writing, co-chair, editorial board (Minnesota Humanities Commission, 1991)

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