Using The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian To Teach About Racial Formation


  • Kevin M Talbert


In this review of Sherman Alexie's 2007 novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, I discuss how I use an excerpt from the book in an undergraduate Sociocultural Studies in Education course. I argue that works such as this, even though they are classified as young adult fiction, hold powerful possibility for student learning when juxtaposed against theoretical texts. I explain how I use the text in class to teach students about racial formation theory. In particular, I use the experiences of Junior, the story's 14-year-old narrator and protagonist, as examples that illustrate how racialized identities get constructed and negotiated.   


Author Biography

Kevin M Talbert

Kevin M. Talbert is currently a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Cultural Studies at Miami University, Ohio. He formerly taught high school Social Studies and co-directed plays and musicals in Lima, Ohio. Kevin's dissertation is titled, "Looking for ‘Ed:' An Educational Criticism of the Narrative Curriculum of a Pre-service Urban Teaching Cohort Program." He has taught Sociocultural Studies in Education and currently teaches a Teacher Leadership course, in which he blends curriculum studies, social foundations, and teacher education as inquiry paths toward teacher leadership.






Cultural Studies and Curriculum