Faculty Directory

Sean P. Connors

Sean P. Connors

Associate Professor


(CIED)-Curriculum and Instruction

Phone: 479-575-2667

Fax: (479) 575-6676

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Dr. Sean Connors earned his doctorate in 2010 from Ohio State University. His dissertation, which was funded in part by a grant from the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents, sought to understand how adolescent readers conceive of graphic novels as a form of reading material and how they construct meaning in their transactions with multimodal literary texts. At the University of Arkansas, Dr. Connors teaches courses on young adult literature and graphic novels. He also works with English education interns in the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Prior to attending graduate school, Dr. Connors taught high school English in New York State and Arizona, as well as on the western Navajo Reservation. 

  • Young Adult Literature
  • Literary Theory
  • Multimodality
  • English/language arts methods
  • Adolescent literature and literary theory
  • Multimodal literacies
  • Ph.D., Ohio State University, Language, Literacy, and Culture, 2010
  • M.S., Elmira College, English Education, 1998
  • B.A., State University of New York, College at Geneseo, English, 1992

(For full listing see attached CV above)

Refereed Articles

  • Connors, S. P., & Trites, R. S. (forthcoming). Legend, Exceptionalism, and Genocidal Logic: A Framework for Reading Neoliberalism in YA Dystopias. The ALAN Review.
  • Connors, S. P., & Goering, C. (2017). Initiating a Conversation: Finally Finding a Place for Media Literacy in Teacher Education. Teacher Education and Practice, 30(4), 684-696.
  • Connors, S. P. (2017). An Invitation to Look Deeper Into the World: Using Young Adult Fiction to Encourage Youth Civic Engagement. The ALAN Review, 45(1), 12-21.
  • Connors, S. P. (2017). I Have a Kind of Power I Never Knew I Possessed”: Surveillance, Agency, and the Possibility of Resistance in YA Dystopian Fiction. Study and Scrutiny: Research on Young Adult Literature, 2(2), 1-23.
  • Connors, S. P. (2017). The Monstrous-Feminine and Hegemonic Masculinity in Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 42(1), pp. 91-104.
  • Soter, A. O., & Connors, S. P. (2017). Language as a Field of Energy: A Critical Question for Language Pedagogy. Critical Questions in Education, 8(1).
  • Connors, S. P. (2017). “A Place Thriving with History”: Reclaiming Narratives About Literacy in the Arkansas Ozarks. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 60(4), 443-451.
  • Connors, S.P. (2016). Becoming Mockingjays: Encouraging Student Activism Through the Study of YA Dystopia. The ALAN Review, 44(1), 18-29.
  • Bengtson, E., & Connors, S.P. (2016). Contrary socializations: Organizational influence on the teaching approaches of two beginning teachers in an external threat environment. Journal of School Leadership, 26(4), 607-632.
  • Connors, S. P. (2015). Expanding students’ analytical framework through the study of graphic novels. Journal of Children’s Literature, 41(2), 5-15.


  • Connors, S. P. (Ed.). (2014). The politics of Panem: Challenging Genres. Rotterdam: Sense.

Contributions to Books

  • Connors, S. P., & Trites, R. S. (forthcoming). Neoliberalism’s Erasure of Race in Young Adult Fiction: Sherri L. Smith's Orleans as Counter-Example. Raced Bodies, Erased Lives: Race in YA Dystopian and Speculative Fiction.
  • Connors, S. P., & Daugherty, E. (forthcoming). Critiquing, Resisting, and Remixing the Promotional Peritext of YA Fiction. In S. Witte, D. Latham, and M. Gross (Eds.), Judging a Book by its Cover…and Everything Else: Literacy Engagement through Peritextual Analysis. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.
  • Botzakis, S., DeHart J. D., & Connors, S. P. (2017). Graphic Text and Visual Literacies in Reading Comprehension. In S. Israel (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Reading Comprehension (2nd ed.) (pp. 442-456). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Connors, S. P. (2016). Designing Meaning: A Multimodal Perspective on Comics Reading. In C. Hill (Ed.), Teaching Comics Through Multiple Lenses: Critical Perspectives (pp. 13-29). London: Routledge.
  • Connors, S. P. (2014). Introduction: Challenging the politics of text complexity. In S. P. Connors (Ed.), The Politics of Panem: Challenging Genres (pp. 1-12). Rotterdam: Sense.
  • Connors, S. P. (2014). “I was watching you, Mockingjay”: Surveillance, tactics, and the limits of panopticism. In S. P. Connors (Ed.), The Politics of Panem: Challenging Genres (pp. 85-102). Rotterdam: Sense.


  • Connors, S. P. (2017).  Drawing Back the Curtain on the Human-Animal Relationship: A Conversation with Eliot Schrefer SIGNAL Journal, 41(2), 38-41.
  • Connors, S. P. (2016). Dreaming, Questioning, and Trying to Find the Answers: A Conversation with Sherri L. Smith. SIGNAL Journal, 39(1), 38-41.
  • Connors, S. P. (2016). Fashioning worlds: A Conversation with Lois Lowry. SIGNAL Journal, 39(1), 25-29.
  • Connors, S. P. (2015). Confronting the Monster Under (the Text Complexity) Staircase: Reasserting the Value of Literature for Adolescents in the Secondary Literature Curriculum. English Journal, 105(1), 92-95.
  • Connors, S. P., & Rish, R. (2014). Puzzle Solving and Modding: Two Metaphors for Examining the Politics of Close Reading. Reader: Essays in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy, 67(1), 94-118.
  • Connors, S. P., & Bengtson, E. (2014). Open doors: Restoring teacher agency in the school accountability era.  English Journal, 103(3), 101-104

Reprinted Publications

  • Connors, S. P.  (2010).  The best of both worlds: Rethinking the literary merit of graphic novels. In K. Kan (Ed.), Graphic Novels and Comic Books (pp. 90-98).  New York: H. W. Wilson.

Essays, Articles, Reviews (Non-Refereed)

  • Connors, S. P.  (2010).  Review of  “From the Yellow Kind to Conan: American Cartoons from the International Journal of Museum of Cartoon Art Collection.”  The International Journal of Comic Art, 12(1), 507-509.
  • Connors, S. P. (2010).  Review of “The Death Defying Pepper Roux.”  ALAN Online.  Retrieved February 16, 2010, from http://www.alan-ya.org/2010/02/alans-picks-february-2010/#more-491



  • Connors, S. P. (2017). Becoming Mockingjays: Using Young Adult Literature to Foster Student Civic Engagement. National Council of Teachers of English Convention. St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Connors, S. P. (2017). Working Through the Challenges of Conducting Community Inquiry in Public Schools. CEE Summer Conference. Columbus, Ohio.
  • Connors, S. P. (2017). Engaging Students in ‘Placemaking’ Through Community-based Inquiry. Conference on College Composition and Communication Convention. Portland, Oregon.
  • Connors, S. P. (2016). Encouraging Activism: Mapping Local Literacies with Students. National Council of Teachers of English Convention. Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Connors, S. P. (2015). ‘A Place Thriving with Culture and History’: Using Digital Tools to Disrupt Monolithic Representations of the South. National Teachers of English Convention. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Connors, S. P., & Goering, C. (2015). “I Thought I Was Leading Authentic Discussions”: Using Video as a Tool to Support Pre-service Teachers’ Experiences Facilitating Dialogic Discussions. IFTE/CEE Summer Conference. New York, New York.
  • Connors, S. P. (2015). Creating Monsters: The Abject and Hegemonic Masculinity in Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist. Children’s Literature Association Conference. Richmond, Virginia.
  • Connors, S. P. (2015). “I Was Watching You, Mockingjay”: Discipline, Power and Agency in the Hunger Games Trilogy. PCA/ACA Conference. New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Connors, S. P. (2014). Why Do We Need the Things in Books? The Enduring Power of Libraries and Literature. National Council of Teachers of English Convention. Washington, D. C.
  • Connors, S. P., & Bengtson, E. (2014). “What If Those Two Things Come in Conflict?”: The Effects of Threat Rigidity on a Beginning Teacher. Round Table Paper Presentation. American Educational Research Association. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Non-Refereed / Invited Presentations

  • Connors, S. P., & Holland, N. (2014). Teaching Argumentative Writing Alongside Literature. Round Table Presentation. National Writing Project Conference. Washington, D.C.
  • Connors, S. P. (2014). Guest lecturer, “Graphic Storytelling” for Grace Kerr’s Children’s and Adolescent Literature classes, University of Arkansas, November.

Higher Education

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education and Health Professions.

CIED 3033: Classroom Learning Theory

CIED 5683: Graphic Novels for Adolescents

CIED 5683: Young Adult Literature and Literary Theory

CIED 599v: Multimodal Composition

CIED 5243: Special Methods of English Instruction I

CIED 5262: Special Methods of English Instruction III

CIED 5253: Special Methods of English Instruction II

CIED 528v: Secondary Education Teaching Internship  

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Graduate Teaching Associate, School of Teaching and Learning, College of Education

EDUT&L 656: Literature for Adolescents (Autumn 2006; Winter 2007; Spring 2007;

Winter 2008; Spring 2008; Autumn 2008; Winter 2009; Spring 2009)

EDUT&L 589: Laboratory Experience in English Education (Autumn 2005; Winter

2006; Spring 2006)

University Supervisor, School of Teaching and Learning, College of Education, English

            Education, September 2004 - June 2009.

Secondary Education

Teacher, English, Coconino High School, Flagstaff Unified School District, Flagstaff, Arizona,

1999-2004.  Tenure granted in 2002.

Teacher, English, Greyhills Academy High School, Navajo Reservation, Tuba City,

Arizona, 1998-1999.

Teacher, English, Horseheads High School, Horseheads Central School District, Horseheads,

New York, 1993-1998.  Tenure granted in September 1996.

  • George Denny Award for Outstanding Service, Teaching, Advising and Research, College of Education and Health Professions, University of Arkansas, 2018.
  • Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies Research, Initiative for 21st Century Literacies Research, 2018.
  • Nilsen/Donelson Award for the Best Article in The ALAN Review, 2017.
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Arkansas, 2016.
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Arkansas, 2015.
  • Outstanding Research Award, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Arkansas, 2014.
  • Innovative Teaching Award, College of Education and Health Professions, University of Arkansas, 2011.
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Arkansas, 2011.

Grants and Funded Research Projects

Co-Director. (2017). National Endowment for the Humanities. Institute for School Teachers: Remaking Monsters and Heroines: Adapting Classic Literature for Contemporary Audiences. Award Amount: $173,087, August 2, 2017.

SMALL GRANT AWARD: Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English. Reading Images: How Secondary Students Read and Respond to Graphic Novels in the Context of an After-School Reading Group (Dissertation). Award Amount: $1,000, October 31, 2008.