Faculty and Staff

Sean P. Connors

Sean P. Connors

Associate Professor of English Education

College of Education and Health Professions

(CIED)-Curriculum & 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. (forthcoming). Becoming Mockingjays: Encouraging Student Activism Through the Study of YA Dystopia. The ALAN Review.
  • 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).
  • 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. & Rish. R. (2015). Troubling ideologies: Creating opportunities for students to finterrogate cultural models in YA Literature. The ALAN Review, 42(3), 22-34.


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

Contributions to Books

  • 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. (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. (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.

  • 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.
  • Golden Tusk, Division of Student Affairs, University of Arkansas, 2011.
  • Runner-Up, M. Thomas Inge Award for Comics Studies, Reading Images: Deconstructing the Visual Design of Graphic Novels, Paper presented at 2011 PCA/ACA Convention.
  • Rising Star Award, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Arkansas, 2010.
  • Nominee, Rising Star Award, College of Education and Health Professions, University of Arkansas, 2010.


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.