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Above the Well explores race, language and literacy education through a combination of scholarship, personal history, and even a bit of fiction. Inoue comes to terms with his own languaging practices in his upbring and schooling, while also arguing that there are racist aspects to English language standards promoted in schools and civic life. His discussion includes the ways students and everyone in society are judged by and through tacit racialized languaging, which he labels White language supremacy and contributes to racialized violence in the world today. Inoue’s exploration ranges a wide array of topics: His experiences as a child playing Dungeons and Dragons with his twin brother; considerations of Taoist and Western dialectic logics; the economics of race and place; tacit language race wars waged in classrooms with style guides like Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style; and the damaging Horatio Alger narratives for people of color.
About the Author
Asao B. Inoue is professor of rhetoric and composition in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University. Among his many articles and chapters on writing assessment, race, and racism, his article “Theorizing Failure in U.S. Writing Assessments” in Research in the Teaching of English won the 2014 CWPA Outstanding Scholarship Award. His co-edited collection, Race and Writing Assessment (2012) won the 2014 NCTE/CCCC Outstanding Book Award for an edited collection. And his book, Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing for a Socially Just Future (2015) won the 2017 NCTE/CCCC Outstanding Book Award for a monograph and the 2015 CWPA Outstanding Book Award.