For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop


Justin Grinage

Postdoctoral Associate
Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Office hours:
By appointment

Download Curriculum Vitae [PDF]

Areas of Interest

Race and education, critical literacy, postcolonial theory, critical whiteness studies, critical pedagogy, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, emotion and affect in teaching and learning

Research Interests

My research is driven by my eleven years of experience as a high school English teacher working in multiracial classrooms combined with a desire to help students and teachers understand, resist, and interrupt various forms of injustice. I employ an interdisciplinary approach to studying education that draws from psychoanalysis, cultural studies, and critical theory to uncover and illustrate how formations of oppression function in a world with unequal power dynamics.

In particular, my current work centers on discerning the mechanisms in which racial trauma influences teaching and learning. I use the concept of racial melancholia, or the unresolved grief stemming from racial loss, as a framework for analyzing racial trauma in educational research, theory, and practice. The theory of racial melancholia and its connections to education involve how our racial identities are forged through an entangled history of racial violence and the resulting loss that originates from this violence. More specifically, I am referring to the United States’ betrayal of its own democratic ideals: a repressed history of racial violence buried underneath a narrative of liberty, justice, and equality. My research interests incorporate the ways in which this betrayal structures how we experience racism, how we teach about racial issues, and how the process of becoming more racially literate is fraught with pain, but can also simultaneously produce resiliency and hope.

My scholarship strives to craft innovative methods for discussing racial topics in K-12 settings, assist both pre-service and in-service teachers in the creation of pedagogical frameworks that effectively increase racial literacy, and formulate ways to work through the difficulties that often arise when learning about traumatic subjects such as race. This work is central to advancing equity research relative to our current national concerns over race relations and for future investigations of our increasingly racially and ethnically diverse world.

Selected Publications

    Asher, N. & Grinage, J. (Eds.) (Forthcoming). Postcolonialism, globalization, and education:
         Engaging identities, cultures, and curriculum. New York, NY: Routledge.
    Grinage, J. (Forthcoming). Properly mourning: Postcolonial melancholia and education in global
         times. In N. Asher & J. Grinage, (Eds.), Postcolonialism, globalization, and education: 
         Engaging identties, cultures, and curriculum. New York, NY: Routledge.
    Grinage, J. (2014). Reterritorializing locations of home: Examining the psychopolitical
         dimensions of race talk in the classroom. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 30(2), 88-
    Grinage, J. (2013). Combatting Huck Finn's censorship: A step-by-step guide to discussing the n-
         word in the classroom. In S. Grineski, J. Landsman, & R. Simmons III (Eds.), Talking about 
         race: Alievating the fear (pp. 137-148). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
    Grinage, J. (2011). Colorblindness, unconscious bias, and student achievement in suburban
         schools. In J. Landsman & C.W. Lewis (Eds.),White teachers diverse classrooms:
         Creating inclusive schools, building on students' diversity, and providing true educational
         equity (pp. 123-135). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.