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Students' academic experiences are often shaped by normalized conceptions of literacy that do not honor the interrelatedness of multiple identities, languages, and literacies. This qualitative case study in an urban middle school highlights students' critical meta-awareness of their identities-in-practice in the figured world of their classroom via a narrative analysis of students' writing, interviews, and focus group discussions. The authors focuses on students' internalization and/or resistance within/beyond the curriculum as the basis for developing culturally sustaining stances toward curriculum, pedagogy, and research that actively disrupt cultural, ethnic, racial and epistemological hierarchies of power in academic contexts and beyond.


This is the author’s accepted manuscript of an article originally published in Urban Education, available at



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