Texas Tech University

Mellinee Lesley, Ph.D.

Curriculum & Instruction

Email: mellinee.lesley@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-1186

Office: Education 320


Dr. Mellinee Lesley is a Professor in the Language, Diversity & Literacy Studies program in the College of Education at Texas Tech University. She has previously worked as a classroom teacher and served as the Director for Developmental Reading at Eastern New Mexico University. Dr. Lesley has earned several teaching awards at the secondary and university level and is a fellow of the Teaching Academy at Texas Tech University. She is also a fellow of the National Writing Project, past interim director for the New Mexico High Plains Writing Project, and co-director of the Llano Estacado Writers Alliance.

Throughout her scholarship and teaching, Dr. Lesley has been committed to fostering agentive literacy identities and academic literacy skills for marginalized adolescent and adult learners. She has over thirty publications related to this topic that include three books. Dr. Lesley's current research interests are focused on the ways digital media shape enactments of identity for adolescents. Following this line of inquiry, her latest project is an examination of online interpretive systems surrounding adolescent girls' representations of self as tools for constructing identity and mediating action. Dr. Lesley is also developing a line of inquiry around engaged scholarship and literacy reform in K-12 settings. As a literacy researcher and practitioner, Dr. Lesley has expertise in adolescent literacy, content area literacy, writing pedagogy, developmental literacy, and critical literacy.

Mellinee Lesley


Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania - Language in Education, Reading/Writing/Literacy

M.A., New Mexico State University - English, Rhetoric and the Teaching of Composition

B.A., University of Iowa - English

Areas of Expertise

  • Critical Literacy and Critical Media Literacies
  • Adolescent and Media Literacies
  • Closing Literacy Achievement Gaps for Adolescents
  • Gender, Subjectivities, and Literacy
  • Developmental Literacy
  • Content Area Literacy and Disciplinary Literacies
  • Writing Pedagogy in K-12 and Postsecondary Settings
  • Engaged Scholarship and the Democratization of Knowledge
  • Teacher Research
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Critical Ethnography


Guzzetti, B. & Lesley, M. (Eds.) (2016). Handbook of research on the societal impact of digital media. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Lesley, M., McMillan, S. & Webb, S. (2013). Taking a multiliteracies approach to content area literacy, second edition. Kendall Hunt Publishing, Dubuque, IA.

Lesley, M. (2012). Invisible girls:At risk adolescent girls writing within and beyond school. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishers.

Selected Publications

Lesley, M., Beach, W., Ghasemi, E., & Duru, H. (In Press). “This year we've mostly focused on just getting kids comfortable with the idea of writing something”: Factors influencing writing pedagogy in an ‘underperforming' high school. Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties.

Lesley, M., 
Beach, W., Smit, J. (2020). “You can't put everything I've been through into professional development”: Transformative literacy coaching in an “underperforming” high School. Literacy Research & Instruction, 1-23.DOI: 10.1080/19388071.2020.1777231

Lesley, M. & Smit, J.(2020). Teaching as we learn: Mentoring graduate students in engaged scholarship. In A. Zimmerman (Ed.). Preparing Students for Community Engaged Scholarship in Higher Education. (pp. 62-83Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Kersch, D., Krause dos Santos, G., Meyrer, K., & Lesley, M. (2020).Teacher training, equality, access and critical literacy in COVID-19 times. Calidoscópio, 18(2), 477-484.

Lesley, M. (2020). Vignette: Literacy leadership in action Cultivating literacy teacher leaders through a school/university partnership. In A. Degan & R. Bean (Eds.). Best practices of literacy leaders: Keys to school improvement. (pp. 256-257). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Kersch, D. & Lesley, M. (2019). Hosting and healing: A framework for critical media literacy pedagogy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(3), 37-48.

Guzzetti, B., & Lesley, M. (2017). Srviv-ing: An african-american man reconstructing masculinity through literacy.In T.Ransaw& R. Majors(Eds.), New Trends and Directions for Closing Achievement Gaps for African- American Males.(pp. 57-83). MSU Press.

Lesley, M. & D'Almas, J. (2016). Internet activism. In K. Peppler (Ed.). The sage encyclopedia of out-of-school learning.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Incorporated. (pp.385-386). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781483385198.n149

Guzzetti, B., Foley, L. & Lesley, M. (2015). 'Nomadic knowledge: Men writing zines for content knowledge. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 58 (7), 591-601.

Lesley, M. (2014). "Spacecraft reveals recent geological activity on the moon": Exploring the features of NASA Twitter posts and their potential to engage adolescents. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 57(5), 377-385.

Lesley, M. (2014). Three issues affecting content area literacy courses for middle and secondary level teacher candidates. Literacy Research and Instruction, 53, 50-71.

Lesley, M. (2013). Ethical subtexts in studying "at risk" adolescent girls' writing practices. In K. Weiss & C. Rhodes (Eds.). Ethical issues in literacy research. (pp. 31-40). New York, NY: Routledge.

Lesley, M. (2011). Understanding resistance: Pre-service secondary teachers' discourse models of "struggling" readers and school literacy tasks. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(1), 25-34.

Lesley, M. (2009). 'You gotta read it with awake in you': Marginalized high school readers, engagement, and reading as performance. In J. Richards & C. Lassonde (Eds.) Evidence-based quality literacy tutoring programs: What works and why. (pp. 46-55). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Lesley, M., & Matthews, M. (2009). Place based essay writing and content area literacy instruction for pre-service secondary teachers. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(6), 523-533.

Lesley, M. (2008). Access and resistance to dominant forms of discourse: Critical literacy and 'at risk' high school students. Literacy Research & Instruction. 47, 174-194.

Lesley, M., Watson, P., & Elliot, S. (2007). 'School' reading and multiple texts: Examining the metacognitive development of secondary-level pre-service teachers. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. 51(2),150-162.

Lesley, M. (December 2004/January 2005). Looking for critical literacy with post-baccalaureate content area literacy students. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 48(4), 320-334.

Lesley, M. (2004). Refugees from reading: Students' perceptions of 'remedial' reading pedagogy. Reading, Research & Instruction, 44(1), 62-85.

Lesley, M. (2001). Exploring the linkages between critical literacy and developmental reading. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 45(3), 180-189.

Lesley, M. (1997). The difficult dance of critical literacy. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 40(6), 420-424.