Loukia K. Sarroub







Loukia K. Sarroub, Ph. D.
Associate Professor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
216C Henzlik Hall
Lincoln, NE 58588-0355
Work Phone: 402.472.5166
Fax: 402.472.2837









Areas of Interest: literacy, language and culture; anthropology and education; cross-cultural studies; immigrant communities in the US and Europe; youth cultures; ethnography and qualitative research methods, discourse analysis, ethnicity and gender in education; education policy and social analysis.

I received my Ph. D. in education from Michigan State University and my B. A. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago. I was an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000-2001) before moving to the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the fall of 2001. My current research interests are twofold. I am interested in exploring language and literacy as cultural and sociological phenomena, where issues of ethnicity, language use, social class, gender, and culture, among others, are highly politicized. I am also intrigued by how the discourse surrounding policy gets played out at all levels of schooling and how this influences agency among key players (students, parents, teachers, schools). Both interests have been informed by the disciplines of sociolinguistics and literacy studies, cultural anthropology and sociology. In 1997-1999, I spent 26 months doing fieldwork in a Yemeni American community in southeastern Michigan, and I returned to the community in 2002 to conduct more fieldwork. This research delves substantially into the literacy and discourse practices of secondary school students as well as into migration/diversity issues of Arab Muslims and immigrants in the U.S. and Europe. I am particularly interested in how such immigrant populations negotiate their home and school worlds successfully and how a school and its teachers accommodate them.

During the spring of 2003, I was Visiting Professor at the Unversity of California, Berkeley, in the Graduate School of Education.

Since 2001, I have been working on an multi-year ethnographic project related to school success, literacy, and low socioeconomic youth populations. The purpose of this cross-cultural research is to examine cultural, language, and literacy practices that may either hinder or support the intellectual, social, and socioeconomic success of low SES students at home and school. I am conducting fieldwork in a community that includes refugees from Iraq and am exploring youth and family literacy practices in and out of school. I am also examining how "reading" is taught at the high school level to accommodate both ELL populations, such as the Iraqis and other refugees, and American students who struggle with literacy. In conjunction with the microanalyses of the fieldwork, I am doing archival research on refugee and immigrant populations in the United States and Europe and interviewing individuals who are part of humanitarian efforts. I am writing a book based on this research, and the book is tentatively titled An Anthropopology of Literacy: Trasnationalism and the American Public School, forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press.

I serve on the Editorial Review Boards of the Journal of Literacy Research and Research in the Teaching of English. I also review for Ethos, Sociology of Education, and NSF's Cultural Anthropology Program. I am the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished College of Education and Human Sciences Teaching Award.