Toliver, S. R. (2021, Feb 5). Learning from the ancestors: Or, we’ve been here before. 

Toliver, S. R. (2020, Sept 4). Black like me, a 2020 story. 

Toliver, S. R. (2020, Aug 27). ‘Project Power’ delves into the scientific exploitation of Black women’s bodies. 

Toliver, S. R. (2020, Aug 19). Of monsters and saviors, or Black women in the United States. 

Toliver, S. R. (2019). Build your stack: Ensuring Black girls’ access to science fiction. 

Toliver, S. R. (2019). On the history (and Future) of YA and speculative fiction by Black women: Stephanie Toliver on not deferring the dream of Black girls being Represented in YASF. 

Toliver, S. R. (2018, Aug 31). The unbearable darkness of privilege and why the Wall Street Journal needs to leave our literature alone. 

Toliver, S. R. (2019, Feb 2). Old or new, here’s why we need to critique problematic texts. 

Toliver, S. R. (2018, May 21). A pleasure to burn: A message from ‘Fahrenheit 451’ to the people of 2018. 

Toliver, S. R. (2018, March 12). http://www.yawednesday.com/blog/what-do-a-wrinkle-in-time-huffpost-and-ya-summit-in-las-vegas-have-in-common-s-r-toliver    [web log post]. 

Toliver, S. R. (2018, March 10). https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-toliver-black-wrinkle-in-time_us_5aa2de37e4b07047bec65dcf?epd  


Toliver, S. R. (2021). Freedom dreaming in a broken world: The Black radical imagination in Black girls’ science fiction stories. Research in the Teaching of English, 56(1), 85-106.. 

This article connects the Black Radical Imagination and Critical Race English Education to consider the science fiction short stories of three Black girls. In focusing on these stories, I explore how Black girls’ science fiction writing is grounded in their ways of being and knowing, but also how this writing foregrounds their freedom dreams. Further, I provide insight into how English teachers and literacy researchers can alter pedagogical practices to make space for Black girls’ dreams.

Toliver, S.R., & Hadley, H. (2021) Rhetorically speaking: On white preservice teachers’ failure to imagine an anti-racist English education. English Teaching: Practice and Critique.

This paper aims to identify how white preservice teachers’ inability to imagine an equitable space for Black and Brown children contributes to the ubiquity of whiteness in English education. Further, the authors contend that the preservice teachers’ responses mirror how the larger field of English education fails to imagine Black and Brown life.

Toliver, S.R. (2020). “I desperately need visions of Black people thriving”: Emancipating the fantastic through Black women’s words. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

Emancipating the fantastic from dominant narratives requires educators to center Black authors and characters, highlight stories beyond Black pain, and show a commitment to broadening Black girls’ mirrors and telescopes.

Toliver, S.R. (2020). Can I get a witness?: Speculative fiction as testimony and counterstory. Journal of Literacy Research, 52(4), 507-529.

I argue that considering speculative fiction as testimony provides another way for readers to engage in a dialogic process with Black girls, affirming their words as legitimate sources of knowledge. Witnessing Black girls’ stories is an essential component to literacy and social justice contexts that tout a humanizing approach to research. They are also vital for dismantling a system bent on the castigation and obliteration of Black girls’ pasts, presents, and futures.

Toliver, S.R. (2020). “We wouldn’t have the same connection”: Using read-alouds to build community with Black girls. Voices from the Middle, 27(4), 24-27

“As educators consider how to transform curricula, we must reevaluate how programs have preserved a onesize-fits-all approach to independent reading. Black girl literacies are communal, and so are the literacy practices of various students who enter our classrooms. We must honor those practices.”

Toliver, S.R. (2020). Afrocarnival: Celebrating Black bodies and critiquing oppressive  bodies in Afrofuturist literature. Children’s Literature in Education, 52(1), 132–148

Focusing on three Afrofuturist texts written by Black female authors that feature Black adolescent female protagonists, the author highlights how each book portrays the celebratory aspects of Black existence and imagination and critiques oppressive ideologies that have historically attempted to thwart Black celebration and creativity.

Toliver, S.R. (2019). Breaking binaries: #BlackGirlMagic and the Black ratchet imagination. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 15(1), 1-26.

In this article, the Afrofuturist young adult literature of Nnedi Okorafor is analyzed using a conceptual framework that highlights the Black Ratchet Imagination and its aversion to respectability politics and the ways in which Afrofuturism challenges notions of respectability in terms of traditional Black literary cultural production. 

Toliver, S.R. & Miller, K. (2019). (Re)Writing reality: Using science fiction to analyze the world. English Journal, 108(3), 51-59

When a student in a community-based writing program asked to write science fiction, rather than a personal essay, he prompted the staff to reconsider the scope of the program’s curriculum.

Toliver, S.R. (2018). Alterity and innocence: The hunger games, Rue, and Black girl adultification. Journal of Children’s Literature, 44(2), 4-15.

Critically analyzing Rue’s characterization in The Hunger Games, Toliver investigates how societally embedded discourses can influence a reader’s ability to perceive Black girls as young, childlike, and innocent.

Toliver, S.R. (2018). Imagining new hopescapes: Expanding Black girl’s windows and mirrors. Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, 1(1), article 3.

In this article, the author conducts a meta-analysis of studies in which researchers analyze Black girl representations in fiction literature. The studies are used to investigate which fiction books scholars use in their research with Black girls and what influences the researchers to make their book selections. The author uses information gleaned from the analysis to examine which mirrors and windows are constructed and how publishing influences and constrains Black girl representations.

Lewis Ellison, T., & Toliver, S.R. (2018). (CHAT)ting at home: A family’s activity theory system. Voices from the Middle, 25(3), 35-40.

Once educators recognize the educational value that rests in the home literacy practices of young adolescents and their parents, we can think about ways to improve African American middle level students’ literacy outcomes, inform practices and programs, create rigor in research, and transform polices.

Toliver, S.R. (2017). Unlocking the cage: Empowering literacy representations in Netflix’ Luke Cage series. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 61(6), 621-630.

Examining taken-for-granted ideologies in mediated popular culture is essential to disrupting stereotypical depictions of black male literacy achievement.


Toliver, S.R. (2021). Beyond the problem: Afrofuturism as an alternative to realistic fiction in content analyses of Black girl literature. In M. Haddix, G. Muhammad, & D. Price-Dennis (Eds.), Black Girl Literacies Collective Volume.

Since current research recognizes the unbounded nature of Black girl identities, it makes sense to broaden the boundaries of literary content analyses to include complex, multidimensional, and multilayered genres of literature. The purpose of this chapter, then, is to illuminate how Afrofuturism can expand representations of Black girlhood by eliminating the boundaries of realism.

Toliver, S.R. (2021). Decolonizing reader response: Critically analyzing Black female YA Speculative fiction alongside the author-produced epitext. In S. Witte, M. Gross, and D. Latham (Eds.) Literacy Engagement through Epitextual Analysis.

As Black female authors of speculative fiction have often been silenced (Morris, 2016), it is essential for teachers to utilize the interviews, podcasts, websites, and Twitter pages of Black female speculative fiction authors, using the epitext to highlight how their stories center their social justice concerns.

Toliver, S.R. (2020). Eliminating extermination; fostering existence: Diverse dystopian fiction and female adolescent identity. In R. Fitzsimmons & C. Wilson (Eds.), Beyond the blockbusters: Themes and trends in contemporary young adult literature. University of Mississippi Press.

This chapter will problematize the dystopian/science fiction trends of the young adult fiction hyper-canon by acknowledging the mainstream exclusion of young women protagonists of color.