Above The Well: An Antiracist Argument From a Boy of Color

By Asao B. Inoue
Copy edited by Karen P. Peirce. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

CoverIn Above The Well, Asao Inoue explores race, language, and literacy education through a combination of scholarship, personal history, and even a bit of fiction. Inoue comes to terms with his own languaging practices in his upbringing and schooling, while also arguing that there are racist aspects to English language standards promoted in schools and civic life. His discussion includes the ways students and everyone in society are judged by and through tacit racialized languaging, which he labels White language supremacy and which he argues contributes to racialized violence in the world today. Inoue’s exploration ranges across a wide array of topics: his experiences as a child playing Dungeons and Dragons with his twin brother; considerations of Taoist and Western dialectical logics; the economics of race and place; tacit language race wars waged in classrooms with style guides like Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style; and the damage done by Horatio Alger narratives to people of color.

A Note About Sales of this Book. This book is being released under a special arrangement with the author. All proceeds generated by the Clearinghouse and all author royalties from sales of this book will be donated to an endowed fund supporting antiracist teaching and social justice in secondary and postsecondary education established by the author and his wife with the Oregon State University Foundation. To learn more about the Asao and Kelly Inoue Antiracist Teaching Endowment, visit the endowment page at Oregon State University and the author’s announcement of the endowment on his website (www.asaobinoue.com). Within three years after the release of the book, it will be available in full on this site in open-access formats.

Purchase Above the Well. This book is available in print from Utah State University Press as well as from any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. *** You may purchase the book for a limited time at a 40 percent discount from Utah State University Press by using the code INOU21. ***

View a Preview of this Book. You can view the first part of the book (through Chapter 2) as a PDF file. PDF Format

Table of Contents


An Introduction

Chapter 0. Language, Politics, and Habits

Chapter 1. Literacy is (Not) Liberation

Chapter 2. The Yin-Yang of Literacy

Chapter 3. Racializing Language and Standards

Chapter 4. Race-Judgements and the Tacit Language War

Chapter 5. The While Language Supremacy in Judgements of Intelligence and Standards

Chapter 6. The Economics of Racism

Chapter 7. A languageling of Color

Chapter 8. Unsustainable Whiteness

Chapter 9. Naming

Chapter 10. Ain’t No Horatio Alger Story

Chapter 11. Another Ending, Or Let Me Say This Another Way

Appendix. An Argument and Method for Deep Attentive Reading

About the Author

Asao B. Inoue is Professor of Rhetoric and Composition in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University. His research focuses on antiracist and social justice theory and practices in writing assessments. He is the 2019 Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and he has been a past member of the CCCC Executive Committee and the Executive Board of the Council of Writing Program Administrators. Among his many articles and chapters on writing assessment, race, and racism, his article, “Theorizing Failure in U.S. Writing Assessments,” in Research in the Teaching of English won the 2014 CWPA Outstanding Scholarship Award. His co-edited collection, Race and Writing Assessment (2012), won the 2014 NCTE/CCCC Outstanding Book Award for an edited collection. His book, Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing for a Socially Just Future (2015), won the 2017 NCTE/CCCC Outstanding Book Award for a monograph and the 2015 CWPA Outstanding Book Award. He also has published a co-edited collection, Writing Assessment, Social Justice, and The Advancement of Opportunity (2018), and Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom (2019). In 2021, he is publishing a serialized blogbook on his website (www.asaobinoue.com), What It Means To Be An Antiracist Teacher: Cultivating Antiracist Orientations in The Literacy Classroom.

Publication Information: Inoue, Asao B. (2021). Above The Well: An Antiracist Argument From a Boy of Color. The WAC Clearinghouse; Utah State University Press. 10.37514/PER-B.2021.1244

Print Publication Date: July 9, 2021
Web Publication Date: Pending

ISBN: 978-1-64642-224-1 (pbk.) 978-1-64642-237-1 (ebook)
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2021.1244

Contact Information:
Asao B. Inoue: asao@asu.edu

Perspectives on Writing

Series Editors: Rich Rice, Texas Tech University; Heather MacNeill Falconer, University of Maine; and J. Michael Rifenburg, University of North Georgia

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF).

Copyright © 2021 Asao B. Inoue. This book is available in print from Utah State University Press as well as from any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in digital format for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse two years after its first release. All proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to an endowment supporting social justice established by Asao Inoue with the Oregon State University Foundation. Following its release in open-access formats, you may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website.