Ebony Elizabath Thomas

Author & Professor of Education


Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, PhD is Chair of the Joint Program in English and Education at the University of Michigan’s Marsal Family School of Education, as well as Associate Professor of Education. She is the author of The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games (NYU Press, 2019), which won the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Children’s Literature Association Book Award, among other accolades. Her most recent books are Harry Potter and the Other: Race, Justice, and Difference in the Wizarding World (University Press of Mississippi, 2022) co-edited with Sarah Park Dahlen, and Restorying Young Adult Literature: Expanding Students’ Perspectives with Digital Texts (NCTE, 2023) co-authored by James Joshua Coleman and Autumn A. Griffin.

Her expertise on race and representation in children’s and young adult literature has been sought after nationally and internationally. She has been interviewed by MSNBC, the BBC, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She is a former reviewer for Kirkus’ children’s book section, and has written book reviews for the Los Angeles Times. She is a past National Book Award for Young People’s Literature judge (2020), and is a 2020-2022 member of the United States Board on Books for Young People. Her first novel for young readers, Shifter and Dreamerwas a finalist for the New Visions Award and will be published by Lee and Low in Spring 2026.

In addition to her work on books for young readers, she has published widely on race, discourse, and interaction in classrooms and digital environments. In conjunction with the National Writing Project, Amy Stornaiuolo (Penn GSE), Elyse Eidman-Aadahl (NWP), and Sarah Levine (Stanford), she is a co-principal investigator on a major James S. McDonnell Foundation Teachers as Learners grant, the Digital Discourse Project (DDP), a longitudinal collaborative inquiry into how partnering teacher consultants studied their own discourse practices with data and platforms as they facilitated online discussions during and after the COVID-19 era.

A former Detroit Public Schools teacher and National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, she served as co-editor of Research in the Teaching of English from 2018 to 2023.

She is represented by Tanya McKinnon, McKinnon Literary, and by Rolisa Tutwyler and Chloe Wilborn, CCMNT Speakers.

TOPICS: Women & Girls of Color, Writing, Literacy, Education 

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