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Jon M. Wargo

Associate Professor, Marsal Family School of Education


3117 B
610 E. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Dr. Jon Michael Wargo’s research reconceptualizes the role of media and technology as it comes to intersect with children’s and youths’ critical literacy learning. Leveraging young peoples’ ingenuity as signs and sights for learning, his teaching and scholarship focus on understanding and sustaining the heterogeneity of human sensemaking in the contexts of community inquiry and social change. In addition to his work on digital literacies, he has researched and published widely in the areas of teacher education, inquiry methodologies, the learning sciences, and cultural studies. 

An award-winning researcher and nationally recognized scholar, Wargo won early career achievement awards from the Literacy Research Association and the Children’s Literature Assembly in 2021. In 2020, he was named an NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. His work has appeared in several top-tier peer-reviewed journals, including Research in the Teaching of English, Learning, Media and Technology, Mind, Culture, and Activity, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, English Education, New Media and Society, and the Journal of Literacy Research. He has received distinguished article awards from the National Council for Teachers of English and the American Educational Research Association's Queer Studies Special Interest Group. The National Academy of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the National Council of Teachers of English, the European Union Funding for Research & Innovation, and the Canadian New Frontiers in Research Fund have supported Wargo's research. 

A former Kindergarten teacher and Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) facilitator, Wargo earned a Ph.D. in curriculum, instruction, and teacher education from Michigan State University and a B.A. in English and Gender Studies from Indiana University - Bloomington. Before joining the Marsal Family School of Education, Wargo was an assistant professor at Boston College and Wayne State University. 

Selected Publications

""So, You’re Not Homophobic, Just Racist and Hate Gay Muslims?” Reading Difference with LGBTQ-Themed Young Adult Literature."

Wargo, J.M., & Smith, K. (2023). English Education, 55(3), 155-180. 

Wargo, J.M., Morales, M., & Corbitt, A. (2022). Curriculum Inquiry, 52(5), 544-570.

Wargo, J.M. & Morales, M., Blake, A., Corbitt, A., & Madres, J. (2022). Mind, Culture, and Activity, 29(3), 269-287.

"Gendered Genius Hour: Tracing Young Children’s Uptake of Expert across the Nexus of Personal Digital Inquiry."

Wargo, J.M. (2022). Research in the Teaching of English, 56(3), 275-300. 

Wargo, J.M. (2022). Journal of Social Studies Research, 46(1), 19-33.

"Speculating the Queer (In)Human: A Critical, Reparative Reading of Contemporary LGBTQ+ Picturebooks."

Wargo, J.M. & Coleman, J. (2021). Journal of Children’s Literature, 47(1), 84-96. 

""Seeing" Difference Differently: Inquiry-Based Learning as a Site/Sight of Intersectional Justice in English Language Arts."

Wargo, J.M. (2021). Language Arts, 98(3), 135-148. 

Wargo, J.M., Brownell, C., & Oliveira, G. (2021). Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 52(3), 315-334.

Wargo, J.M. (2020). International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 33(5), 508-523.

"Sounding the Garden, Voicing a Problem: Mobilizing Critical Literacy through Personal Digital Inquiry with Young Children."

Wargo, J.M. (2019). Language Arts, 96(5), 275-285. 

Wargo, J.M. & Clayton, K. (2018). Learning, Media & Technology, 43(4), 469-484.

Wargo, J.M. (2018). Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 62(1), 13-23. 

""Every Selfie Tells a Story…" LGBTQ youth lifestreams and new media narratives as connective identity texts."

Wargo, J.M. (2015). New Media and Society, 19(4), 560-578.