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About The Podcast

Historically, comics have not been accepted in educational circles. While this has begun to change in recent years, there are still students who are told to give up reading comics for "real" books, parents who have to retrieve confiscated comics from their kids' schools, and teachers who worry that using comics in their classrooms will give them a reputation as being unprofessional. 

Reading in the Gutter is a podcast that attempts to bridge the space between comics and education. We aim to have thoughtful discussion with students, teachers, parents, administrators, librarians, and researchers about comics and roles they can place in classrooms and other learning contexts. We seek to share research, resources, pedagogy, and curriculum focused on comics with interested stakeholders that is theoretically sounds and empirically vetted.

When Reading in the Gutter was first conceptualized, Dani specifically approached approached other women scholars to become hostesses. Comics have long had a reputation for being a "boys club" and it is was important to Dani and ultimately, Ashley and Laura, that this podcast feature the voices of women in the world of comics. In addition to foregrounding the voices of women in a field that has long been dominated by men, Reading in the Gutter endeavors to highlight the voices and work of other underrepresented groups including people of color and LGBTQIA+ individuals.

About The Podcasters


Dani Kachorsky

accidentally discovered comics in the local library when she was 12. One flip of the full color pages of Wendi and Richard Pini's Elf-Quest series had her hooked. Unfortunately, comics were not considered "real reading" by her teachers and classmates, so when Dani became a high school English teacher, she did her best to value comics and other types of media in her classroom. This led her to pursue a doctorate at Arizona State University specializing in visual and multimodal literacy. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.

You can follow her research by visiting her website She casually Tweets about all things literacy related as @danikachorsky on Twitter and frequently posts about what she is currently reading on Instagram as @danisinferno.

Art by Jason Labret.

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Ashley K. Dallacqua

was first introduced to comics by her husband, who hooked her on Jeff Smith’s Bone series. This is a series she shared with her fifth graders as a teacher in Ohio. Before earning her doctorate at The Ohio State University she taught fifth grade for seven magical years.  Ashley is currently an assistant professor in the land of enchantment - at University of New Mexico. She works closely with teachers and young adults, supporting the integration of new texts (especially comics!) and literacy practices into school spaces. 


Laura M. Jiménez

is a lecturer at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. She teaches children’s literature courses that focus on both the reader and the text by using an explicit intersectional lens. She encourages teachers to read critically and widely.

Her work spans both literature and literacy, with a special interest in graphic novel reading comprehension and issues of representation in young adult literature. Her scholarship appears in The Reading Teacher, Journal of Lesbian Studies,Teaching and Teacher Education, and the Journal of Literacy Research.

Her graphic novel reviews, and calls for social justice in children’s literature can be found on her blog, and on her frequent Tweets @booktoss.

Art by Thien Pham.

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