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Biography

Dr. James Paul Gee is the Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies and a Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University.  He is a member of the National Academy of Education.  He earned his BA in philosophy at the University of California at Santa Barbara and his MA and PhD in linguistics from Stanford University.  He has been a faculty member at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts; Boston University; University of Southern California; Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts; and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He works in both linguistics and education.

His book Sociolinguistics and Literacies (1990, Fifth Edition 2015) was one of the founding documents in the formation of the “New Literacy Studies”, an interdisciplinary field devoted to studying language, learning, and literacy in an integrated way in the full range of their cognitive, social, and cultural contexts.  His book An Introduction to Discourse Analysis (1999, Fourth Edition 2014) brings together his work on a methodology for studying communication in its cultural settings, an approach that has been widely influential over the last three decades. Professor Gee’s book What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (2003, Second Edition 2007) argues that good video games are designed to enhance learning through effective learning principles supported by research in the Learning Sciences.  Situated Language and Learning (2004) places video games within an overall theory of learning and literacy and shows how they can help us in thinking about the reform of schools.  Women as Gamers: The Sims and 21st-Century Learning (2010) and Language and Learning in the Digital Age (2011), both written with Elisabeth Hayes, have continued his earlier work on games and learning.  His most recent books are: The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning (2013); Unified Discourse Analysis: Language, Reality, Virtual Worlds, and Video Games (2014); Literacy and Education (2014); The Essential James Gee: An Introduction to Discourse Analysis (2015); and Teaching, Learning, Literacy in Our High-Risk High-Tech World: A Framework for Becoming Human (2017), and Introducing Discourse: From Grammar to Society (2017).

Academic Positions

  • Present2007

    Arizona State University

    Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies2007-
    Regents’ Professor2014-
    Department of Curriculum and Instruction2007-2010
    Department of English2010-

  • 20071998

    University of Wisconsin at Madison

    Tashia Morgridge Professor of Reading1998-2007
    Department of Curriculum and Instruction
    Joint Appointment, Department of Educational Psychology

  • 19971993

    Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

    Visiting Professor (on sabbatical from USC)1991-1992
    Department of Psychology & Program in Education

  • 19931989

    University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

    Professor, Linguistics1991-1993
    Associate Professor, Linguistics1989-1991
    Department of Linguistics

  • 19931989

    Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

    Visiting Professor (on sabbatical from USC)1991-1992
    Department of Psychology & Program in Education

  • 19881982

    Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Chair1987-1988
    Department of Developmental Studies and Counseling
    School of Education
    Associate Professor, Linguistics & Education1987-1988
    Assistant Professor, Linguistics & Education1982-1987
    Program in Applied Psycholinguistics, School of Education
    Program in Applied Linguistics, Graduate School
    Director, Program in English Education1982-1984
    School of Education

  • 19821981

    Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Senior Research Fellow, Psychology1981-1982
    Cognitive Science Laboratory
    Department of Psychology

  • 19811976

    Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts

    Assistant Professor, Linguistics1976-1981
    School of Language and Communication
    Reappointed in 1980 (for 1981-1986)

  • 19761974

    Stanford University, Stanford, California

    Acting Assistant Professor, Linguistics1975-1976
    Lecturer, LinguisticsFall, 1974
    Teaching Fellow, English and LinguisticsSpring, 1974

  • 19721971

    Berkeley, California and Stanford, California

    Research Associate, Education1971-1972
    Far West Laboratory for Educational Research
    Stanford Research and Development Center for Teaching

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. 1975

    Ph.D. in Linguistics

    Stanford University

  • M.A. 1974

    M.A. Linguistics

    Stanford University

  • B.A. 1970

    B. A. in Philosophy

    University of California, Santa Barbara

  • 1966 - 1967

    High School

    St. Joseph's College Seminary

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • 2014
    Game Changer 2014, Games for Change Festival, New York, New York
  • 2014
    Fellow of the American Educational Research Association
  • 2014
    Regents’ Professor, Arizona State University
  • 2012 - 2014
    Principle Investigator, MacArthur Foundation/Educational Testing Service Gordon Fellowship Program on 21st Learning and Assessment
  • Elected, 2007
    Member, National Academy of Education
  • 2008-1010
    Principle Investigator, Our Courts Project: 21st Century Civics for Civic Participation, MacArthur Foundation (Arizona State University
  • 2005-2007
    Principal Investigator, Video Games, Learning, and Society, Spencer Foundation Grant, University of Wisconsin
  • 2000-2005
    Co-Principal Investigator, Idea of Testing, Spencer Foundation Grant, University of Wisconsin
  • 1999
    Spencer Conference Grant Award, University of Wisconsin
  • 1998-2000
    Spencer Foundation Mentor Award, University of Wisconsin
  • 1995-1998
    Co-Principal Investigator, Talk, Text, and Identity, Spencer Foundation Grant, Clark University
  • 1991
    Burlington Resources Foundation Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Scholar, University of Southern California,
  • 1990
    Fund for Innovative Teaching Award, University of Southern California