AcademicsFaculty Information


Associate Professor
M.Ed. in TESOL, M.A. in International Studies
Officeシ啌oom 713
Office Hoursシ啜uesdays & Thursdays, 15:20-17:00, or by appointment
Link to Research Map


An English education and curriculum studies scholar-practitioner from the American Midwest


Let窶冱 share the joy of exploring new interests and playing with new ideas together. The university is a special place for study, where we can ask better questions and refuse easy answers. In my English language courses, we critically discuss contemporary issues and longstanding philosophical problems to explore different perspectives. We aim to use English to expand each other窶冱 imaginations and to participate in intelligent discussions globally.

Summary of the Research Undertaken

I'm curious about the intersection of curriculum theory and English language pedagogy. In particular, I窶况e been exploring how being playful might be a way of being academic, as well as the potential limitations of playfully studious dispositions in the contemporary university context.

Research Themes

  • English language teaching and professional development
  • Academic and intellectual dispositions and narrative inquiry into their development
  • Curriculum studies with post-reconceptualist curriculum theory
  • Potentiality and utopianism in educational thought
  • Playfulness, creativity, and humor
  • Composition and rhetoric perspectives on writing education
  • Queer theory, disability studies, and affect theory

Details of the Research

I enjoy engaging with a wide range of educational theories, philosophies of education, and understandings of language to reconsider the desired ends of liberal arts education and English language education, especially when language and content are integrated (e.g., CLIL or content-based instruction). My publications have focused on language play, creativity, accessibility, and utopianism in education.


My recent research into curriculum theory revolves around theories and practice regarding playful study in higher education. Meanwhile, my complementary research into English language teaching approaches, methods, and teacher development includes bringing in perspectives from queer theory, disability studies, and affect theory.


In addition to theoretical work, my recent work engages with qualitative and post-qualitative approaches to research. Most notably, I am interested in narrative inquiry, especially to explore stories of the emergence of playfully studious dispositions among university students in context.


Finally, I am interested in reflective action research, particularly as ongoing classroom research into improved English language teaching. I hope to extend this research toward more community-engaged research and participatory research.

List of Papers

  • Kasparek, N. (2018). Teacher as auteur: A multi-year reflection on teacher motivation, creativity, constraints, and collaboration. New Directions in Teaching and Learning English Discussion, 6, 247-253.
  • Kasparek, N. (2017). Creativity through dialogue writing: Letting it get a bit weird. New Directions in Teaching and Learning English Discussion, 5, 172-181.
  • Kasparek, N. (2016). Facilitated play, target language use, and authenticity. New Directions in Teaching and Learning English Discussion, 4, 143-152.
  • Kasparek, N. (2015). Facetious language play for creative repetition. New Directions in Teaching and Learning English Discussion, 3, 118-127.
  • Kasparek, N. (2014). Language anxiety, tension, and the fashioning of L2 selves. New Directions in Teaching and Learning English Discussion, 2, 103-109.

Books and Other Publications

  • Kasparek, N. & Turner, M. W. (2020). Puzzling about Special Educational Needs in EFL Teacher Development: A Duoethnographic Inquiry. In R. Lowe & L. Lawrence (Eds.), Duoethnography in English language teaching: Research, reflection, and classroom application (pp. 112-132). Multilingual Matters.
  • Kasparek, N. & Turner, M. W. (2017). Harnessing humorous outbidding for the rapid generation of content. In J. Rucynski (Ed.), New ways in teaching with humor (pp. 22-25). TESOL Press.
  • Kasparek, N. (2016). Toward a utopian peace education. In T. Ottman, Z. Ritchie, H. Palmer, & D. Warchulski (Eds.), Peace as a global language: Peace and welfare in the global and local community (pp. 27-42). i-universe.

Key Words of the Research

English language teaching, curriculum studies, CLIL at liberal arts universities, academic dispositions, post-reconceptualist curriculum theory, playfulness, study, writing education, utopianism, post-critical pedagogy