Dr. Lisa Arrastia

Associate Professor, Education

Lisa Arrastia headshot
(413) 662-5381
Mark Hopkins Hall


Ph.D., University of Minnesota

M.Ed., National Louis University

M.A., Antioch University

Courses Taught

EDUC 719: Discourses of Difference
RDNG 700: The Writing Workshop
EDUC 681/581: Student-Teaching Seminar
EDUC 644/414: Curriculum and Instruction 5-12
EDUC 650/422: Classroom Management 5-12
ENGE/ART/HIST/EDUC 634: I Can’t Breathe: Racial Capitalism at the Intersections of Social Class, Space, and School
EDUC 634/ENGE 634/HSTE 634: The Undercommons: Beats, Rhymes, and Life in Black Study
EDUC 342: Field Placement II 5-12

About Me

Originally from West Harlem in New York City, I have served as a high school teacher, school leader, equity and public purpose director, and school founder in New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Chicago. With a PhD in American studies, MEd in administration and supervision, MA in education, and BS in sociology and Black studies, my professional expertise is broad while remaining dedicated to disrupting notions of difference. 

Description of Special Projects/Activities

My teaching and projects focus on generating empathic communities where young people and educators have the freedom to think, question, and innovate as they wrestle with the tangled complexities of self, other, and difference. I am committed to national and global efforts for social change. My current project is The Study Portfolio, an online transmedia “undercommons” through which the public can experience critical, creative possibilities that emerge from educators, youth, and the global working class when provided opportunities to build understanding using new ways of reading notions of difference.

As the Founding Director of The Ed Factory, I  use new genre public aesthetics to disrupt notions of difference and transform the educational process. I also serve as the Board President of Kite's Nest, a liberatory education center in Hudson, NY; the Co-Chair of the Oral History Association’s Committee on Committees; a steering committee member for Inspiring Girls Expeditions, a global organization empowering young women to lead in science, art, and wilderness exploration; an executive advisory board member of NYU’s Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity, and a member of the CARE Syllabus Advisory Collective at MASS MoCA. 

I am the curator and donor of the Young People’s Archive at East Side Freedom Library and winner of an American Association of University Women’s award and year-long educational leadership fellowships with New Leaders and Big Picture Learning. I co-edited Starting Up: Critical Lessons from Ten New Schools (Teachers College Press) with Marv Hoffman and contributed the essay “Love Pedagogy: Teaching to Disrupt” to Niobe Way, Carol Gilligan, Alisha Ali, and Pedro Noguera’s The Crisis of Connection (NYU Press). My articles, multimedia work, and reviews, among other outlets, are included in MASS MoCA’s CARE Syllabus, Journal for Critical Education Policy, HuffPost, Common Dreams, and Antipode

Research/Creative Interests

My scholarship investigates discourses of racial capitalism and pedagogies of culture that frame notions of individualism, whiteness, and masculinity. I use audioethnography (digital oral history remix), an aesthetics-based education methodology I designed, to examine difference at the intersection of race, social class, place, and school.


Arrastia, Lisa. Love Pedagogy: An Oral History Remix (forthcoming).

Arrastia, Lisa. Beyond School: Education Outside the System (Neurodiversity Press: forthcoming).

Arrastia, Lisa. “Letter to My Student Teachers on a Day of Yet Another School Mass Shooting in America.” Common Dreams. 25 May 2022.

Arrastia, Lisa. “Schools Can No Longer Be Our Social Safety Net.” Common Dreams. 17 August 2020.

Arrastia, Lisa. “Teaching Under Covid: NY School-Reopening Guidance Highlights the Need for a Radical, Uniform National Response to Covid-19.” Common Dreams. 19 July 2020.

Arrastia, Lisa. “Love Pedagogy: Disrupting the Contemporary Education Economy.” Overland 231. Winter 2018.

Arrastia, Lisa “Love Pedagogy: Teaching to Disrupt.” In The Crisis of Connection: Roots, Consequences, and Solutions. Edited by Niobe Way, Alisha Ali, Carol Gilligan, and Pedro Noguera, 231-250. New York: NYU Press, 2018.

Arrastia, Lisa. “Love Pedagogy.” Huff Post (18 April 2016).

Arrastia, Lisa. “The Bridge Back: Chris Johnson and the Art of Social Engagement.” Exposure: The Journal of the Society for Photographic Education 47.1 (spring 2014).

Arrastia, Lisa. Review of A Curriculum of Imagination in an Era of Standardization: An Imaginative Dialogue with Maxine Greene and Paulo Freire, by Robert Lake. Teachers College Record (14 March 2014).

Arrastia, Lisa and Marvin Hoffman. Starting Up Critical Lessons from 10 New Schools. New York: Teachers College Press, 2012.

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See Lisa’s CV for additional publications and information.