Dr. Laurie Grobman is a distinguished professor of English and women’s studies at Penn State Berks. Grobman’s teaching, research, and service interests center on community-engaged scholarship and antiracist education. Grobman studies and teaches about the many ways language and writing work in the world, whether for good or ill. She, her students, and numerous community partners focus on the power of dominant narratives, asking and answering such questions as who controls them, who’s left out and why, what are the consequences of these omissions and erasures, and how do we challenge dominant narratives and make way for alternatives.
Toward these ends, Grobman has facilitated student and community collaborations in her classes for nearly two decades to produce local storytelling, oral history, and history projects that (re)write and intervene in dominant but distorted narratives of Reading, Pennsylvania, and its people. She and her students have partnered with numerous community organizations and individuals on these projects, such as Latino, Latina, and Latinx activists and change-makers; Centro Hispano; the NAACP Reading branch; the former Central Pennsylvania African American Museum (CPAAM); Olivet Boys and Girls Club; Star City Boxing; the We Are Reading dancers; and more. Read these stories online >
Along with Dr. Ebonie Cunningham Stringer, assistant professor of criminal justice at Penn State Berks, and Edna Garcia-Dipini, founder of the RIZE Program, Grobman is a 2023 recipient of a $1,600,000 Violence Intervention and Prevention grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. She is the special projects director and a leadership team member of Not One More: A Peace and Justice Project, serving youth and young adults ages 14-21 using an evidence-based, public health approach to curing violence. The term “Not One More” represents the projects’ leaders hope that not one more child will be lost to violence and not one more youth will use violence to solve conflicts.
Grobman also facilitates a community storytelling project, “Not One More: A Community’s Stories of Loss and Love,” to highlight the experiences of Reading and Muhlenberg, Pennsylvania, residents who have been impacted by violence in both direct and indirect ways. Through storytelling, individuals impacted by violence may begin to heal, and their words and stories can impact the communities in which they live. These stories will be housed on a website and will be shared at four public events over two years.
Grobman, L. Nicholas Kopp*, Elijah Schade*, and Wyatt Conrad.* “'Anti-racist Commemorative Intervention' at the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site.” College English, vol. 85, no. 1, 2022, pp. 13-36. (*undergraduates)Babich, Jessica,* MaryKate Cotter*, Jacqueline Oleas*, Addison Procak*, and L. Grobman. “Preparing Students to Learn about Antiracism: Voices from Four Undergraduate Antiracist Learners,” Race and Pedagogy Journal: Teaching and Learning for Justice, vol. 5, no. 2, 2021, pp. 1-49.
Grobman, Laurie, and E. Michele Ramsey. Major Decisions: College, Career, and the Case for the Humanities. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020.
Grobman, Laurie. “Lynn Nottage’s This is Reading: (Re)Identifying a City in Story.” Storytelling, Self, Society vol. 15, no. 2, 2019, pp. 166-90. (published in 2020)
Ph.D., English, Lehigh University
M.A., English, Villanova University
M.S., Criminology, University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Sociology, University of Pennsylvania