Sherell A. McArthur, Ph.D.


Sherell A. McArthur, PhD is a former elementary classroom teacher who has worked with middle and high school students, and their families, in myriad contexts. She has also designed and facilitated workshops with parents and educational practitioners, specifically on the identity, the influence of media on children and youths construction of identity, educational justice, and holistic wellness. Currently, she is working with teachers across the country on their socioemotional wellbeing.

Dr. McArthur is also the Director of the Holmes Scholars Program in the MFECOE at UGA.

Areas of Expertise

  • Black Girls
  • Critical Media Literacy
  • Social Justice Education
  • Teacher Wellness


  • Black Girls and Identity
  • Media Literacy Development of Black children and adolescents
  • Popular Culture as an Educative Site
  • Social Justice Education
  • The Wellbeing of Teachers and Students



  •  PhD in Educational Policy Studies, Social Foundations, 2014
    Georgia State University
  •  Graduate Certificate in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies, 2014
    Georgia State University
  •  M.A. in Educational Policy Studies, 2006
    University of Maryland
  •  B.A. in Psychology/Sociology, 2004
    Grambling State University


Research Summary

Sherell A. McArthur, PhD is an Associate Professor in the department of Educational Theory and Practice at the University of Georgia. Her research specializations include Black girls and identity, media literacy development of children and youth, popular culture as an educative site, and social justice education. She currently has multiple refereed journal articles and book chapters related to Black girls and media literacy. She has been an invited panelist and guest lecturer for many universities, organizations and youth-based programs. Most recently, she was invited to be the keynote speaker for the International Critical Media Literacy Conference in February 2019.

To date, she has had the opportunity to speak at Harvard University discussing women/girls and hip hop, organizations like Strong Women, Strong Girls, Big Sister Boston, and the Boston Girls Empowerment Network, and has been a resource for Atlantic Magazine. Through her networks, she has been a guest lecturer at universities to explicitly discuss critical issues that girls of color face. Most recently, she was a guest lecturer in graduate seminars in the English department at Michigan State University and in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies department at Wayne State University. Dr. McArthur has also been an invited panelist at the Penn Summit on Black Girls and Women in Education, the And Still We Rise Conference at Teacher’s College, the Girls of Color Conference at Rutgers University, and the Black Feminist Methods and Methodologies Working Symposium at Vanderbilt University. Further, she is a newly elected member of the UGA’s University Council, the new co-chair of the Equity and Inclusion Committee for Division K and elected Program Chair of the Hip Hop Theories, Praxis and Pedagogies SIG for the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

With her platform, Dr. McArthur discusses Black girls’ identities and literacies, and centers practitioner development through transformative pedagogical interventions and educational justice for Black girls.


American Educational Research Association Division K Anti-Racist Teaching and Teacher Education Seed Grant



Centering student identities in critical media literacy instruction.
  • McArthur, S.A. (2019)
  • Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 62(6), 686-689.
Schoolin’ Black girls: Politicized caring and healing as pedagogical love.
  • McArthur, S.A. and Lane, M. (2018)
  • The Urban Review, 51, 65-80.
Black girls and critical media literacy for social activism.
  • McArthur, S.A. (2016)
  • English Education, 48(4), 462-479

Awards and Accolades

Lilly Teaching Fellow

UGA, 2018

40 Under 40

Georgia State University , 2020