Emily C. Rainey
Assistant Professor

Emily Rainey is an assistant professor of language, literacy, and culture at the University of Pittsburgh, where she serves as the faculty advisor for the English Education MEd program. Rainey researches disciplinary literacy practice, disciplinary literacy teaching, and preservice literacy teacher education. Two big questions guiding her work are 1) What does it mean to teach adolescents to read, write, and learn within and across the many discourse communities of their lives, including the academic disciplines? and 2) How do we best prepare the next generation of middle and high school classroom teachers to support adolescents’ literacies? A former middle school English teacher, Rainey is especially committed to improving the quality of literacy instruction in typically underserved school and community contexts.

Instructional Interests

  • Literacy preservice teacher education
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Writing in the social sciences

Scholarly Interests

  • Disciplinary literacy
  • Adolescent literacy
  • Teacher education

Recent Grants

  • Principal Investigator (2021-2023). Exploring discourses of literacy scholarship: Topic modeling the field of literacy education. With Scott Storm. Spencer Foundation ($49,644)

  • Co-Principal Investigator (2019-2024). Analysis of a teaching school model for improving STEM undergraduate teacher education and professionalism (PI: Elizabeth Birr Moje). National Science Foundation ($2,545,060)

  • Co-Principal Investigator (2018-2020). Promoting disciplinary literacy and learning through multi source text inquiries: An instructional study of middle school learners (PI: Byeong-Young Cho). Spencer Foundation ($50,000)

Featured Publications

Engagement, Partnerships, and Professional Service

  • Editorial review board, Reading Research Quarterly and Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy
Emily C. Rainey


University of Pittsburgh
5141 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260