• Role:

  • Position:

    • Professor
    • Director of University Composition Program
    • Director of Community Literacy Center
  • Concentration:

    • Composition and Literacy Studies
  • Department:

    • English and University Composition Program
  • Education:

    • Ph.D.
  • Curriculum Vitae:


Professor. B.A., English Education, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point; M.A., English (Creative Writing), University of Illinois at Chicago; Ph.D., Composition and Cultural Rhetoric (Composition and Literacy Studies), Syracuse University.
A specialist in community literacy studies, Professor Jacobi teaches courses in argument, public writing, composition theory, feminist theory and methodology, critical pedagogy, and literacy theory. She is the director of the Community Literacy Center in the Department of English at Colorado State University.  Her recent research focuses on understanding the complexities of moving adult literacy beyond the GED, the ethics of community-university relationships, and incarcerated women writers as activists. In addition to coediting two special issues of Reflections: A Journal for Writing, Service Learning, and Community Literacy on prison literacy and writing (2004 and 2019), she has published essays on prison writing, community service learning and activism in the writing classroom, and the ethics of university-community collaborations in journals such as English Journal, Community Literacy Journal, and The Journal of Correctional Education. Her co-edited book Women, Writing, and Prison came out in 2014, and she is currently working on a collaborative literacy remix project that blends contemporary pedagogy with archival prison texts.



Jacobi, Tobi, and Ann Folwell Stanford, Eds. 2014. Women, Writing, and Prison: Activists, Scholars, and Writers Speak Out. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Refereed Books/Journal Articles/Chapters:

Tuthill, Shelby, and Tobi Jacobi, 2023, “Self-Care as Ethical Practice for Teachers and Volunteers Working Behind Bars,” Teaching Literature and Writing in Prison, eds, Patrick Alexander and Sheila Smith-McKoy. Modern Language Association Press: 289-301.

Davis, Constance; Dotson, Grace; Manfredi, Mia; Palacios, Ainhoa; Sopkin, Tanya; Jacobi, Tobi; and Sanger, Mary Ellen, 2023, "SpeakOut! CLC," Community Literacy Journal 17.2: 144-149. Available at:

Rogers, Laura, and Tobi Jacobi, 2021, “Representing Lila: Telling Stories from the 1920s Hudson Training School for Girls,” Ethics and Representation in Feminist Rhetorical Inquiry, eds, Jennie Vaughn and Amy Dayton. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press: 89-107.

Jacobi, Tobi, 2020, “Complicity and Compassion: Meditations on Writing and Researching with Incarcerated Women,” Prison Stories: Women Scholars’ Experiences Doing Research Behind Bars, ed, Jennifer Schlosser. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books: 87-100.

Baca, Isabel, Tobi Jacobi, Tom Deans, and Heather Lang, 2020, “Reflections’ 20th Anniversary Roundtable: What Was, What Is, What’s Coming,” Reflections: A Journal of Community-Engaged Writing and Rhetoric 20.1 (Spring/Summer 2020): 25-41.

Jacobi, Tobi, and Wendy Wolters Hinshaw, 2019, Guest Editors of special issue of Reflections: A Journal of Community-Engaged Writing and Rhetoric focused on prison writing, literacies, and communities 19.1 (Spring/Summer 2019): 320 pages.

Von Weller, Chandera, Joni Joplin, Sam Pecchio, Larissa Willkomm, Kate Miller, and Tobi Jacobi, 2018, “Mothering through Addiction and Jail,” Mothers, addiction and recovery: Finding meaning through the journey, eds, Wendy Peterson, Laura Armstrong, and Michelle Foulkes. Bradford, ON: Demeter Press: 49-66.

Jacobi, Tobi, 2018, “Institutional Mothering: Middling between University, Home, and Jail,”   Mothering and/in/through Mid-Life, eds,  Kathy Mantas and Lorinda Peterson. Bradford, ON: Demeter Press: 82-91.

Jacobi, Tobi, 2018, “Public Memory behind Bars: Speaking Out with Writers at a County Jail,” Prison Pedagogy, eds, Sherry Rankins-Robertson and Joe Lockard.  Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press: 109-26.

Curry, Michelle, and Tobi Jacobi, 2017, “Just Sitting in a Cell, You and Me”: Sponsoring Writing in a County Jail,” Community Literacy Journal 12.1 (Fall 2017): 5-22.

Rogers, Laura, Wendy Hinshaw, Cory Holding, and Tobi Jacobi, 2017, "Bending Bars: A Dialogue between Four Prison Teacher-Researchers," Survive & Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine 3.1 (2017): 73-90.

Jacobi, Tobi, 2016, “Against Infrastructure: Curating Community Literacy in a Jail Writing Program,” Community Literacy Journal (Fall 2016): 64-75.

Jacobi, Tobi, and Lara Roberts, 2016, “Developing Self-Care Strategies for Volunteers in a Jail Writing Program,” The Voluntary Sector in Prisons: Encouraging Institutional and Personal Change, eds, Laura Abrams and Emma Hughes.  New York: Palgrave MacMillan: 331-361.

Jacobi, Tobi, 2016, “Austerity Behind Bars: The “Cost” of Prison College Programs.” Composition in the Age of Austerity, eds. Anthony Scott and Nancy Welch. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press: 154-174.

Yenne, Elise, Lauren Alessi, and Tobi Jacobi, 2015, “Lockstep Trauma: The Challenge of Social Justice Literacy Work behind Bars,” Peace and Social Justice Education on Campus: Faculty and Student Perspectives. Eds, Laura Finley and Kelly Concannon Mannise.  Cambridge Scholars Publishing: 133-152.

Hinshaw, Wendy, and Tobi Jacobi, 2015, “What Words Might Do: The Challenge of Representing Incarcerated Women and their Writing.” Feminist Formations 27.1 (Spring): 67-90.

Sheridan, Mary P., and Tobi Jacobi, 2015, “Critical Feminist Practice and Campus-Community Partnerships: A Review Essay,” Feminist Teacher 24.1-2: 138-150.

Nickoson, Lee, Kris Blair, Mary Sheridan, and Tobi Jacobi, 2015, Guest editors of special issue on feminist community work, Feminist Teacher 24.1-2: 105 pages.

Alessi, Lauren, and Tobi Jacobi, 2014, “The Limits of (Critical) Expressive Writing in Prisons and Jails,” Expressive Writing: Classroom and Community, Ed. Kathleen Adams, Lanham: MD: Rowman and Littlefield: 189-214.

Becker, Stephanie, and Tobi Jacobi, 2012, “Rewriting Confinement: Feminist and Queer Critical Literacy in SpeakOut! Writing Workshops,” Radical Teacher 95 (Winter): 32-40.

Jacobi, Tobi, 2012, “Rant, Rave, Write: The Complexities of Zines as Community Literacy Activism,” Texts of Consequence: Composing Rhetorics of Social Activism for the Writing Classroom, Eds. Christopher Wilkey and Nicholas Mauriello,  New York: Hampton Press: 209-231.

Jacobi, Tobi, 2012, “Twenty Year Sentences: Writing Workshops and Women in Prison,” Feminist Popular Education in Transnational Debates: Pedagogies of Possibilities, Eds. Linzi Manicom and Shirley Walters, New York: Palgrave-Macmillan: 111-127.

Jacobi, Tobi, and Elliott Johnston, 2012, “Writers Speaking Out: The Challenges of Community Publishing from Spaces of Confinement,” Circulating Communities: The Tactics and Strategies of Community Publishing, Eds. Paula Mathieu, Steve Parks, and Tiffany Rousculp,  Lanham, MD: Lexington Press: 173-200.

Jacobi, Tobi, 2011, “Speaking Out for Social Justice: The Problems and Possibilities of U.S. Women’s Jail Writing Workshops,” Critical Survey 23.3 (Fall): 40-54.

Jacobi, Tobi, 2009, “Writing Workshops as Alternative Literacy Education for Incarcerated Women,” Corrections Today,  (February): 52-55.

Jacobi, Tobi. 2008. “Writing for Change: Engaging Juveniles through Alternative Literacy Education,”  The Journal of Correctional Education, 59.2, 71-93.

Jacobi, Tobi, 2008,Slipping Pages through Razor Wire: Literacy Action Projects in Jail,”  Community Literacy Journal,  2.2, 67-86.