Welcome to the website of the Race and Pedagogy Working Group at the University of Chicago! We are a community of scholars and teachers interested in exploring the intersection of pedagogy and racial justice across disciplines. You can use this site to learn more about what we do, join our mailing list, and explore our growing list of resources for developing new approaches to race in the classroom.

March 2: Teaching Race in the Core #2: Classroom Techniques

Teaching Race in the Core #2: Classroom Techniques

Led by Sonia Gomez and Chandani Patel

March 2, noon to 1:20 p.m.

CSRPC First-Floor Seminar Room


This workshop aims to help participants learn how to create a more racially inclusive classroom culture, use in-class techniques to manage and model productive discussions of race, and motivate students to critically reflect on how they analyze and discuss race. Together, we will investigate a set of scenarios that present challenges to teaching race as an object of inquiry in order to generate strategies for troubleshooting difficult moments in the classroom. Participants will walk away with concrete teaching strategies to implement in their own classrooms in the Core and beyond. Attendance at the first workshop is not required.

RSVP REQUIRED: To RSVP to this event, please login to GRAD Gargoyle by clicking on the “Student/Alumni” user icon. Once on the home page, follow these steps: Click Events>Click Workshops>Select “Teaching Race in the Core #2: Classroom Techniques” and RSVP.

Save the dates: Teaching Race in the Core, Feb. 16 and March 2

Inspired by the conversations that took place at our Faculty Panel on Teaching Race last quarter, this quarter the Race & Pedagogy Working Group is organizing a workshop series focusing on the challenges of teaching race in the University of Chicago Core curriculum.

Teaching Race in the Core

This pair of workshops aims to equip instructors in Humanities and Social Science Core courses with the conceptual and practical tools they need to design syllabi and classroom practices that 1) center race as an object of inquiry, within the constraints of Core curricular requirements, and 2) promote racially inclusive teaching practices. All are welcome to attend.

More details and registration information coming soon!

Teaching Race in the Core #1: Syllabus Design
Led by Madeleine Elfenbein and Woo Chan Lee
February 16, noon to 1:20 p.m.
CSRPC First-Floor Seminar Room

Teaching Race in the Core #2: Classroom Techniques
Led by Sonia Gomez and Chandani Patel
March 2, noon to 1:20 p.m
CSRPC First-Floor Seminar Room

More information will be available soon on our event page.


Tuesday, October 25: Faculty Panel on Teaching Race

Teaching Race: A Faculty Panel


Tuesday, October 25th // 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Social Sciences Tea Room (SS 201), 1126 East 59th Street

Free and open to the public; reception to follow

Hear faculty from across the Social Sciences and Humanities talk about how they teach students to think broadly and deeply about race. The panelists – Thomas Holt (History), Jennifer Kubota (Psychology), Anton Ford and Ben Laurence (Philosophy), and Lucy Pick (Divinity) – will draw on their experience incorporating race as a subject in their courses, including in disciplines where it has traditionally been sidelined. Topics will include techniques for acknowledging and making use of their own racial subjectivities in the classroom, as well as curricular choices, syllabus language, and in-class pedagogical approaches for making race a rewarding subject of humanistic and social inquiry.

Organized by the Race & Pedagogy Working Group and co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, UChicagoGRAD, and the Chicago Center for Teaching. If you have any questions or need accommodations, please contact Sonia Gomez (scgomez@uchicago.edu) or Madeleine Elfenbein (elfenbein@uchicago.edu).

Recap: Racially Inclusive Syllabus Design | 06.06.16

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out for our final event of the 2015-16 academic year! The session started with a discussion on syllabus language around inclusivity and class participation expectations. Next, Nova Smith, PhD candidate from UChicago Cinema & Media Studies shared how she diversified syllabi for two undergraduate courses she has taught. After learning from Nova, the group analyzed a syllabus from UChicago’s Core Curriculum and made suggestions for improvement. The evening wrapped up with a chat about strategies to try out as we move forward in our teaching careers. Thanks to Nova and to Chandani Patel of the Chicago Center for Teaching for sharing their expertise! Watch the video posted below to catch the full workshop.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our events; to the Center for Identity + Inclusion, the School of Social Service Administration; and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture for hosting us this year. Stay tuned for an update about how you can get involved in helping to lead the Race & Pedagogy Working Group. Enjoy your summer!

~Amanda Michelle Jones, Emily Marker, & Madeleine Elfenbein

Monday, June 6: Racially Inclusive Course Design

tower of babel
Photograph by Simon Blackley (https://www.flickr.com/photos/sblackley/), CC BY-ND 2.0.

Happy End of the Quarter, Race & Pedagogy Working Group!

Our final session for the year will be a Workshop on Racially Inclusive Syllabus & Course Design, held in the first floor seminar room at the CSRPC on Monday, June 6, from 4pm-6pm! The session will be co-facilitated by Nova Smith, PhD Candidate in Cinema & Media Studies.
Workshop attendees will participate in:
  • Discussions on syllabus language and transparency vs. ‘Sneak Attack Learning’
  • Walkthrough of an inclusive syllabus
  • Modification of a non-inclusive syllabus
  • Disciplinary breakouts
This workshop is designed to help attendees develop inclusive course syllabi or diversify existing syllabi, including language that facilitates the creation of an inclusive classroom, as well as content that teaches essential understanding while exposing students to works beyond the canon.
If you’re planning to attend, please RSVP by Sunday night so that we can order enough food. If you have syllabi (of your own or samples from the Core) that you would like to workshop, please send an electronic file along with your RSVP. We’ll also be discussing syllabi in our disciplinary breakouts, so even if you don’t want to submit it to the whole group, please bring a syllabus you’d like to discuss with your colleagues.
Hope to see you at CSRPC on Monday!
Amanda Michelle, Madeleine, & Emily