Meet the 2018-2019 Coordinators

IMG_0789Evelyn Campbell is a PhD Candidate of the Committee on Microbiology in the Biological Sciences Division. She is interested in enhancing educational opportunities and improving academic environments for underrepresented students of color at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels. In her free time, she volunteers as a STEM instructor at a local college preparatory program and fosters animals through the Anti-Cruelty Society. She can be reached at campbelle@uchicago.edu.

HTackie Profile Photo

Hilary Tackie is a third-year PhD student in Comparative Human Development and Institute of Education Sciences Fellow. Her research interests focus on developing schools into supportive and empowering environments, particularly for students of color and queer students, by examining educational experiences, opportunities for identity development, and sources of belonging in schools. She is a proud native of Northern New Jersey and a member of local intergenerational women’s choir. She can be reached at hntackie@uchicago.edu.

Tien-Tien EDFTien-Tien Jong is a PhD student in the Department of Cinema & Media Studies with a certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her research interests include the history of musical and dancing automatons; representations of artificial intelligence in fiction and film; the mapping of biological categories onto technology; animation; and children’s films. In her spare time, she tries to keep an array of strange houseplants alive and plays with an evil cat. Her favorite places to see movies in Chicago are the Music Box Theatre and Doc Films. She can be reached at tientien@uchicago.edu.

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Welcome!

Welcome to the website of the Race and Pedagogy Working Group at the University of Chicago! We are a community of teachers and scholars committed to promoting racial justice in higher education. The Working Group offers events and programs each quarter for all teachers from across all divisions in the University to reflect on the ways in which race enters their classrooms, to learn practical strategies for developing antiracist classrooms, curricula, syllabi and teaching practices, and to discuss the historical and ongoing impact of race and racism in higher education.

You can use this site to learn more about what we do, find out about our upcoming events, scroll through documentation of past events, and explore our growing list of resources for developing new approaches to race in the classroom. Please join our listserv to receive regular updates about our schedule of programs and events for 2018-2019, and like us on Facebook.

In 2018-2019, the coordinators of the Working Group are Evelyn Campbell (campbelle@uchicago.edu), Hilary Tackie (hntackie@uchicago.edu) and Tien-Tien Jong Zhang (tientien@uchicago.edu). We are supervised by Cheryl R. Richardson, PhD (richardsonc@uchicago.edu). We welcome your questions as well as any ideas for future programs.

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Teaching Race in the Core – November 12, 2018

This passed Monday, the Race and Pedagogy Working Group hosted its first event for the 2018-2019 school year. The objective of this event was to examine the racial presuppositions that inform the Core courses/syllabi we teach and explore approaches to designing syllabi that center race as an object of inquiry. The event began with a conversation to define a few key terms that would work as a basis for the rest of the discussion. These terms were anti-racist, inclusive, race, and intersectionality.

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Following this, invited speakers shared their experiences with addressing race in the classroom. Among these speakers were Nicholas Baer, PhD (Humanities), Omi Hsu (Social Sciences), Allyson Nadia Field, PhD (Humanities),  Jordie Davies (Social Sciences), Gourav Khullar (Physical Sciences), and Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky, PhD (Humanities). We then discussed as a group various strategies, questions, obstacles, and concerns other participants had with regard to addressing race in the classroom. Some strategies discussed include facilitating classroom discussion that allows all students to feel comfortable and able to make a valued contribution, recreating the “traditional” canon of what is taught in your specific discipline, acknowledging contributions of non-Western scholars that may have been erased in your discipline, and including scholars from marginalized groups in class readings, lectures and the syllabus.

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Lastly, participants were left to discuss what practices mentioned at the event could be useful for diminishing racial oppression in the classroom. Upon the conclusion of the event, many participants continued discussion in small groups and even as they were leaving the room. We are thankful for participants that attended and shared their knowledge and experiences to help create a more inclusive environment in the Core.

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Teaching Race, Teaching Visual Culture

May 29, 2018

Smart Museum

Smart Museum
Kehinde Wiley painting, which is part of Expanding Narratives exhibit, centered our discussion of race in visual culture
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Katherine Mershon discussing her strategies for teaching race and visual culture

Stories of Race in the Classroom

March 7, 2018

Smart Museum

Teaching Race in the Core: A Lunchtime Workshop Series, February 16 and March 2, 2017

Many thanks to all those who joined us for Teaching Race in the Core: A Lunchtime Workshop Series. Below are notes on the workshops compiled by the organizers, supplemented with feedback from participants.

As we wrote in the initial workshop description, “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.”

Our first workshop, “Teaching Race in the Core #1: Syllabus Design,” was held on February 16th from noon to 1:20 p.m., and was led by Madeleine Elfenbein and Woo Chan Lee. Over sandwiches, we sat down to “examine the racial presuppositions that inform the Core courses we teach and explore approaches to designing syllabi that center race as an object of inquiry.” Ahead of the workshop, participants were asked to choose a syllabus for a Core course that they have taught, or wish to teach, within the university’s Core curriculum in Social Sciences, Humanities, Civilization Studies, and Arts.

At the workshop, we took some initial time to look over our syllabus jot down a preliminary answer to the following question: “What does this course teach about race?” A few more specific questions that were offered to help generate a response: 1) What’s the overarching narrative of this course? 2) Which minority voices have been incorporated into this syllabus? 3) How do these voices shape the narrative? 4) What happens in the classroom that might potentially affect the racial narrative taught by the course? After jotting down some thoughts in response, participants formed groups of three to four and took turns describing the racial content of their courses to each other. Then we reconvened and shared our findings. Here were some of our observations:

  • plenty of syllabi include non-white authors and composers, but they are commonly placed toward the end of course, where they receive less time and are less likely to be the subjects of written assignments
  • on syllabi that are organized chronologically, the late placement of people of color suggests that people of color, or at least their intellectual and artistic production, is a late-breaking historical development
  • the racial identities of white authors and composers often go unexamined
  • white authors are often treated as neutral or silent with regard to race, while non-white authors are cast primarily as concerned with race

After these reflections, we again formed groups — this time organized by discipline or teaching field–and spent some time together coming up with a response to this question: “How can we teach race better?” Here’s what we came up with:

How can we do better
“How can we do better?” Photo credit Anna Elena Torres.

 

Our second workshop, “Teaching Race in the Core #2: Classroom Techniques,” was held on March 2nd from noon to 1:20 p.m., and was led by Sonia Gomez and Chandani Patel. Again over sandwiches, we set out to “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.”

To begin with, we took turns thinking of an episode in which we thought race was handled well, and one in which it was not. Then as a group we discussed what lay at the core of the instructors’ success in the first instance and stumbling in the second.

The heart of the workshop was a session we spent thinking about particular racially explosive moments in the classroom and how to deal with them in the most pedagogically effective way.

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.

 

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