A Thanksgiving of/for Learning: National Native American Heritage Month

I’ve purposefully waited until after the US Thanksgiving weekend to draft this blogpost. I’ve been thinking, throughout the entire month of November, about what to say. After all, November is National Native American Heritage Month. As noted on a webpage describing the rightful goal of honoring Native peoples throughout November, the “Library of Congress, National …

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“We Are All Bound Up Together”: Embrace the Powerful Heritage of Frances E. W. Harper’s Women’s Suffrage Rhetoric

Here's a recent TWEET from Civil Rights icon John Lewis: John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) 10/26/18, 1:09 PM The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument we have in a democratic society. Let nothing stand in your way to use it so that together we may build a …

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Teaching about Gender Identities in the Context of the Kavanaugh Controversy

I am an educator whose work includes teaching about gender identities in action. I am struggling with how to help my students right now, and in the days ahead, as they respond to the ongoing controversy around Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and multiple women’s charges against him. The impact of this intense conflict—played out …

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An Inquiry into a “Feminist Inquiry” Course

Academic twitter has been bubbling up for weeks with faculty members’ accounts of preparing syllabi. For a lover of curriculum-building like me, reading others’ descriptions of these intellectually rich planning processes is energizing and inspiring. Christina Katopodis (@nemersonian) 8/20/18, 3:00 PM TPS Activity for my American Lit class: "What is your goal for this class? …

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Celebrating an Archive of Students’ Writing to Learn

I’d like to celebrate an archive of learning emerging from an energizing class I taught in spring 2018. I wish I could open up and read entries from the digital folders where I’ve filed their exciting texts. You’d find distinctive voices. Analyses grounded in thoughtful interviews and site visits. Careful re-readings of literary texts to …

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“Americans” Exhibit at the NMAI

“Americans.” This single-word naming of a new exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) tellingly links up with a crucial claim staked out both by the museum’s very presence on the National Mall and by this exhibition. Specifically, the NMAI rightfully asserts, Native Americans are indeed “Americans,” people whose lives and social …

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What Can White Teachers Do to Support Black History Month?

The posters for special events tied to Black History Month start appearing several weeks ahead, and I mark my personal calendar. I try out multiple tactics for encouraging my students—most of them white—to attend. But I’m also seeking ways to support learning about Black history and culture at my predominantly white institution (or, in shorthand, …

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Gender Trouble in the High School Hallway and in Viral Web Spaces: Stage West’s New Production in Fort Worth, TX

What appealed to me about Stage West’s current offering of Like a Billion Likes wasn’t only the production’s biting critique of social media’s troubling influence on teenagers’ lives today. Certainly, that dimension of Erik Forrest Jackson’s script is both engaging and timely. For me, however, what pushes this inventive production into more complex territory is …

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December Journeys & a 2018 Resolution: Looking Out for Our Fellow Travelers

Giving directions to two French tourists as they puzzled over English-only signs to a car rental center. Lifting bags off the luggage carrousel for a young mom, traveling alone with her baby. Giving up a seat on the airport monorail to an exhausted-looking fellow rider. Holding the elevator door open and calling out a jovial …

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