Saturday, September 27, 2008

Teaching Diversity Session

Attending a session on teaching diversity. Cynthia Ho from UNC Asheville is talking about her pre-modern women's writers class, in which she realized that she had been teaching literature like this without deeply teaching diversity. She had submitted the class for UNCA's "diversity intensive" requirement, but had been told that the course, as originally planned, did not meet the diversity requirements. As she reconfigured the class to more overtly and significantly address the ways in which these women writers were both privileged and oppressed, the ways in which these texts provide entre into the lives of Others, the ways in which power worked in the lives of these women and in the lives of the students. She reworked a nominally diverse class to become a richly diverse course.

Discussion brought up the importance of "multipositional" theory.

Bob Strong from St. Edward's University is talking about teaching diversity to non-diverse classes. ST. E has a clear rationale for diversity education; nice touch. Some great texts / resources: Race--the Power of an Illusion; The Genographic Project from National Geographic, American's Stone Age Explorers. Uses Guarding the Golden Door to help with the history of immigration and its impact on American attitudes toward race. Lerner's The Creation of the Patriarchy and other gender sources. The Power Dead-Even Rule: gender cultures and means of communication. Assignments: roots paper, socialization paper, application paper. Good tight course by the looks of the presentation.

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