Teaching with Tension: Race, Resistance, and Reality in the Classroom

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR A PROPOSED EDITED COLLECTION. We are seeking submissions for a collection of essays titled Teaching with Tension: Race, Resistance, and Reality in the Classroom. This edited volume addresses the extent to which attitudes about race, impacted by our current political environment, have produced pedagogical challenges for professors in the humanities who teach subjects that involve race. For some Americans, including many of the students we teach in colleges and universities across the country, President Barack Obama’s administration signaled an end to the age of race-based preferential treatment and discrimination. This belief has prompted some people—like music producer Pharrell Williams and actress Raven Symone—to identify themselves in terms more national than racial. For others, the idea that we live in an era of race neutrality is challenged by recent high-profile events involving the killings of several unarmed racial and ethnic minorities at the hands of policemen and community vigilantes and the rise of ultraconservative politics. For these Americans, racial difference remains real and consequential. These responses to our current sociopolitical moment reveal an America dichotomized regarding issues of race.
We seek essays that confront this moment. Specifically, we seek submissions that discuss the ways in which scholars have encountered and addressed obstacles for teaching race as it relates to any ethnic or racialized group(s) in race studies courses. We also invite submission of essays that address the ways in which race and post-racial rhetoric have affected the classrooms of Women’s Studies and of those who teach American Studies and race internationally. We seek approaches that are theoretical, anecdotal, and deeply pedagogical.
Essays might address questions, such as the following: How does rhetoric about post-raciality complicate the ways we historicize race or talk about race and current events in our classes? In what ways have students’ thinking about race provoked “new” ways for contextualizing the study of race? What teaching strategies work well (or fail) to help students navigate our current moment? In what ways have both students and teachers negotiated racial issues as both individual and social phenomena and as pedagogical and humanistic imperatives?
If interested, please email queries or a one-page CV and 500-word abstract to Philathia Bolton at pbolton@uakron.edu; Cassander Smith atclsmith17@ua.edu; and Lee Bebout at lee.bebout@asu.edu by February 1, 2016. In the subject line for the email, please write “Proposal for Teaching with Tension Volume.” The deadline for 5000-7000 word essays from accepted abstracts will be August 31, 2016.

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