Conferences

Let’s Talk about “Pedagogies of (Resistance to) Neoliberalism” and “Unruly Animations” at ASA!

I am feeling invigorated after HASTAC 2017: The Possible Worlds of Digital Humanities– my very first HASTAC conference (hopefully of many more to come). Everyone was so welcoming, even to someone who feels like an interloper in the DH world, and it was comforting to realize that a good number of people there also see themselves on the peripheries of this field. We had great conversations, both in person and on Twitter, about using technology to do social justice work,  disciplinary anxieties, feminist pedagogy, and cultivating new communities on and offline. There is so much to reflect on, so stay tuned for a fuller (and more coherent) reflection.

But for now, I am hoping to take the energy from this conference to the upcoming American Studies Association conference, “Pedagogies of Dissent.” I am presenting on the panel, “Pedagogies of (Resistance to) Neoliberalism” (Thursday, Nov. 9, 12-1:45 PM, Hyatt Regency Chicago, McCormick, Third Floor West Tower), along with Derek DiMatteo, Funie Hsu, and Emily Raymundo. Krista Benson, Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at Grand Valley State University, will be chairing and offering comments on our work. I am looking forward to this exciting conversation and hope to see you there!

If you’re interested, here is the abstract for my paper:

Continue reading “Let’s Talk about “Pedagogies of (Resistance to) Neoliberalism” and “Unruly Animations” at ASA!”

Conferences

Join Us for “Building a Feminist Future” at HASTAC 2017

HASTAC 2017: The Possible Worlds of Digital Humanities is right around the corner and I am so excited to be chairing the panel, “Building a Feminist Future: On (Digital) Pedagogical Praxis” (Friday, November 3, 1:45 PM – 3:15 PM in CB1-105; Session Number: FSA01).

Organized and facilitated by Emily EstenMelissa MeadeDanica SavonickWhitney Sperrazza, and Heather Suzanne Woods this session will be interactive–not your regular conference panel–and depend heavily on audience engagement. We will work together to explore what a feminist classroom looks and feels like and discuss strategies that you can integrate into your everyday teaching practices. The goal is to crowd-source a range of methods and resources that will be made available to all educators committed to feminist and antiracist pedagogy. Needless to say, this panel speaks to the Futures Initiative and HASTAC‘s emphasis on higher education as a public good.

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Teaching

Making Time for Listening Dyads in the Classroom

One of the challenges of teaching is struggling to find time–the time you need to lesson plan and prepare for your classes, to cover material you’ve included on your course syllabi, to support students, create and grade assignments, and so on and on.

Teachers are pressed for time. This is hardly a new revelation. And yet, because the minutes we have in the classroom with our students are precious, I am writing here to argue for making time–for listening dyads (as the title of this post suggests), but also for what motivates them, a commitment to building an inclusive community in your classrooms that ensures everyone’s voices are heard.

In the Futures Initiative we discuss the importance of practices like this through the concept of structuring equality. It is an idea that recognizes the value hierarchies and conditions of social inequity that underwrite higher education and the broader material worlds in which we live. To enact meaningful transformation therefore requires more than good intentions; it entails actively building structures for equality and inclusion in our classrooms, the sites where we–as teachers–have the most immediate impact.

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Research

Following Wild Mushrooms: A Letter to Anna Tsing

Dear Anna,

I have been a fan of your work since I read Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (2005) at the beginning of my graduate studies, so I don’t know why it has taken me this long to pick up The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (2015). But since I started reading it in late August, I can’t stop thinking about your project.

It offers such a captivating invitation- to follow the lifeways of matsutake, wild mushrooms, and the lives it assembles. Who would’ve thought that a project could be built around a single type of mushroom? …But you did. I’m sure there were and still are people who would dismiss a work like this for daring to focus on something so small and, some would say, insignificant. And yet, you elegantly show us how following matsutake opens up whole worlds.

Your work has attuned me to new ways of seeing and understanding received categories and concepts–capitalism, ecology, labor, freedom, precarity, and ruin. I am still in awe of how deftly you take readers from the day-to-day struggles of mushroom foragers searching for matsutake in the forests of Oregon and the complicated stories of how and why they began picking mushrooms for a living, to consider broad-scale questions about ecological devastation and forest renewal, to how matsutake enter capitalist markets and informal gift economies in Japan.

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Teaching

Reflections on Writing about My Pedagogy

I recently presented a talk, “‘Arts of Noticing’: On Creating Breathing Room for Dissent,” as part of a roundtable discussion on Pedagogies of Dissent for Asian American Studies. I wrote up a detailed recap of the event on the Futures Initiative blog, so for this post I wanted to share some reflections on the process of writing about my pedagogy.

Although I have prepared numerous conference presentations before, they were all focused on my research rather than my teaching; and while I’ve written statements of teaching philosophy (mainly for job applications), this was the first time I had to deliver remarks on my pedagogy in such a public way. I twas difficult to know how and where to start.

The experiences I gained over the years teaching at a range of different institutions, with students of diverse socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, blurred together and felt too overwhelming to articulate clearly, in a way that would resonate with my potential listeners. I knew I had to offer up my personal reflections on encounters with students in the classroom carefully so they could open up, rather than foreclose, conversation about pedagogy as a practice of dissent.

Knowing this forced me to pause and really think hard about my teaching. Eventually, the strategy I came up with was to treat the preparation for this talk as a kind of course in itself. I asked myself how I would normally approach teaching a class on Asian American literature and the feelings of doubt and uncertainty dissipated. I was on familiar ground.

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