Last month I attended a two-session anti-racist pedagogy workshop at my university (Drexel, in Philadelphia, PA, US). It was organized by the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Amelia Hoover-Greene), with Drexel faculty member (Janet MCCloskey) and Neisha-Anne Green from American University. In the workshop we focused on the hegemony of standard american english -- grammar rules, phrases, and spelling styles; we discussed how language standards are born in and exacerbate racism. It was an excellent workshop that asked participants about their own language communities and practices, outside of the classroom, and got us thinking about how our syllabi and course policies reinforce exclusions, punish and normalize specific forms of thought and expression. (Here is a DEMAND for Black Linguistic Justice from the Conference on College Composition & Communication.)
I highlight this workshop here because I’m really grateful that folks in my college organize and participate in pedagogy training -- and especially anti-racist pedagogy work. Where do we go to do this kind of work, as educators, administrators, researchers, and perennial learners? Do our workplaces and research institutions offer training and resources? And how do “resources” (books, articles, videos, syllabi) get used, formally and informally? Where and how are we taught to teach?
Part of what the STS Infrastructures community has asked in the past, and continues to ask, is: what is an STS formation? This is a theme of this workshop as well. Looking through the work of scholars who have contributed to this meditation in the past -- such as in the STS Across Borders exhibit -- the generative work made possible by institutions stands out. How so for Critical STS Pedagogies, as a formation in/of STS? How do our institutions feed (or frustrate) our pedagogical work? How do we align ourselves, or distance ourselves, from the various institutions that we are imbricated in?
I'd love to hear folks experiences and thoughts on this below!
As someone who doesn’t like institutions very much, I’m a bit curious to find myself at this starting point, on the morning of our first session! But here I am... And I’m very much looking forward to all the different inroads, innovations, and styles of scholarship that we’ll learn about together in the weeks ahead!