Identity & Intersectionality in Learning

Another thoughtful seminar chat.  Thank you to Christina for selecting the excellent article entitled Bi, Butch, and Bar Dyke: Pedagogical Performances of Class, Gender, and Sexuality by Michelle Gibson, Matha Marinara, and Deborah Meem.  Her blog post covers so much to reflect upon regarding this scholarship.   This article serves as a significant example of “case study” writing research (with an autoethnographic methodology showcased throughout).

With this reading, we further explored the role that voice plays in writing – specifically that it is connected to both embodiment and subjectivity.  (And we duly noted that voices via bodies are metaphors – marked and read in particular ways, bearing the sway of power and politics.)  We also talked about the link between voice & identity, and the yearning/reach for authenticity and “true self”.   We talked about the important link between vulnerability, voice, and empowerment.  If vulnerability is an important seed for authentic learning, then it is the writing process (and finding a voice within that process) that serves as a middle ground to help steady us on our own terms as we continue on a  somewhat risky journey.  We also spoke a bit about the potent potential of silence in a pedagogical context.  We considered the ways that not talking (to wait and listen, to be willing to let the silence hang in the air) has generative power.  Perhaps ironically, silence can be an important way to learn to communicate.

From the three case studies in the Gibson, Marinara, & Meem artcile, we then turned our attention to the notion of intersectionality.  Kim Crenshaw’s powerful TED talk really was a showcase of certain rhetorical finesse – she laid out a clear, concise, and unforgettable argument. Her bold look into the reality of race and gender biashelps others understand how the two can combine to create even more harm.  Intersectionality describes this phenomenon.  As Crenshaw states, “if you’re standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you’re likely to get hit by both.”

On the heels of our earlier theoretical reading, this TED talk prompted us to think further about the insection(s) of multiple forms of identity, “frames of consciousness”, and the problematic faith in a “trickle down” approach to social justice in general.  Crenshaw wisely suggests: “if there is no name for a problem, then you can’t see a problem. ”

What is next?

Next week we will conduct our learning in an asynchronous fashion (no in-person meeting on Oct 29).  Instead, we will take the week to dig into (surf) the Equity Unbound “all voices” collection as well as the active (ever-evolving) #unboundeq hashtag on twitter.  Please take a closer look at how this global professional learning community has been growing, notice conversations that leave an impression on you, and reflect.  In short, select some “highlights” to share out and reflect on in your next blog (blog #6).

In addition, take some time to consider our next Equity Unbound theme of “Fake News“.  To get started more specifically, please read the short article by Zeyneb Turfeki entitled “How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump“.  In addition, watch her TED talk:

We kick off our theme of Fake News with an #unboundeq Twitter slow chat over the next several days led by Bonnie Stewart (@bonstewart) on the topic of Social Media & Algorithmic Society and building on the work of Zeynep Tufecki.  You can jump right into the Twitter chat and add some responses anytime!  I will look for you all in the #unboundeq twitter thread. 🙂

***In summary, please write your sixth blog post on your Equity Unbound “curation” reflection, as well as your reflections regarding the above material about social media, algorithms, and fake news.

For the following week (Nov. 5th):

  • Please read Writing Comments on Student Papers by John Bean.  Serken will present on this article in the first part of our class time.  In the second part, we will return to the discussion of fake news, algorithms, and AI.
  • Write your seventh blog post, reflecting on Serken’s chosen article as well as the #unboundeq “fake news” discussion overall.
  • Don’t forget to tweet comments/thoughts and your blog post to the #unboundeq hashtag!

Enjoy this stretch!

Dr. Zamora


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