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Thursday, January 12 • 10:30am - 11:15am
Mobilizing for Justice (1): Promises and Pitfalls of a Politically Engaged Classroom

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Session Outcomes: (Donoghue)

1.  Faculty will discuss how making their teaching relevant to the current state of American racial relations can become politically controversial despite adhering to best disciplinary/pedagogical methods and practices.

2.  Faculty will brainstorm on best disciplinary/pedagogical practices in relation to the "post-truth" paradigm of contemporary American political culture.

Session Description: (Donoghue)

I will discuss how my efforts to recruit African American students for my Hist 300: Slavery and Abolition: Then and Now course became a target for right-wing attempts to shame/silence/intimidate faculty via on-line exposes on conservative sites.  Following this targeting, my name was placed on the “Professor     Watchlist.”  I will also discuss the course itself and how it struggles against the “violence of forgetting” in regard to slavery’s racist (both structural and overt) legacies in contemporary America. Part of the talk will also focus on how the acceleration of America’s decline into a ‘post-truth’ political culture, a decline brought on by the Trump campaign, has intensified the link between the violence of forgetting and political violence (rhetorical and physical) itself.

Session Outcomes: (Johnson)

1.  Discuss the potential benefits and costs of addressing subjects of contemporary political controversy in class.

2,  Faculty will consider different ways to reconcile strong commitments to particular causes with openness and respect for different opinions.

Session Description: Johnson

 I will share some of my experiences of tackling subjects such as climate change, immigration policy, and economic questions that are the subjects of both academic inquiry and of contemporary politics.  On the one hand, these questions are important in their own right, and their incorporation underscores the relevance of history and other disciplines.  On the other hand, discussing them can risk simply activating pre-existing beliefs and commitments and alienating students whose views may be at odds with those of a professor or the majority of their classmates.



Thursday January 12, 2017 10:30am - 11:15am CST
Wintrust Hall