CFP: Teaching Race in American Colleges in the 21st Century (12/31/05; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Lisa Guerrero
contact email:

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Problem of the Colorblind: College Teachers Talk
About the Fears, Risks, and Rewards of Teaching Race in 21st Century

Seeking contributions for an edited collection of essays on the subject
of teaching matters of race in the college classroom in 21st century

With the establishment of Ethnic Studies and Area Studies departments
in universities across the country during the 1960s, college classrooms
became some of the first spaces in which to enter openly into
contestatory dialogues of race. Within the American public sphere,
these classrooms began to reflect the monumental tide that had turned
as a result of the continued struggles of the Civil Rights
Movement. Inside the curricula of Black Studies, Chicano/Latino
Studies, Native American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Ethnic
Studies departments professors from varied disciplines began the work
of recuperating and critically analyzing the histories and traditions
of racialized groups that had largely been ignored, marginalized, or
misrepresented in the American academy, and American society in
general, for hundreds of years. Though never completely without its
challenges, the teaching of race in American universities in the latter
half of the 20th century seemed to be supported, however tenuously, by
social trajectories that appeared willing to confront questions of
equality, oppression, racism, inclusion, democracy, and
freedom. Recently, however, we have seen the tides begin to turn again
in a dramatic fashion. One only need look at the furor over comments
made by Ward Churchill, recently resigned chair of Ethnic Studies at
the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the subsequent indictment of
the department as a whole, and indeed the larger discipline itself. For
varied reasons, including the rising tide of American neo-conservatism
and the increasing push toward corporatizing universities, teaching
matters of race has become an endeavor fraught with frustration and
risk, even as it continues to be vitally necessary and rewarding.

The book will be primarily intended for educators, though also intended
for an informed general audience interested in issues of education,
race, and/or social justice. The collection of approximately fifteen
original essays will examine various perspectives on challenges, large
and small, that are confronted by professors teaching courses and
topics regarding race on today’s campuses in the United States.

I envision that the essays will be combinations of personal
narratives/memoir and critical pedagogy, with the aim of the collection
as a whole being to provide a critical forum to share experiences,
strategize pedagogy, and reimagine the approach to race education in
the ever-changing American racial climate.

Proposals are welcome on, but not limited to, the following topics:

• The effects of the corporate university
• Addressing white privilege in the classroom
• Professorial positioning in the class
• Issues of race in post-9/11 America
• The phenomena of PC culture (e.g. multiculturalism, colorblindness)
• The effects of Affirmative Action backlash
• The academic ghettoization of Ethnic Studies and Area Studies
• The place of activism in teaching race
• The vulnerability of students of color in race studies courses
• The effects of the “new racism” on college campuses

If you are interested in contributing to this project, please respond
by December 31, 2005, with a brief (approximately 500 words) abstract
of your proposed essay, accompanied by a brief biography. (No CVs
please.) Abstracts and biographies should be sent electronically to E-mail Microsoft Word attachments only please. 

For further information, or any questions, feel free to contact me.

Lisa Guerrero
Assistant Professor
Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies
Washington State University
Pullman, WA

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Received on Sun Sep 18 2005 - 12:30:12 EDT

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