Race Matters: Teaching "Ethnic" Texts in the Literary Classroom

full name / name of organization: 
CEA (Roundtable)

Seeking panelists for a Roundtable Panel at the 43rd Annual College English Association (CEA) Conference (March 29-31, 2012) to be held in Richmond, VA. In a recent article on teaching multiethnic literature published in MELUS, Tina Chen calls for "an ethics of knowledge, derived from the literature itself, that can help us teach our students to be ethically oriented towards the study of alterity." Such an ethics of knowledge, Chen proposes, would emphasize the responsibilities incumbent on authors, readers, and critics as they address cultural difference, and would help to counter the "humanistic impulse" that seeks to privilege similarity in the midst of alterity.

In keeping with the conference's theme of "Borders," the panel's topic, "Race Matters: Teaching 'Ethnic' Texts in the Literary Classroom," hopes to facilitate a discussion of the ways in which the literary classroom engages borders of self, knowledge, and community when race as a construct, discourse, or material reality emerges as topic of inquiry. Consequently, submissions should address the topic of "teaching race/ethnicity in the literary classroom" in some way. This panel is especially interested in fostering productive conversation about the pedagogical challenges, practices, and strategies involved in "teaching race" with literature as subject matter. Each panelist will be asked to offer approximately ten minutes of prepared material, with the remaining time allocated to group discussion. Abstracts should include a description of specific pedagogical practices, texts, and/or topics the panelist will address.

Proposals of 250-500 words should be emailed to L. Bailey McDaniel (mcdanie2@oakland.edu) or Ann-Marie Dunbar (adunbar@winona.edu) by October 17, 2011. Along with your submission, please include name, institutional affiliation, email and snail mail address, contact phone number, and any A-V or other special presentation needs. Receipt of submissions will be confirmed via email.