"Feminism in the Writing Classroom: A Conversation About Feminist Theory and Decolonization"

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Norma Dibrell

My name is Denae Dibrell. I am a Lecturer at UTRGV. I will be chairing a roundtable in Boston in March for the NeMLA conference. I am so excited about this. 



Feel free to share this Call for Abstracts, submit an abstract, or reach out to me with any questions or concerns.



"Feminism in the Writing Classroom: A Conversation About Feminist Theory and Decolonization"


Our identities shape how we teach, how we learn, how we interact, how we use space, and how we language. Unfortunately, there are expectations academia and higher education has for educators and for students that do not account for all identities and experiences. Walter Mignolo argues that the literacy of the Americas was colonized based on how Europeans forced the indigenous people to use their alphabet and their languages. Perhaps if we frame the language standards and professional standards that we are held to as educators and that our students are held to as a form of oppression as a result of colonialism, we can use feminist theory as a response to challenge these standards. Cheryl Glenn describes rhetorical feminism as something that “enacts goals that are dialogic and transactional rather than monologic and reactional and attends to (provisionally) marginalized audiences.” Using bell hooks’ idea that the personal is political, we can in fact “reshape the rhetorical appeals, including a reshaped logos based on dialogue and understanding, a reshaped ethos rooted in experience, and a reshaped pathos that values emotion” in a way that allows our human nature, our unique identities, and our lived experiences to take space and shape in the classroom. Looking particularly to the writing classroom, a place where we language, we write, we make meaning, feminist pedagogy can serve as a way to decolonize some of the standards and perceptions and current norms of what a writing classroom should looks like.


This roundtable will explore how aspects of feminist theory can serves as a means to challenge the current colonial forms of meaning making, professionalism, and writing and language expectations of the writing classroom. We will discuss how feminist theory can partner with decolonial theory to create more identity and linguistically inclusive spaces. Using both theory and pedagogy, we will connect how we can use ideas to impact our writing classrooms.