Author Archives: Jessica Murray

About Jessica Murray

Jessica Murray received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at The Graduate Center, CUNY in 2020. She is the Director of Digital Communications for Transformative Learning in the Humanities (TLH), a three-year initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She is also working on a web project with teaching materials about civil rights struggles in New York City, including disability rights history. She advocates for improving public transit accessibility in New York City for people with disabilities and chairs the Advisory Committee for Transit Accessibility for New York City Transit.

CUNY Student Summit event recap

What is the university you want? That was the key topic of discussion and debate during a day-long virtual summit held on May 5, 2023 for hundreds of students from campuses across CUNY. 

The event, hosted by Transformative Learning in the Humanities (TLH), was the product of a full year of planning led by summit coordinator Yuma Carpenter-New (MFA Program, Brooklyn College) and a 24-member student advisory board. It attracted more than 220 attendees who came together to think about what their college communities need most and to imagine ways to improve their social learning experience and academic life (see full summit schedule below).

The summit opened with a reading of a collaborative poem crafted by the Student Advisory Board, a manifesto outlining the desires and needs of students within the university and an introduction to the summit read by TLH student advisors. TLH Faculty Co-Director Shelly Eversley shared her thoughts on the manifesto and the role of students in shaping higher education. Continue reading

Tracie Morris speaks from behind a podium on state. A large screen to her right shows the cover of the book, "How To Do Things With Words.: by J.L. Austin

Event recap – The Transformative Power of Meaning: Poetics & Pedagogy

– by TLH Faculty Co-Director, Matt Brim

On April 27 Transformative Learning in the Humanities welcomed poet, scholar, and performer Tracie Morris, MFA, PhD, to the CUNY Graduate Center for the final event in our 2022-23 speaker series. For Morris, the first Black tenured professor in the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the moment was also a homecoming. She is a double CUNY alum and native New Yorker. Speaking to an audience of CUNY students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the local community, Morris explored the ways Black Studies professor Myrna Bain and other Hunter College faculty shaped her, linking affordable public education to the love of learning for its own sake. “CUNY allowed for a merging,” she reflected, the creation of “a philosophy of life.” Invoking artistic influences Sonia Sanchez and Sweet Honey in the Rock, Morris infused her talk with poems from her new collection, human/nature poems. One of the few sound poets working today, Morris concluded by voicing a new sound poem, “apple,” in collaboration with the event’s American Sign Language interpreters. A question and answer period was followed by a celebratory reception for the diverse TLH community built over the past three years of the Andrew Mellon funded initiative.

Still frame from a Zoom meeting showing a lot of smiling faces

Event Recap – Life after CUNY: 5-Minute Lessons

– by TLH Faculty Fellows Nina Hien, James K. Harris, Anna D’Souza, Meghan Gilbert-Hickey, and Elizabeth Alsop

This virtual event featured four CUNY alumni who responded to current CUNY students’ questions about life and career after college. The presentations were showcased at a Zoom event, hosted and framed by CUNY students.

Celia Au, a recent alumnus of Berlinale Talents 2023, is well known for playing a variety of characters across Netflix’s Wu Assassins, Comedy Central’s Nora from Queens, and AMC’s Lodge 49. Au believes the power of storytelling is to change perception and her producorial slate is centered around uplifting AAPI voices. Her current projects include an untitled cooking show in co-production with Hearst Media Productions, a TV show and 3 feature films in development. She recently produced a Music Video Don’t Give Up by artist Calistar and directed by Ron Yuan. Her films were nominated at the SoHo International film, Asian on Films and her VR project premiered at Cucalorus film festival. In addition to acting and producing, Au has been an outspoken activist in the AAPI community and has spoken at engagements with Goldman Sachs, IPG group, AEG Studios, Wash the Hate, Act to Change, and others. In 2020-2022 Celia was named the “Ambassador of Hope” at the Rise Above the Storm Gala. Celia is a graduate of CUNY Baruch. Continue reading

Padlet showing multiple typed responses from faculty fellows. Full text is available at the end of the post.

Showing Care in the Classroom 

This is the second of a two-part post, synthesizing our final faculty seminar, with our final cohort of faculty fellows. These seminars have been at the heart of the TLH program, as we have aspired to cultivate agents of change in the classroom and beyond. During our 18 seminar sessions over the past two years, we’ve also tried to practice what we preach by fully engaging all participants in the co-learning and teaching process. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using an inventory method to make sure everyone is heard. It’s also an especially generative process for coming up with ideas that others can draw on in their teaching. For part one, check out Ideas for Teaching (and Teaching Outside) the Canon

The second half of our seminar was dedicated to topics of care in the classroom. I spoke about disability and ableism, a pervasive force in our society, and especially in higher education. I also touched on the ways universal design can not only help students with disabilities, but has been proven to benefit all students. Accommodations for disabled students in higher ed are typically given when students show proof of a disability and make formal requests through an accessibility office. While the system is set up to make sure that their federal rights are guaranteed, it also inadvertently creates more work for disabled students. They may feel stigmatized by the process, or by a system that expects people to “game” the system. 

Therefore, I invited our fellows to think about accessibility as care. Drawing on universal design principles, accommodations like having written materials in alternative formats for people who are blind or have low vision (i.e. someone who needs screen-readable text) also benefits the student who might want to read on a smart phone during their commute on the subway. It’s more common for students to request accommodations like extended time on assignments or exams, testing in alternative locations, or simply having breaks during exams. These types of requests can also benefit other students, by reducing anxiety associated with testing and grading, and by acknowledging and making time for universal needs. With that understanding, why not just make accommodations for all students? For anyone who might want to try it, I drew on Shelly Eversly’s idea for a care and community statement (below), which includes all of the resources Baruch students might need but not know about. 

Accessibility Statement

We all learn differently and may need help or support in different forms. I do my best to make sure course materials are available in formats that can be printed or read on computer or smartphone before and after we meet as a class. I also strive to make sure our synchronous sessions are accessible. If anything about this course prevents you from learning or participating, please let me know. Your input makes sure I can develop a plan to make sure everyone succeeds. I also encourage you to visit the Accessibility Services Office to see if there are additional accommodations, tools, or supports you may not know about but could benefit from. 

You might link to your campus accessibility office for additional support. Shelly also puts a version of this at the top of her syllabus each semester:

Statement of Care and Community

We care about you.  We also know that you have a life outside of school, that everyone learns differently, and that you came to college to succeed.  For all of these reasons and more, it is important for you to have ready access to the resources and services that are free and available to you as a student at Baruch.  The college’s Student Services includes counseling services, services for veterans and for families, services for people with disabilities, and services for financial and housing emergencies.  Healthy CUNY has food pantries accessible to all CUNY students in every borough. The college also offers free COVID testing.

As a Baruch student, you also have free access to Starr Career Development Center.  The Writing Center offers one-on-one help with your writing.  The Newman Library provides consultations on your research projects and online tutorials, as well as short term use of computers and other technology.  You also have free access to study spaces and places to take your online classes.

In order to build and sustain our own community, let us collectively contribute to our shared class notes and resources.  Everyone in this class is welcome to join our Whatsapp group for sharing information, course-related news, and positive vibes.

To close out our final session, we created a padlet and invited fellows to give us their final thoughts on taking what they learned from TLH forward with them. They gave us their thoughts anonymously and in the chat:

“vulnerability–both sharing my own and creating space for students to be whole, flawed humans.”

“re-read Bettina Love!  Audre Lorde!  Toni Cade Bambara!”

“create new canonical texts from more marginalized ones.”

“design my syllabus to allow more spaciousness for my students and for me.”

“talk to my colleagues about active learning tools”

“co-create more of my courses”

“aspire toward total participation in every class session”

“Make accommodations available to everyone”

“extend generosity”

“rework syllabus to include words that are less institutional and that show more care.”

“armed love”

“using more invitations in my Syllabus for community, care and recognition”

“make room to disrupt groupthink!”

“Be flexible and when in doubt, ask the students”

“Just inclusivity in general! awareness”

“Inclusivity means so many things. Syllabus diversity, inclusivity in the way we teach and include students who don’t participate in conventional ways, inclusive language on the syllabus, etc.”

“Emphasize the importance of creative thinking not only as a problem solving tool, but as a life strategy.  Let’s not follow, let’s lead!”


“I’m participating in an innovative pedagogy reading and discussion group on my campus and I’m bringing everything you all share into that space!”

“I will carry forward the practice of fostering student-to-student engagement”

“Syllabus creation as a political act: I’m really invested in rethinking how the syllabus can be a place to articulate priorities beyond course content”

“Emphasize student-centered approaches”

“I allow my students to miss two of our ten modules without penalty (nor excusing themselves) so that they can make a choice about when to prioritize other things”

“I hand out index cards at the beginning of class to let students pose a question to me that they don’t feel comfortable asking during class regarding lesson or coursework”

“This semester, I’m doing a lot of individual reflection on how we like to learn, where we like to read and/or write, and how we do our best thinking. We’re analyzing ourselves and sharing what we learn, what we already knew, and what surprises us. Just normalizing that has been super powerful for the class and for me!”

“I feel like there’s been a paradigm shift towards faculty being more in that quasi-counselor role – it would be great to have more training provided. Often doctoral students at the GC are not offered much training, if any, on how to teach, much less support mental health awareness in their classrooms.”

“And when I hear about personal difficulties (which I always emphasize they should only share with me if they want to), I give them as much flexibility as I can in my course, but also try to identify when and how I should refer them to counseling or other relevant CUNY services.”

Thank you to all of our amazing and caring faculty fellows!

Zoom screen shot from an online faculty fellow seminar with a lot of smiling faces

Ideas for Teaching (and Teaching Outside) the Canon

This is the first of a two-part post, synthesizing our final faculty seminar, with our final cohort of faculty fellows. These seminars have been at the heart of the TLH program, as we have aspired to cultivate agents of change in the classroom and beyond. During our 18 seminar sessions over the past two years, we’ve also tried to practice what we preach by fully engaging all participants in the co-learning and teaching process. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using an inventory method to make sure everyone is heard. It’s also an especially generative process for coming up with ideas that others can draw on in their teaching. For part two, check out Showing Care in the Classroom. 

We started the session by discussing the introduction to Tracie Morris’s Who Do With Words (pp. 11-23) in which Morris challenges us to think about approaching the canon through “what we, those of marginalized status, have always done when the barrage of the status quo asserts itself. We find a way shape shift cursed words, to make the onslaught of actions meant to harm, in some way meaningful, affirming, to us in another way. ” (p. 21). 

Drawing on Morris’ idea of changing her relationship to harmful texts, faculty co-directors Matt Brim and Shelley Eversley, and Pedagogy co-leader, Khanh Le offered the prompt: 

If an instructor is handed a syllabus and they can’t change it? What does one do? 

Matt summarized Shelly and Khanh’s remarks, and encouraged everyone to start thinking and writing down their strategies for teaching canonical texts: 

“Shelly transforms canonical texts by citing Black women and by referring to Black cultural expression. This is the politics of citation. Khanh redefines the terms being used: “What is standard? What is a canon?” And by choosing texts his students can connect to. Center students’ experience even with required texts.”

This modeled the exercise for everyone on the call and opened up space for dialogue through the chat, and in reading the responses out loud. Everyone shared both general strategies and specific examples of how they teach required readings (responses have been lightly edited to correct errors and provide clarity when needed):

“I am required to teach Shakespeare in my college composition class at Hunter College so I teach Taming of the Shrew and use it as a time for us to reflect on domestic violence and sexual harassment and assault on college campuses.” – Christina Katopodis 

“When dealing with mainstream/canonical texts, I often put them in historical context to add color and inclusivity to the conversation. Or, I cite a lesser-known BIPOC contemporary text/author to ask how the mainstreamed author might engage the lesser-known/obscured author. Sometimes I teach a “canonical” text and point to the moments (however brief) that indicate the presence of Black people. Think about Medusa in Greek mythology: was she so stunning that men only metaphorically turned to stone?  Were the snakes as hair, dreadlocks?”  – Shelly Eversley

“I identify with Khan’s way of teaching a canonical text by relating it to a culture that speaks to students nowadays. This is actually the only way a canonical text can survive and be read, in my opinion. I teach Great Works of Literature, and I base my syllabus off of an anthology, but I am allowed liberties. For the part of my syllabus which is formed by classics (Voltaire, Rousseau, Wordsworth, Dickinson, Ibsen, Woolf) I always find that the students identify with the texts because of the universal and timeless dilemmas they raise. Sure, they may see Candide’s optimistic determinism as mere optimism, but then it’s my job to give them context, and they have no trouble differentiating their 21st-century experience of a text from the contemporary context of that text’s publication time. [in response to a later comment] My students sometimes ask why we read ‘depressing’ texts, and I tell them we can derive satisfaction from unpacking texts that have shaped our world in bad ways as well” – Manon Hakem-Lemaire

“I am lucky in that I get to select which texts I assign to students and I rarely (if ever?) choose from the canon. But I used to have to use an anthology, so I used assignments to create space for students to write back. Students have written an analysis of the anthology intro, thinking about bias and editorial choices. They’ve also written proposals for additions to the anthology or to an altogether new anthology.” – Meghan Gilbert

“For the final unit/assignment in my American Literature Survey course, I ask students to design their own courses and course reading lists choosing texts that “speak back to” or “reconstruct” the canon and some of the canonical works we’ve discussed together. They’ve designed courses centering Black Women Writers, LGBTQIA writers, immigrant writers, and nonstandardized Englishes—such cool projects!” – Melissa Dennihy

“I think about this question in terms of my ever- (and quickly-) evolving field of queer studies. Do I still have to teach Gender Trouble, a book that transformed the field? When do newer texts displace older, canonical ones? A hurdle here is that most of the great new texts refer to the older canonical ones. This is a question I struggle with, because getting the intellectual history in place is important. I try to honor the past without getting stuck there.” – Matt Brim

“One thing I do in my memoir class is to have the class generate a reading list as a group, so that they can share and recommend texts to each other that I may not even be aware of. This decenters me as the sole creator of the syllabus. It’s very fluid. We read contemporary work by writers from the communities the students come from, and don’t think about canons. We read Ly Tran because she was part of this TLH project. And Ocean Vuong.” – Emily Raboteau

“There is a certain regard for the text that makes its way to the syllabus. It’s the bible, canon, the text(s) that matter for this course. I think about a student, M, who composed her final project for my class in response to Chavez’s Decolonizing the Writer’s Workshop (a required text for my course). She wrote at length about her alienating experiences as an Southeast Asian woman of color in her other courses at our so called liberal, progressive, diverse urban college in the heart of Brooklyn. A point of inquiry was one Prof’s syllabus. The texts were included in her final project – all white men, all cis, all canon. She composed her rage in comic book strips – the scenes were animated and screenshots of texts and emails between her and this Prof found their way too. How do I make space for all of us, to try to “do” justice? Mostly by inviting in the rage, the anger, what bell hooks describes in her talk on Thich Nhat Hanh as the ‘compost for your garden.’ What is it that we don’t want? What is it that we resist? That’s what I hope finds its way to my course and syllabus.” – Natalie Nuzzo

“I teach a sculpture lesson where students use linear, planar and geometric objects to reimagine a chapter from Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities.  Even though the book is centered around conversations between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan I ask students to think of the deeper meaning of the text and to use abstraction to suggest, rather than illustrate the meaning of the city described within.  Once students have chosen a chapter that they want to recreate as a sculpture, they have to translate common materials (cardboard, wire, bamboo skewers, Styrofoam and plaster) into something meaningful to them.  But the act of translation is more meaningful than just the materials they are using.  It also refers to their reinterpretation of the text as well, and allows them to reimagine themselves within the cities they create.” – Roberto Visani

“1. Role playing with characters from a text but the students are allowed to make different situations and different outcomes. 2. Introducing modern-day and more relevant artistic interpretations of the text and 3. Give students power over the text with an assignment like, ‘If you were the publisher, how would you market this text; would you even publish it?'” – Laurie Lomask

“I assign a text that will challenge the canonical one and have students historically contextualize both of the texts and see them for the time in which they were produced. Then students pull out strands of conversations between them and discuss these viewpoints. So for instance, John Berger’s Ways of Seeing with Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation”. – Nina Hien

“I teach Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), which are structured to reinforce whiteness, hetero masculinity, settler colonialism, and very clearly “other” women, queer folks, people of color, indigenous people…everyone who isn’t a straight white christian male in the US. Since most of my students don’t start with any knowledge of LCSH, I introduce it to them through the documentary film Change the Subject about a group of undocumented Latinx college students who organized to get the subject term ‘illegal aliens’ removed. So from the jump we’re talking about the power of people to organize and effect change.” – Sarah B Cohn

“So many good ideas here! I think this has already been alluded to, but one idea when teaching canonical texts (often in film survey classes) has been to pair w/ another non-canonical text that challenges or “responds” to text in some way, and opens up the opportunity to question the constructed nature of canons. E.g. pairing a week on classical Hollywood cinema with Julie Dash’s Illusions, Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and with bell hooks’s Oppositional Gaze” –  Elizabeth Alsop

“I’ve been thinking a lot about intellectual violence and the ways in which ‘bad’ ideas seem to persist. I think my approach to teaching difficult texts is informed by a sense that some ideas are inevitable and part of being a trained critical thinker is knowing how to both encounter those ideas on their own terms and not be afraid to speak out against what feels like inherited wisdom. In the literature classroom, racism is easy and frankly trendy to call out, everything else seems more open to debate. Using difficult texts as a way to force a conversation about complex ideas feels like a way to both foreground the ‘canon’ while also unpacking it.” – James Harris

“If it’s a western canonical text, I’m looking for a source that is BIPOC that demonstrates for students that similar thinking for students to locate their experiences, observations and thoughts in it. I try to create an atmosphere through questions and reflection for students and myself to see how such a text is myopic in choice to ignore experiences and identities familiar to me/them. If it’s a western text talking about language then I’m using texts like Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Amy Tan, James Baldwin, Natalie Diaz, John Keene, bell hooks, June Jordan, Doreen St. Felix and Toni Morrison to demonstrate that language and rigor or thought about power and language exists too. The hope is that they see the lineage of thought and are empowered by it rather than thinking these terms and ideas are dictated, ossified, or rarified.” – Syreeta McFadden

We hope you’ll be inspired by some of these ideas to make required readings relevant to students by connecting them to contemporary issues and other points of view. Thank you to all of our faculty fellows for bringing so much to our seminars!

Read part 2, Showing Care in the Classroom.

Call for Proposals: Student Summit on the Role of Humanities in a Just Society

May 5, 2023 @ 9 AM-5 PM ET (Zoom)

What is the university you want? Transformative Learning in the Humanities (TLH) calls for creative, multimodal presentations from 50 CUNY students. Accepted applicants will receive a financial aid scholarship of $300 and a tablet. Applications are due Friday, March 3, 2023. 

We invite you to think about what your college community needs most to better support its students, and to imagine resources that would improve your social learning experience and academic life. To dream of safe spaces where respect, communication, and transparency are valued. To envision a stripped-down version of the faculty-student relationship, where faculty are better resourced themselves to be able to put students’ needs first. To conceive of concrete ways in which CUNY administration can better respond to issues raised by students. For the Spring 2023 Student Summit, a one-day virtual gathering, CUNY’s TLH program will provide a platform upon which students from all backgrounds can speak freely about what their institution is missing, and can talk back to their university. Continue reading

Definition of Ableism by Talila Lewis

Resources for Practicing Anti-Ableist Pedagogy

On Saturday, November 5, 2022, I had the privilege of conducting a pedagogy workshop at the American Studies Association conference, with my esteemed TLH colleagues and mentors, Cathy Davidson, Shelly Eversley, Christina Katopodis, Javiela Evengelista, and Jason Hendrickson. 

Anti-ableist pedagogy is a topic we’ve taken up in our TLH seminars over the past two years as another way to promote equity in the classroom. Anti-ableist pedagogy isn’t just about accessibility—making sure that all of your students can access and understand materials you use for teaching and that they can participate equally in the classroom—it’s also about recognizing and critiquing the harms caused by ableism in society and in our educational systems. It’s about accepting disability as part of human diversity and a positive identity marker, as opposed to a deficit, a reason for pity, or a justification for low expectations. Anti-ableist pedagogy is about radical acceptance of intersectional identities, unconditional respect, and a commitment to making everyone feel that their contributions are valuable. 

In the workshop, we borrowed an exercise from Dr. Jamila Lyiscot, who led a TLH workshop last year. The rules of the exercise were to first choose a whistle-blower or gatekeeper to enforce the requirement to only speak with words that have 2 syllables or less. The question was, “please describe your research (or work).” One of our participants reported being so preoccupied with following the rules that they completely missed out on the content. This simple yet powerful exercise can demonstrate how people who learn differently or English language learners might be missing the most important parts of the conversation. 

Turning to theory as another entry point into understanding ableism, we also explored models of disability, or the way that we conceptualize disability. The most commonly cited models are the medical model (defining disability as an impairment in the body in need of a cure) and the social model (defining disability as a social construction due to society’s failure to adapt to disabled bodyminds). While these models are necessarily at odds with each other, a universal model acknowledges that we have to acknowledge and accept different forms of impairment as a part of the human experience, while reforming the way that society responds to disabled people. Part of undoing the long history of oppression of disabled people starts with considering that disability is not unusual and it’s not a fixed state of being (anyone can become disabled at any time). Instead of creating separate spaces and policies for “accommodating” people with disabilities, we should be working to adapt our social environment to include everyone.

From there, we turned to defining ableism. For me, the dictionary definition falls short in describing the range of insidious behaviors towards disabled people that have been normalized by society, or the use of ability itself to undermine people based on other parts of their identities. Here, I turn to the work of activist, Talila Lewis, who concisely defines the term: 

“A system that places value on people’s bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normality, intelligence, excellence, desirability, and productivity. These constructed ideas are deeply rooted in anti-Blackness, eugenics, misogyny, colonialism, imperialism and capitalism.

This form of systemic oppression leads to people and society determining who is valuable and worthy based on a person’s language, appearance, religion and/or their ability to satisfactorily [re]produce, excel and “behave.”

You do not have to be disabled to experience ableism.”

a working definition by Talila “TL” Lewis*; updated January 2021

In taking a critical look at our built and social environments, it’s not hard to find areas where this system of placing value on individuals has been used to create structural inequalities for disabled people in our society, a fact that is especially apparent in our education systems. This can be taken literally when looking at architectural barriers or information barriers, or figuratively, when considering policies and rules that subtly (or not so subtly) discourage disabled students from succeeding.

In addition to talking about how disability is defined and the harms of ableism, we ended with some ways to practice anti-ableist pedagogy:

  • Learn more about disability history and ongoing struggles for access to all parts of society. For example, much of the built world has been improved by disabled activists through what is known as the curb cut effect
  • Voice your support within your institution for spending money on structural access and information access. Accessibility is often an afterthought, given attention only when it becomes a problem, and deprioritized in budgets. 
  • Strive to create accessible learning environments through Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
    • Understand that accessibility is often a negotiation between competing needs and therefore a process. Strive for an adaptable environment that can accommodate the people in your classroom.  
    • Consider giving everyone the most commonly requested accommodations (usually extra time for assignments and tests). This takes away the stigma associated with requesting disability accommodations and helps all students.
    • Work with your campus accessibility office to make sure your course materials are accessible (text that is computer-readable is also flexible to accommodate people with a variety of vision disabilities and can be used with annotation tools that benefit neurodiverse students as well).
    • Add an accessibility statement to your syllabus to signal to students that they can talk directly to you about their access needs. Be open to suggestions for improvement. Talk about disability and access as a normal part of the college experience.  
  • “Crip” the curriculum, or incorporate disability into readings and course content. Question ableism in literature and media, social policies, or other topics. 
  • Most importantly, practice “radical acceptance” of everyone for who they are (and meet them where they are). 

Other resources from the session: 

Our slides

Padlet asking participants WHY and HOW can the classroom be a radical space for antiracist action? 

Small Axe/Acts (brainstormed with session participants) 

Additional Suggested Readings on Anti-Ableist Pedagogy:


Transformative Anti-Ableist Pedagogy for Social Justice, by 2021-2022 TLH Faculty Fellow, Dusana Podlucka

Anti-ableist pedagogies in higher education: A systems approach, by Juuso Nieminen and Henri Pesonen 


For a good primer on disability, I recommend Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally by Emily Ladau.

For more theoretical approaches to disability and intersectionality, see Disabled Futures: A Framework for Radical Inclusion by Milo W. Obourn and The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability by Elizabeth Barnes

Teaching Resources from TLH Fellows Asrat Amnie and Anita Cheng

TLH Fellows work to foster equitable, creative, student-centered pedagogical methods throughout CUNY. We’re delighted to share these resources developed by fellows, Asrat Amnie (Hostos Community College, Fall ’22) and Anita Cheng (Hunter College & Brooklyn College, Fall ’21) that address the use of educational technology in the classroom.

Universal Design for Learning: Fostering Neurodiversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Through Educational Technology

Pulling Distance Learning Tools Into In-Person Classes

New College Classroom: Changing Ourselves, Changing Our Classroom, Changing the World! (Event Recap)

by Kelsey Milian Lopez

This recap was originally published on the Futures Initiative blog

On Wednesday, September 7th at 3:00 pm, CUNY and collegiate-wide affiliated participants gathered at CUNY Graduate Center’s Skylight room to discuss Cathy N. Davidson and Christina Katopodis’s new book The New College Classroom. In-person tickets were sold out. With nearly 400 attendees over zoom, this turned out to be one of CUNY’s biggest in-person events since the beginning of the pandemic. Both the CUNY Chancellor and GC Provost stayed for the entire event.

Left to Right: Cathy N Davidson, Chancellor Felix Matos, Christina Katopodis, GC Provost Steve Everett.

You can watch the full event recording here and view slides here

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Reflections on Women Rewrite America: Transformative Learning in the Humanities Series

This post was written by Sarah L. Hoiland, Associate Professor of Sociology, Hostos Community College, María Julia Rossi, Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literature, John Jay College, and Ria Banerjee, Associate Professor of English, Guttman Community College


In late May 2021, our Women Rewrite America series ended and we wanted to provide a way for our participants to contribute to the Transforming Learning in the Humanities (TLH) Blog. What did our fellow readers get out of reading three novels in the last three months of an exhausting academic year? One would have to be crazy to volunteer to write a reflection in the summer, but several of our participants enthusiastically did just that and submitted their reflections.

Gita Pai points out the importance of “hearing voices” as a form of authorial activism common to authors Yaa Gyasi, Valeria Luiselli, and Kiley Reid, and one that is critical to a peoples’ history. For Anne Connor, the experience was personal, and provided space to “read emotionally,” something not often afforded to academics. Astrid Lorena Ochoa Campo pointed out the fun and refreshing aspects of reading and discussing at the end of her first year in a tenure-track position. Doctoral candidate Sonia Adams submitted pedagogical materials including one activity that examines Homegoing within the context of the global #BlackLivesMatters Timeline on her campus.

Book cover, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi Book cover - Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli Book cover - Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

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