Our virtual panel was designed as a safe space for students across CUNY to share their experiences using language in their academic careers. Students reflected on the languages they speak and blend together, what the expectations for expression and communication are in the classroom setting, and how they navigate linguistic standards that may or may not apply to them.
Students also shared ideas on how to support and embrace linguistic diversity and creativity with language among CUNY students. A question which sparked debate was that of ‘standard’ English: is it really a pertinent concept, and why? While students expressed their respect for such a concept – in appropriate contexts – they also called for more respect of their linguistic diversity and their own ‘Englishes,’ in light of Jamila Lyiscott poem ‘3 ways to speak English’. Continue reading
On March 28th, 2023 TLH welcomed author of House of Sticks Ly Tran for an interview and interactive workshop, facilitated by TLH Pedagogy Co-Leader for Spring 2023 Dr. Khanh Le. Associate Director of TLH Dr. Christina Katopodis welcomed the pair and introduced the rest of the team.
Ly introduced herself, and shared some of her Vietnamese refugee family history and memories of performing sweatshop labor upon arrival in the U.S. as a child. She then read a brief excerpt from her memoir House of Sticks. Khanh thanked Ly and shared he relates as they share a similar background of Vietnamese refugee history. He emphasized the importance of centering the lived experience of Vietnamese refugees, instead of letting U.S. institutions remember the war and shape the narrative.
Then two members of the TLH Student Advisory Board asked Ly questions. Capellan asked, “How have your experiences and your relationship to water influenced your literary journey?” Continue reading
Our podcast series “Counternarratives – Storytelling: The Lived Experiences of CUNY Students,” stems from the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship, at the City of New York (CUNY). This series centers CUNY students’ experiences around topics such as the socialization around education, of immigration, gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, family, and mental health within multiple community settings. The goal of this student-centered project was for TLH Student Scholars to experiment with creating storylines that draw on participatory methodologies anchored in decolonial and social justice practices such as explorative narration, (auto)ethnography, and creative writing. The four episodes that constitutes this TLH student scholars produced podcast series allow insight into the way personal perceptions around pressing course topics such as education, democracy, anti- immigrants/refugees, and anti-Blackness relate to larger geopolitical power, institutional racism and violence. Continue reading
This post was written by Contributing Author Sonia Adams, a PhD candidate at St. John’s University who organized an event in TLH’s Spring 2021 series on active learning.
Toni Cade Bambara has greatly impacted my work as an educator and curriculum developer. I admire her commitment to literacy education, creativity, multiculturalism, and social justice. During my undergraduate studies in English, I was fortunate to take literature classes and seminars that exposed me to writers of color from the United States and abroad. However, I noticed a trajectory within many of the required, standardized, and special topic English courses, which privileged White male authors and texts. The western literary canon perpetuates an aesthetic that Bambara referred to as the “Anglo-Saxon tradition” that limited entryway for women and ethnic writers to enter the English curriculum (Bambara, “Summer 1968 SEEK Report). Although there were some gains made in late 1960s and early 1970s in making the curriculum more inclusive, there were some women and ethnic authors who served as ‘minority representatives. In other words, their writings were deemed the standard for the racial, gender, and/or cultural group which they derived from. Bambara foresaw the implications of white patriarchal privileging and minority representation and sought to challenge them as an English Professor, writer, editor, and activist. Continue reading
This post was written by Contributing Author Professor Immaculée Harushimana (Lehman College), who recently organized a TLH-sponsored event, “Humanizing Teacher Education: Cultivating Cultural Diversity Empathy through Reciprocal Teaching.”
As a result of European occupation, formerly colonized nations have been introduced a colonial curriculum which, naturally, executes the Eurocentric education agenda. Throughout my educational system, I was never aware that I was being indoctrinated. I loved learning and I loved getting good grades because my parents believed that it was only through education that I was going to escape poverty and also pull them out of it. To some extent, they were right. Education opened to me the door to academic and economic success. Along with that advantage, however, it also transformed me into an instrument of the colonial agenda. In this brief article, I am offering a reflection on my transformational journey from being a blind status-quo English educator to a transforming, critical literacy advocate. Continue reading
This post was written by Contributing Author S. Lenise Wallace, a motivational speaker, communication professional and college professor teaching communication courses at CUNY.
Where is “home”? Literally and figuratively? This was a theme that arose from the screening of the documentary Latinegras: The Journey of Self-Love through an Afro Latina Lens directed by Omilani Alarcon. The film screening and panel discussion that followed was moderated by Dr. Sonia Rodriguez and panelists were filmmaker Omilani Alarcon and CUNY professors Drs. Ryan Mann-Hamilton and S. Lenise Wallace. Continue reading