Category Archives: Self-Reflection

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Student Self Portrait Artworks created by LaGuardia Community College students in the workshop Seeing Each Other: Identity Self-Portraits

Professor Dahlia Elsayed and Professor Liena Vayzman
April 13 and 20, 2021

Kyana Neil

This is a representation of my activist side and my normal side. By bringing art and social justice together, I decided I wanted to remake a famous painting by Norman Rockwell. My head is served on a silver platter, hard to ignore, but I have very vibrant 60s/70s influenced makeup on. I’m surrounded by people laughing and talking, but all of the white people surrounding me have copied my makeup… and now the laughing seems to be more of a “haha we look just like her.” I tried to connect the “Culture Vulture” experience people of color always go through. Famous celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Gwen Stefani are infamously known as Culture Vultures… they wear people’s culture like it’s a costume. (From Asian, Native American, Black people, and much more!) And me a person of color, surrounded by white onlookers is having the first-hand experience of only being a “thing to eat, or to take from.”

Kyana Neil self portrait Continue reading

Voicing Poverty Workshop and Information Session with TLH

by Jamie Warren and Mahatapa Palit

In this workshop, we began by inviting participants to turn their external scholarly gaze, at least for a moment, inward. Starting from the premise that, if our goal is to increase critical thought and knowledge among our students, we must first come to understand ourselves, we emphasized the necessity of engaging in the often discomforting analysis of our language, and our assumptions, our position, and perhaps most importantly what we mean we say words such as “I”, or “we.” What images of others do such utterances implicitly conjure for the mind? Who, exactly, inhabits the linguistic space, “You” or “them”? Moreover, how can this rather abstract process of self cataloging help us in our goal of bringing new knowledge on poverty to the center of our pedagogy? Continue reading

From Being a Status Quo Educator to a Transforming Advocate: The Self-Reflection of an African-Born English Educator

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

Autoethnographic Pedagogy Zine

On March 17, CUNY Professors James Lowry, Nerve Macaspac, and Cynthia Tobar led a workshop on “Autoethnographic Pedagogy: Student Expertise and Learning in Community.”

CUNY serves a diverse student population, including first generation scholars, undocumented immigrants, students living below the poverty line and students from communities historically excluded from higher education. All CUNY students have unique lived experiences and knowledge, but our teaching does not always recognize and value the expertise already present in the classroom. At the same time, many opportunities for meaningful pedagogy are missed because of traditional delimitations around the classroom and the institution of the university. Continue reading

“My Pandemic”: Centering CUNY Students’ Experiences Through Digital Autoethnography (Event Recap)

This post was written by Contributing Author Nerve V. Macaspac, Asst. Professor of Geography, College of Staten Island; Doctoral Faculty, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Graduate Center.

On March 11, 2021, I organized a film screening of “My Pandemic” (2020, 6:55) and a conversation among students from different CUNY campuses centering on student experiences of the pandemic. This day was significant as it was also the 1st-year anniversary since New York City went on lockdown and CUNY transitioned to online learning in response to global COVID-19 pandemic. Over 65 participants including students, faculty and HEOs from CSI, BMCC, Hunter College, John Jay College, Queens College, and St. John’s University attended the event. Continue reading

On continually learning from Audre Lorde

This blog post is by Contributing Author Matt Caprioli. Matt Caprioli is the recipient of a Tranformative Learning in the Humanities award for his role in organizing Black Cuir Revolutions: Reflections on Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, and the Bronx, part of the Audre Lorde “Great Read,” happening on Thursday, Feb 25 at 4-6PM.

I learned of Audre Lorde as a bookish kid in Alaska. I cannot overestimate the difference between her world and mine. I had never been to the East Coast and thought Harlem was pronounced with a definite article before it. She would bristle at my militaristic and Christian fundamentalist upbringing, where a pastor each Sunday unfurled a detailed map of hell (at least the colors were stunning — now I wonder where he found that red glitter to outline the flames of hell. Michaels?). White supremacy was so absolute in my world that my mother’s lineage, Chicana and Black, was subsumed to the point that I was unquestionably and categorically white.  Continue reading