Centering/Burdening: A Dialogical Resource on Racism, Anti-Racism, and Pedagogy


A Dialogical Resource on Racism, Anti-Racism, and Pedagogy

What happens when classes that center narratives of racial marginalization thrust students of color into the position of teaching their experiences of oppression to others? This resource features the collaborative work of a group of current and former Barnard students who came together in the summer of 2021 to examine this question. Developed during a time in which many colleges and universities have claimed anti-racism as an institutional value, this document takes the question above as a point of departure for exploring a range of issues related to belonging, care, power, and social positionality in college classrooms today.

This resource is intended to be useful to any instructor who is committed to critically evaluating, developing, and sharing practices for anti-oppressive teaching. We recommend beginning with Alex Pittman's introduction (Tensions of Anti-Racism) and concluding with the students' coda (Toward Horizontal Models of Transformation). Each of the four subsections—"Non/Belonging in the Classroom," "Student Power and Privilege," "Instructor Position and Power," and "Caring Practices in Teaching"—takes a different angle on a set of overlapping concerns and can be engaged in any order.

The authors of this resource are (in alphabetical order by last name) Elysa Caso-McHugh, Tapiwa Gambura, Rivka Keshen, Kayla Leong, Sabrina McFarland, Solace Mensah-Nahr, Ananya Natchukuri, Areej Qadeer, Mariame Sissoko, and Kylie Tangonan.