social justice

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Social Justice and Children’s/YA Literature

This course will teach how to select, read, evaluate and analyze depictions and aspects of social justice and injustice in children’s and young adult literature. Through various genres of literature intended for both the child and adolescent reader, students will develop an informed awareness of the complex perspectives, uses, and boundaries of literature and will learn to recognize and analyze how adolescent and children’s literature depicts stories related to social justice, tolerance, equality and social change. We will engage in a variety of teaching/learning methods to cover the course material, including but not limited to: lecture, small/large group discussions, independent and group projects, written and oral presentations. Professor Sarah Park Dahlen St. Catherine University View Syllabus

Passing Strange: Racial Crossings and the Construction of Identity in America.

In this class we will interrogate narratives of racial passing in a variety of forms. These narratives raise questions about the construction, reinforcement and subversion of racial categories. There is a rich trove of literature focused on passing within African American literature alongside many examples in the 20th century of narratives focused on ethnic masquerade and cultural assimilation.  In essence, if individuals can undetectably pass through social boundaries meant to keep them out, then the very act of passing calls into question the nature both of the boundaries and of the categories they delineate.  This course uses the paradigm of “passing” to examine notions of race (as well as gender, sexuality and class)to illustrate how those categories are produced. Using fiction, history and film we will endeavor to get a deeper understanding of the category we call race. Read more here.

Learning Resistance and Building Solidarity: Black Lives Matter North of the 49th

By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights

“Ally is a complicated word; sometimes accomplice is better. Accomplices put their body on the line.”
– Dr. JP Catungal, Critical Gender and Sexualities Studies

As I joined the growing number of people standing vigil with Black Lives Matter Vancouver on Sunday July 10th, I immediately recognized Constance Barnes, a charismatic mover and shaker in the worlds of culture, green space and electoral politics of Vancouver. The last time I had seen her was four years ago. We hugged, then standing back she shook her head, “fuckin’ really? I mean, fuckin’ really? This is why my mother and father left the States 60 years ago. And here we are, again?”

Why We Dream About a World Without Police

By William C. Anderson, Contributing Editor, Race, Class, and Immigration

The last few years have been rough. President Obama’s last term in the White House has given many of us some of the most polarizing times we have ever experienced. It goes without saying that many have felt hopeless after being promised a change. Political disillusionment has clouded the air in a country struggling to find its true identity. In the midst of all this, unrelenting police violence has been in the spotlight driven by organized resistance to police brutality and renewed media interest. Police violence hasn’t necessarily gotten worse, but it’s being talked about more. This national conversation is absolutely necessary and should not let up. It’s important to utilize the tools we have – like our words – to rebel. Using words as resistance, Truthout recently published their first anthology, Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? edited by Maya Schenwar, Joe Macare and Alana Yu-lan.

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