We invite proposals for an edited collection entitled Social Justice Activism in Academe: Exploring the Counter-Narratives of Educators and Students.
Given our tenuous political climate, this interdisciplinary collection seeks to complicate the material realities of social justice pedagogy and activism. Many scholars agree that one function of academe is to promote social justice. Indeed, in light of the current narrowing of academic and political space, in addition to multiple attacks on liberal academic politics (Horowitz), teaching not just about but for social justice is perhaps more critical than ever. Yet oftentimes pedagogues are conflicted about precisely how to define social justice and how we teach and learn in ways that promote it (Mayhew and Delica; Kahn and Lee; Condon; Samuels). Fundamentally, we must ask: how do we define justice? What are the consequences and effects of our definitions and practices of social justice? Similarly, we must expose how students “encounter” (Ahmed) social justice pedagogies and practices, being attentive to the affective dimensions of students’ reception and resistances in ways that are attentive to our work (Stewart; Micciche). Doing so allows students to complicate, refine, and resist what we see as effective social justice pedagogies and practices (Kumashiro).
Too often, disciplinary, pedagogical and popular culture narratives depict stories of success and triumph—where the heroic teacher flawlessly reaches her intended outcomes and all are happy. Such narratives often depict students as passive recipients who become enlightened through the miracle-working of their teachers. It is important to challenge these too easy narratives in order to identify the often ambiguous and complex teaching and learning moments that accompany the pursuit of social justice. This edited collection seeks to disrupt those simplistic pedagogical narratives by providing examples of complex, uncomfortable, and difficult teaching and learning moments, many of which engage the materiality of our everyday teaching lives (Page and Curran; Ellsworth). Our project resists the static, stereotypical narrative about students. Drawing on theories of affect and emotion, we will argue that the classroom and university space affords us with moments of possibility.
We invite proposals for chapters to address the following questions:
• What forms do social justice pedagogy, practice, and activism take?
• What are the ethical dimensions of representing social justice practices?
• What are the best practices of social justice pedagogies and activism, both within and outside of the classroom?
• What are the effects and/or consequences of social justice pedagogy, practice, and activism?
• In what ways do students’ perception of social justice differ from what is presented in class? Is it ever acceptable to impose my sense of social justice on students, or is that antithetical to social change?
Please send inquiries to Kelly Concannon: firstname.lastname@example.org and Laura Finley LFinley@mail.barry.edu.
Final contributions should be 20-25 pages long and from any disciplinary area. We welcome co-authored submissions with students as well as more non-traditional pieces.