Applied Pedagogy: Black Lives Matter

Last Thursday, The CUNY Graduate Center’s Doctoral Theatre Students Association’s Professionalization Liaison, Margit Edwards, facilitated an applied pedagogy workshop on the topic of bringing #BlackLivesMatter into theatre and performance classrooms. Professors Erika Lin and Jim Wilson both contributed their expertise, and many students (and this alum!) attended.

Margit created a wonderful space of exploration and examination, beginning with the opportunity to share successes, concerns, and curriculum ideas via large newsprint post-its. The process of walking around the room, swapping markers, and doing our best to write legibly grounded the discussion in specifics while forging a productive and open space for discourse.

Along with my colleagues Stefanie and Janet, I presented a few curriculum ideas that I wrote up in a Google doc. There are so many ways to think about lesson plans, but I used a grid with five categories to help me organize my thoughts:

Learning Goal Necessary Background Assignment Prompt In class Discussion / Result Questions I still have

Within this rubric, I shared some of the resources that I include in my post “A Raisin in the Classroom.” We also discussed the continuing relevance of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, and how contemporary violence against Black women often remains invisible. This clip of Shange in conversation with Melissa Harris-Perry can be a strong tool for bringing for colored girls into the present day: Ntozake Shange on the prevalence of domestic abuse.”

Janet presented her robust Othello lesson plan, and others shared moments of tension and revelation in the classroom. This was a necessary and enriching event.

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