College and university instructors continue to seek models that help students to better understand today s complex social relationships. Feminist, Queer, and Ethnic Studies scholars put forward compelling
arguments for more integrative understandings of race, class, gender, and sexuality and for centering the experiences of women, people of color, and others traditionally relegated to the margins. Intersectionality is one such approach. In nine chapters, the contributors to this volume offer an overview of key tenets of intersectionality and explore applications of this model in faculty and instructional development in higher education. Gathered from across the disciplines, they draw upon a range of approaches to social identity formation, different theoretical models, and a complement of lived experiences. When read together, these
chapters offer a systemic approach to change in higher education by addressing innovations at course, department, and institutional levels.
Intersectionality does not advocate for a fl attening of differences.Instead, it argues for another layer of critical analyses that acknowledge the powerful interplay of the many aspects of social identity to address the rapidly shifting ways in which we talk about and describe identities in society and the complexity of classroom dynamics in the academy today. By illuminating the interconnected nature of systems of oppression, we shine a light on the potential for disrupting the status quo and create stronger alliances for
EDITOR S NOTES 1
Mathew L. Ouellett
SECTION ONE: INTERSECTIONALITY AND THE DISCIPLINES
1. The Promises and Challenges of Teaching from an Intersectional Perspective: Core Components and
Applied Strategies 11
Susan R. Jones, Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe
The authors provide an overview of intersectionality by discussing several key assumptions and tenets of the framework; examples of how faculty can enact these in their teaching are presented. Classroom examples demonstrate some of the benefits and challenges of incorporating intersectionality into teaching.
2. The Trouble with Disciplining Disciplines 21
C. Shaun Longstreet
Applying intersectionality when developing a disciplinary identity can interrupt marginalization in the classroom and create a more open space for higher levels of critical thinking. This chapter draws from the experience of teaching religious studies by a queer faculty member in a southern state university.
SECTION TWO: COLLABORATIVE TEACHING
3. The Writers and the Detectives: Cultural Difference, Identity and Pedagogical Disciplines in an Integrated Classroom 33
Jennifer DiGrazia, Elizabeth Stassinos
Two professors, one from the English department and one from the Criminal Justice department, describe what they learned through an intersectional analysis by institutionalizing, funding, and teaching an integrated community a second time.
4. Using an Intersectional Approach to Deepen Collaborative Teaching 43
Susan M. Pliner, Jonathan Iuzzini, Cerri A. Banks
The authors examine the positive impact the theory of intersectionality can have on collaborative teaching. The authors reflect on an interdisciplinary co–teaching experience and explain the value of building a community of teacher scholars who engage multiple perspectives and contexts in their pedagogy.
SECTION THREE: POINTS OF INTERFACE
5. The Intersectional Potential of Queer Theory: An Example from a General Education Course in English 55
In a large lecture, general education course on Gender, Sexuality, Literature and Culture, a pedagogical methodology that emphasizes the intersecting matrices of culture, class, race, ethnicity, nation, and gender is paired with the deconstructive principles of queer theory to complicate understandings and representations of gender and sexuality within literary and cinematic texts.
6. Teaching Trans Issues : An Intersectional and Systems–Based Approach 65
Michel J. Boucher
Most students have gleaned their information about transgender people from pop cultural representations, which emphasize the bodily transformations of trans people and their personal narratives. As trans issues become a larger part of university environments, it is necessary for students to have an understanding of trans issues as systemic–based issues that are perpetuated through already well–established race and class inequalities.
7. Refugees, Veterans, and Continuing Pedagogies of PTSD in Asian American Studies 77
Shirley Suet–ling Tang, Peter Nien–chu Kiang
What are some specific challenges, possibilities, and critical intersections for teaching and learning with refugees and veterans in the classroom? This essay describes how a pedagogical commitment to support teaching and learning with Southeast Asian refugee students and their Vietnam veteran classmates two decades ago at one urban public school has continued to be meaningful for more recently arrived refugee students from other world regions as well as for a diverse, new generation of student veterans who are facing their own issues of trauma and post–traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
SECTION FOUR: INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE
8. From Difficult Dialogues to Critical Conversations: Intersectionality in Our Teaching and Professional Lives 91
Ann Janette Alejano–Steele, Maurice Hamington, Lunden MacDonald, Mark Potter, Shaun Schafer, Arlene Sgoutas, Tara Tull
Faculty learning communities provide ideal contexts for faculty to explore collaboratively issues of identity that can arise in their work as college teachers. The authors describe a faculty–learning community that took an intentionally intersectional approach to learning about diversity.
9. Re–Seeing Race in a Post–Obama Age: Asian American Studies, Comparative Ethnic Studies, and Intersectional Pedagogies 101
Cathy J. Schlund–Vials
Situated within the interdisciplinary fi elds of Asian American studies and ethnic studies, the author explores the distinct challenges of teaching race after the election of the nation s first African American president. Turning to comparative frames and intersectional pedagogies, the author offers alternative strategies to bringing the discussion of race back into the classroom.