#471: Mixed Race in a Box: Teaching Mixed Race in the 21st Century
The 28th Annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE)
1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20009
2015-05-26 through 2015-05-30
Friday, 2015-05-29, 15:30-17:30 EDT (Local Time)
In Fall 2013, The Asian American Literary Review published Mixed Race in a Box, a multimedia project equal parts art piece, anthology, and innovative educational tool. It has since been adopted as a course text for teaching race and mixed race in over 80 college and university classrooms in 6 countries—the U.S., Ireland, Argentina, Hong Kong, Poland, and Germany.
Popular consciousness of “multiracialism” is at an all-time high, and with it, student (and faculty) needs for reflecting personally and academically on mixed identities and the histories and realities of mixed race. But what exactly does it mean to teach mixed race? What are we teaching, and how, and why? Where—in what disciplines? And who are we teaching—what understandings of race and mixed race are our students, across the U.S. and beyond, bringing into the classroom?
This proposed session will outline Mixed Race in a Box as a pedagogical experiment, opening to a larger discussion of teaching mixed race and race more generally. It will explore how we can best equip students and teachers to think critically about race while, as the saying goes, “meeting them where they are.” Produced by an editorial team of University of Maryland students, featuring collaborative projects by leading artists, scholars, poets, and writers, the Box includes a range of unusual materials—a foldout map of mixed Native poetics, a deck of playing cards, three pocket books, photo slideshows and video art—and offers a wealth of different approaches to teaching race and mixed race. The session will examine some of these particular strategies and discuss the challenges and successes of employing them in various classrooms, with varying student constituencies, across the country. Prospective presenters will include a senior editor of the Box, a student editor of the Box, and two scholar-writers who contributed pieces to the Box and taught it in their respective classrooms.
Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota
Hunter College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York
Lawrence-Minh Davis, Director
Asian American Literary Review, College Park, Maryland
University of Maryland, College Park