In 2020, I was asked to design a module called “Diversity and Inclusion in Practice” for a new online MA. To design a module around this theme was to reckon with a paradox. Scholars such as Sara Ahmed, working across feminist, queer, and critical race studies, have given us theoretical and methodological frameworks not simply for celebrating “diversity” but for exploring this term itself as a function of power. While the use of terms such as diversity and inclusion may be a strategic necessity for social justice work around higher education’s current agenda, this “language of diversity” (Ahmed 2012: 51) is also part of an ambivalent institutional performance. In this essay, I chart my thought process in determining how to put ambivalence “in[to] practice” in my design and delivery of a module about D&I itself. I question how to avoid simply replicating models of D&I training like unconscious bias, mobilising instead the relationship between the theory of D&I and the practice of it. And I explore how the professional and personal experiences and contributions of students on this part-time, online MA shape the role of the classroom at the intersection of pedagogy and politics.
"On Teaching Diversity and Inclusion,"
Feminist Pedagogy: Vol. 3:
4, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/feministpedagogy/vol3/iss4/11
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