Andrew Harnish (University of Alaska Anchorage)
andr@****.com (Log-in to reveal)
This special session invites teachers of writing and literature to share how they employ accessible, culturally responsive, and anti-racist pedagogies while continuing to help students meet the needs of their intended academic and professional audiences. Animated by the work of scholars including A. Suresh Canagarajah (2003), Asao B. Inoue (2022), Robert McRuer (2006), J. Logan Smilges (2022), and Vershawn Ashanti Young (2009), the roundtable will offer instructors an opportunity to discuss their engagement with inclusive pedagogy and to give voice to pedagogical triumphs and challenges.
For some contributors and attendees, their experiences with inclusive pedagogy may have involved a shift in perspective. For others, such approaches may have arisen organically out of their own subject positions and language practices. Our hope as conveners is that those who contribute to the roundtable and attend the session will also experience perspective shifts, both in terms of how inclusive pedagogical practices might empower their students but also in terms of where a given approach or strategy might need to be complicated or refined.
The session draws its inspiration from Bartolomé’s (2010) contention that effective instruction must “enhance immigrant and linguistic-minority students’ ability to learn English academic discourses and [...] create spaces in which their own respective cultural voices can emerge” (512), which can be accomplished by “incorporating students’ primary languages and cultural values into the academic curriculum and the school culture” (511). Code meshing is one example of how realities can be made malleable through intentional perspective shifting. As explained by Young (2009), code meshing "does not require students to ‘hold back their Englishes’ but permits them to bring them more forcefully and strategically forward. The ideology behind code meshing holds that peoples’ so-called ‘nonstandard’ dialects are already fully compatible with standard English. Code meshing secures their right to represent that meshing in all forms and venues where they communicate."
Code meshing might invite students to mesh APA guidelines with dialects and vernacular representing diverse student identities. Rather than switching to a purely “academic voice,” students might proudly write sentences that reflect the languages and lingos of their home communities. The roundtable will examine instructor experiences with a range of accessible and anti-racist pedagogies, with the aim of helping roundtable participants and audience members offer more inclusive and engaged instruction.