Black Lives Matter Syllabus Project

Year-End Reflections on The 2016-17 Anthropoliteia BlackLivesMatterSyllabus Project

Welcome to the last post of the 2016-2017 year of Anthropoliteia’s #BlackLivesMatter syllabus. We’ve invited all of the series contributors to offer their thoughts here as we reflect on the past year. We can’t thank all of the contributors enough— collectively, hours and hours of inspired labor and creativity went into the blog posts. The 32 weeks represent sustained efforts by thoughtful faculty who produced these contributions in the midst of their on-going duties of teaching, research, and the thousand other jobs that professors due that go uncounted.

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Black Lives Matter Syllabus Project, Pedagogy

The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus Project, Week 19: Anne Galvin on Reflexivity and the White Anthropologist

The editors of Anthropoliteia are happy to continue an ongoing series The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus Project, which will mobilize anthropological work as a pedagogical exercise addressing the confluence of race, policing and justice. You can see a growing bibliography of resources via our Mendeley feed.  In this entry,  Anne Galvin discusses how teaching with memoir introduces many voices and points of view in her classroom. 

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I attended graduate school in the 1990s and, like many anthropologists in training, spent much of my coursework considering questions of “positionality.”  At the time, taking stock of anthropology’s relationship to colonial projects, as well as our own sometimes privileged positions and biases, shaped disciplinary debates and new methodologies.  Reflexivity – the practice of being transparent about one’s own situation and possible bias – was one way anthropologists responded to the problem of position. It turns out these considerations are far from academic in 2017 as we work to build more effective engagements between anthropologists and movements for racial justice and develop inclusive classroom pedagogies. Continue reading

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