#MeToo. #TimesUp. #UnapologeticallyBrown. #WithDACA. #ConDACAlogré. #HereToStay. #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackTransLivesMatter. #BlackGirlMagic. #ICantBreathe. #SayHerName. #NoDAPL. #IStandWithAhmed. #CrimingWhileWhite. #OscarsSoWhite. And (in the words of Erykah Badu) “it goes on and on and on.” You could trace any one of these hashtags and uncover a range of social protests and everyday folk doing all that they can to disrupt the oppressions surrounding their lived realities. These hashtags represent more than just social media trends or a fleeting moment. These are social movements that frame the time and space in which we do and live our research.
This class is a mixture of many things. As your teacher, I am styling this class to be part writing workshop, part graduate seminar, part listening session, part qualitative inquiry… and I will need YOU to style it alllll the way DOPE.
We will look closely at qualitative research--- especially as it relates to the education of brown and black youth--- and the critical methods, politics, and dispositions that speak back to structured racism and power today. We will set the historical urgency and social context of our work in the Movement for Black Lives and its BlackFeministQueer frameworks. We will begin our semester interrogating knowledge, race, and the academy with scholars like Sylvia Wynter, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and Robin Kelley in the hopes that we can question and deepen our own methodologies from the place of that interrogation. We will look at a canon of black and brown qualitative researchers, from Zora Neale Hurston to John Langston Gwaltney to critical race theorists, who have questioned the role of university research in maintaining racist hierarchies and exploiting marginalized communities. In sum, we will treat the Movement for Black Lives as a fundamental, methodological challenge for how we, as activists/ teachers/ scholars live and understand the work that we do/want to do.