Association for Feminist Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Abstract: Anthropology’s history is of a discipline that emerged within colonial and racist frameworks. In recent years, however, anthropology classrooms have become increasingly important spaces for social justice conversations to take place within higher education. Panelists will engage with the core themes of this year’s conference by identifying how struggle, collaboration, and ultimately justice figure into the experience of being in their classrooms. “Teaching in justice” is meant in a dual sense. On the one hand, as a science dedicated to holistically appreciating the human condition in its multiplicity, anthropology classrooms are often many students’ first exposure to an intellectual celebration of human difference and sameness. Through cross-cultural, comparative, and self-reflexive work in our classrooms, students become more justice-minded. On another hand, anthropologists are often well-positioned to be among the first at their institutions to embrace what means to teach against injustice through practicing anti-sexist, anti-racist, decolonial pedagogies. Through making certain pedagogical choices, anthropologists can invalidate injustice through course content, course design, and in-class practices. In the classroom, then, anthropologists can teach in justice while teaching against injustice. In variegated ways, panelists will answer the questions: How has your classroom changed climates, motivated justice, undermined injustice, and/or deconstructed privilege? What, if anything, positions anthropologists to do this work? Is there something inherent within anthropology that fosters a social justice perspective, or are there particular pedagogies within anthropology that are more effective than others? Should social justice-oriented classroom work have impacts beyond the classroom (e.g., community-based learning or undergraduate research projects)? Join us to explore the role of the anthropology classroom in creating a more inclusive and equitable world.