Addressing the Subject: Complexities of Identity in the Classroom

Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Pembroke Center

Pembroke Hall


A panel workshop for Brown and RISD instructors on negotiating complex questions of identity in the classroom at a time when such questions remain both pressing and fraught. Brought to you by the Pembroke Center’s LGBTQIA+ Thinking Initiative.

This workshop invites participants to discuss how best to negotiate the complexities of identities and identifications in the classroom at a time when considering scholarly and pedagogical questions through the prism of these terms remains critically important even as it seems to become ever more fraught. University offices of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and academic disciplines that consider formations of identity, are currently under attack in terms that must be critiqued and resisted. At the same time, bureaucratic, administrative, and regulatory demarcations of identity categories have their own problems and can be inadequate to the multi-dimensional complexities of subjectivity, the historical and cultural formations of community, and the affective texture of selfhood and sociality, and so they perhaps unwittingly participate in some of the very discourses and divisions they seek to combat. How then can we, as scholars and educators, best think through these issues, and thus best address not only academic subject-matter in the classroom but our students as themselves complex subjects who matter in the current political, social, and intellectual (or often anti-intellectual) climate? Such questions will be posed in some initial reflections by fellow teacher-scholars and then in open conversation.

Discussants will include:

  • Leon Hilton (Theatre Arts and Performance Studies)
  • Emily Owens (History)
  • Alexander Weheliye (Modern Culture and Media)
  • Tali Hershkovitz (Ph.D. student, Religious Studies)

Free and open to teaching faculty at Brown and RISD. RSVP required.

Event accessibility information: to bypass stairs, visitors may enter via the automatic doors at the rear of the building, where there is a wheelchair-accessible elevator.