Notes on Teaching | Fall 2020

April 20, 2021

In October 2020, Sa Whitley, the 2020-21 Nancy L. Buc '65 Postdoctoral Fellow, shared what it is like to teach this fall at Brown:

"I am teaching an online seminar this fall entitled 'Conversations in Transfeminism: Cultures, Theories, and Politics.' I must say that I am delighted to have truly engaging and brilliant students who 'zoom in' each week from Providence to Paris to Pittsburgh! It has been an exciting journey that invites me to reflect on and recalibrate my Black feminist pedagogy for a digital learning environment.

Each week, students delve into thematic units that have enabled us to map transfeminism as a knowledge project at the intersection of Gender Studies and Transgender Studies and as a social movement in the past and the present. Students post 'video notes' or reflections each week on the 'Harmonize' platform, which gives us all a tangible sense of who we are as people and intellectualswhat matters to each of us and our respective communities. I was surprised to discover how much my students love to participate by writing in the chat during the seminar. They co-sign each other's audible statements in the chatroom and also offer original ideas in that forum. I assign a Chat Monitor each week who will vocalize students' written questions and insights.

One of the most meaningful and inspiring throughlines in the course so far has been our commitment to centering the critical trans activism and mutual aid that is happening during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement and uprisings. In these intense times, my students are very eager to think about the relationships between theory and praxis, the academy and community organizing, and rigorous study and self care."