Allowing Race in the Classroom (500)
1 of 2 Seminars

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, September 24, 2021
Kristen Over, English Department
k-over@neiu.edu

Race is real, and on the forefront of the American mind in sharply contested ways. We like to say that it doesn’t exist because there is no biological fact of race. But beliefs as well and social structures make it real by continuing to map race onto certain bodies in ways that perpetuate inequality. This is particularly true in our classrooms, where students of color spend disproportionate amounts of energy dealing with material racism and microaggressions, while white students, who generally do not experience racism, are less familiar and less comfortable with its material reality (Helling). In this seminar we will focus on ways to allow the facts of race and racialized inequality into the classroom so that everyone can be acknowledged in the fullness of their being. With the help of contemporary writers, teachers, and thinkers, we will deliberately put issues of race and inequality on the table and practice ways to reflect and keep participating in the conversation.
Continue the conversation with the November 19 seminar, “Allowing Race Beyond the Classroom”
 

They Can’t/Won’t/Don’t Read: Engaging All Students in Literary Text (501)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, October 1, 2021
April Nauman, Department of Literacy Education
a-nauman@neiu.edu

Teachers of literature are excited to bring the literature they love to adolescent learners. So it’s disheartening when students don’t do the reading. Some students capable of reading with comprehension look for shortcuts; others try but say they can’t understand the text. Both situations are frustrating for teachers; both take a toll on teacher spirit.  In this seminar, we will explore why students can’t, don’t, or won’t read and ways to address these problems. Research-based instructional strategies for improving adolescents’ comprehension of difficult text will be shared, along with classroom strategies to motivate students to more deeply engage with literary text.
 

Woodshop Safety and Scrap Wood Sculpture Workshop (502)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, October 8, 2021
Shencheng Xu, Art Department 
s-xu@neiu.edu

This workshop will introduce students to woodshop safety rules and basic wood fabrication techniques. Students will be able to build a self-designed scrap wood sculpture using hand tools, power equipment, and by following woodshop safe working processes. This workshop will include: band saw, spindle sander, and drum sander safety and operation skills, as well as wood selection and fabrication techniques. Scrap wood, wood glue, sandpaper, and hand / power tools will be provided.

Hourly breakdown:
1st hour – Introduction, safety rules, and power tool demonstration.
2nd hour – Scrap wood sculpture design, fabrication processes and techniques.
3rd hour – Finishing the scrap wood sculpture and critique at the end of the workshop.
 

Beauty is a Verb: Teaching Disability Studies in the High School Classroom (503)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, October 15, 2021
Ryan Poll, English Department 
r-poll@neiu.edu

This seminar prepares high school teachers with various concepts and strategies for bringing disability studies into the high-school classroom. Disability studies is one of the most important paradigms for making visible and critiquing “normal bodies,” normative narratives, and the prevalence of ableism marking all spheres of culture. More importantly, disability studies opens our social imagination to the myriad forms of beauty and more socially-just forms of ethics and politics. Together, we will look at a range of literary and cultural texts that help introduce disability studies to a wide audience.
 

“Oh No, You Didn’t:” Teaching Conflict Resolution and Cooperative Strategies (504)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, October 22, 2021
Lisa Hollis-Sawyer and Amanda Dykema-Engblade, Psychology Department 
l-hollissawyer@neiu.edu
a-dykema-engblade@neiu.edu

The world is a stressful place, and our schools reflect many social conflicts experienced in neighborhoods and the greater society. As teachers, we are faced with situations of potential conflict with students and/or colleagues. Increasingly, students also need to be exposed to positive role models of conflict management within the school system. How to effectively resolve situations for “win-win” outcomes is critical to understand.  In addition to working with students to address areas of disagreement with student peers, your role can also be to create “teachable moments” for students to develop their own skills in effective conflict management.  
The purpose of this workshop will be to review different conflict management principles, have group discussions on topical concerns in the classroom/workplace, and actively engage in effective conflict management strategies through the use of group exercises (e.g., role-playing exercises). Furthermore, classroom activities (i.e., jigsaw classroom) that foster an inclusive and compassionate classroom will be shared.  The learning outcomes from these training steps will then be discussed regarding proactive conflict management models for both students in the classroom and colleagues in the workplace.  Finally, resources will be shared regarding ways to teach students about positive conflict management techniques in the classroom and beyond. 
 

Teaching Ethics (505)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, November 5, 2021
Daniel Milsky, Philosophy Department 
d-milsky@neiu.edu

This seminar will address some of the issues involved in teaching moral theory in the high school classroom. We will discuss lessons learned in the field and then we will examine a few moral theories from the history of ethics. We will discuss how to apply these theories to two modern topics---animal rights and designer babies.

Hour 1---Lessons from the high school and college classroom
Hour 2---A few moral theories. We will discuss ways to teach Utilitarianism, Kantian Deontology, Aristotelian Virtue Ethics, and Feminist Ethics.
Hour 3---Application of these theories to the ethics of our treatment of food animals and the ethics of producing designer babies.
 

The Elastic President: Presidential Power Under and Above the Constitution (506)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, November 12, 2021
William Adler, Political Science Department 
w-adler@neiu.edu

This course will discuss how the presidency has changed over time and how the modern presidency differs from the presidency prior to the modern era. We will examine the growth of presidential power in the modern age including wartime powers and expanded use of executive orders. Specific examples will be drawn from the Trump and Biden presidencies, looking at Trump’s use of emergency proclamations and executive orders and Biden's response to those with his own executive orders.
 

Allowing Race Beyond the Classroom (507)
2 of 2 Seminars

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, November 19, 2021
Kristen Over, English Department 
k-over@neiu.edu

In this continuation of Kristen Over's "Race in the Classroom" seminar:
The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 ignited a reckoning with institutionalized anti-Black racism and white supremacy culture (WSC) in general, a reckoning reflected in efforts across the country to make classrooms and school communities more racially equitable. Its backlash: public fear and panic against “critical race theory” (misunderstood to be any curriculum about historical racism). Looking beyond the classroom, this seminar will focus on ways to uphold equity commitments by expanding coalitions across teachers, administrators, and parents. It is informed by successes and failures in my recent experience as part of a multiracial parent group organizing for racial equity at a Chicago Public Schools elementary school. 

This seminar invites teachers and administrators in all levels of decision-making to a strategy session on ways to institutionalize antiracism not just in curricula but in policy, procedure, and overall school culture. We will talk about the ways WSC is embedded in public education and how it is often allowed to derail public conversations about racism. We will strategize together about building effective coalitions with the power and authority to disarm WSC and implement both institutional and cultural change.
 

Teaching COVID (508)  

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, December 3, 2021
Tim Libretti, English Department 
t-libretti@neiu.edu

This seminar is relevant to anyone teaching history, culture, economics, sociology, and more.  With the rush to return to "normalcy," we risk forgetting and thus leaving unanswered the many issues and questions raised about culture, society, and the nation as a whole the pandemic highlighted. For example, identifying some workers as "essential" challenged traditional economic, moral, and social measures of value. The various levels of belief in the virus raised age-old issues about anti-intellectualism and the paranoid style in American politics. The inability of the market to distribute supplies to meet Americans' medical and other basic needs raised issues about the effectiveness and purpose of a market economy. Controversies over mask-wearing and vaccination raised issues about how we conceptualize personal freedom.  And, overall, issues of social and economic inequality and the faltering of democracy came to the fore.  

This seminar will historicize these issues and others in American life and explore them in their cultural, political, economic, and social dimensions, making the pandemic a teachable moment and hopefully providing ways for students--well, for all of us--to process this moment instead of just returning to normalcy.
 

Stereotypes in the Classroom (509)   

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, January 7, 2022
Stacey Goguen, Psychology Department 
s-goguen@neiu.edu

Students and teachers face various expectations in the classroom, and both are subjected to a range of stereotypes. The worst of these stereotypes can disrupt long-term learning, agency, and an individual’s ability to view the classroom as a space where they belong and can grow. In this workshop, we will discuss some recent work from philosophy and social psychology on stereotypes, their effects on us, and how they can do damage in a classroom. This workshop will give you the opportunity to reflect on self and group identities, share your own experiences around stereotyping, and learn how harmful stereotypes can be resisted on both small and large scales in education.
 

International Order and the Triangular Relationship: the United States, Russian Federation, and the People's Republic of China (510) 

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, January 14, 2022
Aleksandar Jankovski, Political Science Department 
a-jankovski@neiu.edu

This course will discuss the international relations between the US, China, and Russia. As permanent members of the UN Security Council, and nuclear powers, these three states have unique responsibilities for international peace and order. The US, China, and Russia are also fierce competitors in the international system. This course will highlight both the chances and the challenges for cooperation between the great powers of our day. 
 

Using Ekphrasis (Writing that responds to Art) in the Writing Classroom, Creative and Otherwise (511)  

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, January 28, 2022
Olivia Cronk, English Department 
o-cronk@neiu.edu

In Forgiveness Forgiveness, writer Shane McCrae describes a white man “paint[ing] pictures of Native Americans discovering water as if water hadn’t existed before a white man painted it.” In writing and thinking about the painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, who may have been the first woman to paint herself nude, writer Marie Darrieussecq notes that museums are packed with pictures of women but there are very few by women: “Women have no name.” In an exploration of the artist Francesca Woodman, Candace Wuehle writes that “some lipsticks are better than others/ for writing your name on a mirror.” 

This seminar is a brief introduction to some current examples of ekphrasis (writing about art) and to the ideas about a raced and gendered gaze suggested by them, and an examination of possible art-based writing prompts for students working in any mode. Participants will tinker with and share ekphrastic constraints and work. The goal is to empower students to rely on their own authentic and contextualized gazes as a source of inspiration and information. 
 

Problem-Solving “Spanglish” in the Classroom (512)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, February 4, 2022
Denise Cloonan Cortez de Andersen, Department of World Languages and Cultures
d-cloonan@neiu.edu

Spanglish is everywhere. Varying forms creep into the classroom in all modes of both formal and informal communication. It isn’t normative, it varies from one speech community to another, yet it persists. Heritage learners often feel self-conscious about the way that they speak and are reticent to speak up in class. How do we encourage fluency and participation of ideas with more standardized forms of expression? In this seminar we will explore how language and identity are inextricably linked and delve into constructive ways to celebrate our different identities while demonstrating appropriate avenues for different forms of communication. 
 

Teaching Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (513)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, February 18, 2022
Bradley Greenburg, English Department 
b-greenburg@neiu.edu

I have for several years been imploring high school teachers to add Twelfth Night to their repertory. There are a number of reasons for this: the play’s brilliant exploration of love (not taken for granted but as a painful and confusing process); a deep inquiry into gender and its convoluted social production; the surprising intersection between mourning and love; and the way identity is constituted by the judgment and authority of others. Do these sound like issues your students struggle with in their lives? This seminar will focus on the play itself (plot, characters, issues, complexities) as well as approaches to, and techniques for, teaching it. 
 

An Introduction to Anti-Oppressive Education (514)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Friday, February 25, 2022
Olivia Perlow -  Chair of Sociology, African and African American Studies, Latinx and Latin American Studies, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Durene Wheeler - Director of the Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs
o-perlow@neiu.edu
d-wheeler@neiu.edu

This seminar will employ a social justice framework in order to examine the ways in which differences are socially constructed and how teachers unknowingly reproduce systems of oppression (i.e. racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, linguism, ethnocentrism, nativism, etc.). Our goal is to help participants develop the analytical and practical tools for challenging the ways in which educational spaces/practices perpetuate various forms and manifestations of oppressions (e.g. microaggressions/ stereotypes, colorblind racism, deficit thinking/ assimilationism).  We will provide participants with educational resources to promote more inclusive, anti-oppressive, and affirming classrooms, schools, and other institutions in which participants are a part. 
Continue the conversation with the April 8 seminar, “The Social Construction of Race and Reproduction of Racism in Education” 
 

Why Brexit and why it matters to Americans?  (515)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  March 4, 2022
Martyn de Bruyn, Political Science Department 
m-debruyn@neiu.edu

On June 2016 voters in the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. The referendum sent in motion a series of protracted negotiations that ended with the UK separating from the EU on January 31, 2020.  In this course we will discuss the motives for Prime Minister David Cameron to call for the referendum, the referendum campaign and the role of populism, xenophobia, and misinformation, and lastly the realities of Brexit and why this matters to Americans. 

 

Work, Money, and Shopping: Teaching the Global History of Capitalism (516)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  March 11, 2022
Charles Steinwedel, History Department Chair 
c-steinwedel@neiu.edu

As Branko Milanovic, former Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund, recently wrote, “Capitalism rules the world.  With only the most minor exceptions, the entire globe now organizes economic production the same way.”  The concept “capitalism” is at once global and abstract, and quite relevant to our everyday lives.  Since capitalism shapes how we work, the money we have, and the way we buy goods, understanding capitalism is essential for students and citizens. 

This seminar will examine capitalism’s history since the word first was used widely in the mid-nineteenth century through crises in 2008 and 2020.   We will address the changing nature of work and shopping, as well as the world financial system and its impact on our household economies.  Since capitalism is very much a global phenomenon, we will consider Russia’s engagement with capitalism as a case study.  Russia rejected capitalism entirely after 1917, then embraced capitalism again after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The seminar will be of use to those who seek to integrate recent and urgent economic issues into their U.S., European, and World History courses.
 

Latina/o/x Beginnings (517)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  March 25, 2022
Emily Garcia, English Department 
e-garcia20@neiu.edu

This seminar provides secondary teachers with an overview of the beginnings of Latina/o/x culture and literature in the United States, from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and helps them apply this knowledge in their own classrooms, considering questions of both content and student population. We will start with considering the useful and still relevant questions regarding language and identity posed by the earliest Spanish-language texts published in the United States, such as Santiago Puglia’s El desengaño del hombre (1794), and the sociocultural and political milieu that led to their publication. We will also begin to apply these concerns to the first published Mexican-American US author, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton.

Hour 1: Introductions, Overview of the Seminar, Lecture on the Subject
Hour 2: Discussion and Analysis of Case Studies/Readings
Hour 3: Planning for Implementation and Future Engagement/Professional Development
 

Teaching Food History (518)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  April 1, 2022
Christina Bueno, History Department 
c-bueno@neiu.edu

Food is a popular topic. We live in a world of “foodies,” celebrity chefs, and non-stop Food Network programming. Scholars have similarly turned their attention to food.  Their studies demonstrate how food has been a historical actor throughout history, one capable of driving large-scale changes.Take sugar, for instance.  Had sugarcane not been brought from Southeast Asia across the Mediterranean and eventually into the Americas, would the massive migrations of enslaved Africans have occurred?  Had sugar not become such an affordable commodity would our modern-day societies be plagued with so much illness?  This seminar explores ways of integrating scholarly approaches to food into the curriculum. Topics will include: why we eat what we eat; food and conquest; famine; food politics; food and gender; the environmental impact of food; and “crop sociology,” the cultivation and processing of a plant and the impact that these have on labor.  Our approach will be interdisciplinary and global in scope.  At the same time, we will also discuss the problems with today’s industrialized food system and ways of presenting this material to students.
 

In this companion to the Feb. 25 “An Introduction to Anti-Oppressive Education” seminar:
The Social Construction of Race and Reproduction of Racism in Education (519)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  April 8, 2022
Olivia Perlow -  Chair of Sociology, African and African American Studies, Latinx and Latin American Studies, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Durene Wheeler - Director of the Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs
o-perlow@neiu.edu
d-wheeler@neiu.edu

This seminar will employ a social justice framework in order to explore the history of race as a socio-political construction and its present-day consequences. Furthermore, we will examine how public education has historically served to marginalize BIPOC students and how current educational institutions create barriers to their inclusion and success. The goal of this seminar is to help educators create classroom and school environments that are more affirming and equitable for minoritized students.
 

The Foundations of Freedom in U.S. Literature (520)

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  April 22, 2022
Tim Libretti, English Department 
t-libretti@neiu.edu

These days our political and cultural discourse is rife with disagreements over what constitutes "freedom" and, by extension, what constitutes "American-ness." This seminar will present a telescoped survey of U.S. literary history, exploring its evolutions and contestations through the lens of the concept of "freedom." We will focus most strenuously, though, on the often less-studied and less--discussed literature of the early American Republic, contextualizing this literature in the political debates of times when the nation's founders were engaged in vital and substantive conversations about how to make liberty and authority compatible in the new republic, about the American citizen-self was defined in relation to others in realizing the project of the new American polity, about what the limits and possibilities of individual freedom are in relation to the rights and others.  We will then explore the evolutions of these founding principles through American Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, and so forth.