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ERIC Number: ED424593
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Trading Places: Becoming the "Other" in the Classroom.
West, Genevieve
Despite resistance from cultural separatists and essentialists, whites are increasingly teaching and studying ethnic literatures. A white African Americanist finds herself teaching African American literature to African Americans. In a first-year writing course she taught at Florida State University, she was the only white participant in a process writing course. The goal was to use an African American literature anthology to generate notebook entries, discussions, and paper topics. Her race had various impacts upon the students' writing and participation in class discussion and their evaluations of her and of the course varied as well. Four students said they would have preferred a black teacher, 25 others made encouraging comments. The following semester at the University of Southern Mississippi, the teacher taught her first African American literature course and had a better experience, at least in part because of the self-reflection the previous class generated, because the students were older, and because the class was more diverse. The challenges are numerous: introducing race as an appropriate and safe area for class discussion; and guiding students in establishing boundaries for safe discussions. (Contains a 10-item annotated bibliography.) (CR)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A