Decolonizing Pedagogies Workshop

The UW System Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium is hosting a year-long Decolonizing Pedagogies Workshop that focuses on supporting equitable and anti-racist institutional practices.  This project seeks to transform the curriculum, teaching, operations, and culture of historically white campuses that are still grappling with white supremacy. Participants and their respective projects can be found here.

Friday, October 16 - Saturday, October 17, 2020

Catherine Orr headshot
Dr. Catherine M. Orr

Participants will take part in a two-day virtual workshop facilitated by Dr. Catherine M. Orr and Dr. Lisa Anderson-Levy of Beloit College.  Everyone will bring a project to work on – this could be a syllabus to revamp or a program to restructure, an institutional initiative they’d like to launch, or some other focused work that advances an intersectional approach to equity and justice at their campus.

Lisa Anderson-Levy
Dr. Lisa Anderson-Levy

Participants will use the knowledge from the workshop to launch substantial and measurable action plans that culminate in working with others on their campus (could be colleagues, students, community partners, or a mix) on a specific outcome. The two-day workshop will focus on clarifying project goals, coming up with creative alternatives, and formulating a work plan for implementing this project over the spring semester.

A list of potential projects can be found here.

Spring 2021

Stephanie Rytilahti headshot
Dr. Stephanie Rytilahti

Participants will attend five 90-minute virtual sessions that again combine readings, online discussion and reflections alongside the development of a concrete, equity-based project (dates TBD).

Participants will present on their projects at the spring Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium conference the week of April 4, 2021 (format and exact dates TBD).

Dr. Stephanie Rytilahti, Director of the WGSC, will provide ongoing support, guidance, and feedback to participants through the summer of 2021 and beyond as needed.

Workshop Purpose

How do we decenter whiteness in classrooms and other institutional locations? What does it mean to decolonize our pedagogies? What does equity look like at Primarily White Institutions (PWIs)? How do we enact institutional transformation so that underserved and underrepresented students, faculty, and staff feel like they belong within PWIs? How can we use this space to build community and strategize about how best to embed equity into the structure of our institutions?

These are the questions that have guided the thinking for the Mellon Decolonizing Pedagogies Project at Beloit College. As the UW System Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium works to support equity, justice, and intersectional approaches to curriculum, programming, and administration, we have invited Dr. Catherine M. Orr and Dr. Lisa Anderson-Levy to facilitate a year-long Decolonizing Pedagogies Workshop that focuses on supporting equitable and anti-racist institutional practices.

Adopting a developmental approach that places self-reflection, collaborative intellectual inquiry, and the student experience at the center of programming, curricular design, and campus operations, participants will pair readings and reflections alongside a proposed campus-based project with specific timelines, implementation strategies, and outcome goals.  This workshop approach provides a supportive foundation for each project and seeks to make equity work sustainable at each campus.

Additional Details

Format and Expectations for Participants

The series begins with a two-day virtual workshop on October 16-17, 2020. To prepare, participants will fill out a reflective questionnaire, engage with a series of readings, and propose a project they’d like to implement with others on their campus. The fall workshop is followed by five 90-minute virtual sessions in the spring of 2021 that combine readings, reflections, and project updates. Participants will present on their projects (many will likely still be in process) at the annual Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium conference in April of 2021 (likely a virtual format). The director of the WGSC, Stephanie Rytilahti, Catherine M. Orr, and Lisa Anderson-Levy will all serve as consultants on projects throughout the academic year.

Application Details

The WGSC will cover the cost of participation in this workshop. Enrollment is capped at 15 people. Interested staff or faculty should email a one-page cover letter describing the project they hope to launch (including project title, relevant campus context, goals, potential collaborators, desired outcomes, and timeline), names/titles of those they want to attend the workshop, and relevant experiences of potential participants to Stephanie Rytilahti by September 10, 2020. Applicants will be informed of acceptance by September 17, 2020.

Alignment with WGSC Mission

The proposed project should align with the mission and vision of the WGSC, which strives to enhance student learning and service to students; support multiculturalism and inclusion; lead efforts to develop and integrate intersectional feminist scholarship; and strengthen connections between campuses and communities.