Thinking Beyond Curriculum: Anti-Racist Writing Assessment
In recent years, many of us have sought to actively address the whiteness of traditional English curricula, we’ve introduced more writers of color, considered the racism of canonical works, and discussed the traumas of racial inequity with our students. Yet the ongoing and vital public outcry for racial justice underscores the urgent need to do more to take on our nation’s systemic racial conflicts, and composition scholars have answered this call with a robust body of work addressing the role literacy education might play not just in confronting racism, but in perpetuating it. Many have implicated the supremacy of “White English” in the failure of educational institutions and writing programs to establish greater equity.
Our fall conference will consider these arguments in the context of our work as ECE/FYW instructors, reflecting on what we’re currently doing to address racism in our classrooms, and examining scholarship that proposes next steps. What does it mean for students to have a right to their own language? How do we theorize “Englishes” in an environment traditionally devoted to standards? How can we alter our thinking about assessment to more fully embrace students’ diverse linguistic strengths? And moving forward, how might COVID-era experimentation and the upcoming transition to the new ENGL 1007 course help us more rapidly develop a more equitable and inclusive program?