5453.001 Activist Rhetorics/Literacy & Social Change
Susan Kates

Course Description: This graduate seminar will focus on particular educational movements that grew out of 19th and 20th century socio-political contexts in the U.S. such as women's clubs, the labor college movement, the citizenship schools of the south and the Appalachian student-centered curricula that emerged at Highlander Folk School and Berea College. Throughout the semester we will examine the literacy practices and the activist curricula that materialized in these and other contexts as we consider the relationship between education and social change. In addition, we will investigate the following features of many forms of activist curricula: the relationship between language and identity; politicized writing and speaking assignments designed to help students to interrogate their marginalized standing within the larger culture in terms of their gender, race, or social class; and an emphasis on service and social responsibility. Although most of our inquiry will be historical in nature, we will take up contemporary forms of this tradition such as critical pedagogy and service learning.

Evaluation Procedures: Grades will be based on: midterm/reading responses/presentation and seminar project.

Reading List:

We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change Myles Horton and Paulo Freire
Pedagogy of the Oppressed Paulo Freire
Teaching Transgress bell books
Traces of a Stream: Literacy and Social Change Among African American Women Jacqueline Jones Royster
Intimate Practices: Literacy and Cultural Work in U.S. Women's Clubs, 1880 - 1920 Anne Ruggles Gere
Democracy and Social Ethics Jane Addams
The Mis-Education of the Negro Carter G. Woodson

Excerpts from:
Border Crossings, Henry Giroux;
Nineteenth-Century Women Learn to Write, Catherine Hobbs;
Literacy in American Lives, Deborah Brandt;
Activist Rhetorics and American Higher Education, 1885-1937, Susan Kates;
We Are Coming, Shirley Wilson Logan;
The Pursuit of Knowledge Under Difficulties: From Self-Improvement to Adult Education in America, 1750-1990, Joseph Kett and others










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