More than 50 people participated in a powerful workshop on violence in education presented by Dr. Koritha Mitchell last evening as part of her virtual residency under the sponsorship of the George A. Miller Endowment. Drawing on her own experience, as well as her expertise on canonical American literature, Dr. Mitchell described various ways in which violence is enacted in educational settings on a daily basis. Acts of violence include enforcing punitive expectations of “good behavior” from students of color, poor students, and others not protected by structures of white domination; assuming and pre-determining limited paths for such students, depriving them not only of college counseling resources but of the very possibility of advancement; and an unquestioned ascription of authority to straight white men. She discussed the importance of naming dominant categories, noting that every failure to identify whiteness, especially, amounts to reinforcing the idea that whiteness is neutral rather than unjustly advantaged. Students of color do not fall through the cracks, she said; they are pulled into big, gaping holes: holes and suction created by the hostile environment of U.S. education and continually renewed by teachers, administrators, parents, and communities. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the final event of Dr. Mitchell’s residency, a formal public lecture this evening at 7:00 PM central time, titled “Homemade Citizenship: All but Inviting Injury.” Register here for this Zoom presentation: https://illinois.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUpfuqtqz4sGtJEyuHUt4hIY_c7r1JfIzQu  

-Laurie Matheson

Photo credit: Paul Kotheimer

About Heather Gernenz

University of Illinois Press Publicity Manager

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