In response to the ongoing and critical conversation on anti-Black racism in the United States, the Composition Program here at VT supports reinvigorated antiracist efforts in the writing classroom. The purpose of these resources is to provide instructors and GTAs in the Virginia Tech Composition Program the tools to learn about and to apply antiracist models and methods in their teaching practices.
For more resources, you might consider reviewing this list of racial justice resources sponsored by Writing Spaces or this anti-racist teaching resource document compiled by Dr. Megan McIntyre of Sonoma State University.
The resources assembled here cover a range of important topics under the larger umbrella of antiracist pedagogy including Black Language Pedagogy, critical embodiment pedagogy, culturally relevant and culturally sustaining pedagogies, anti-racist classroom policies, white language supremacy, and the importance of combatting colorblind racism in the writing classroom.
Baker-Bell, April. “Dismantling anti-black linguistic racism in English language arts classrooms: Toward an anti-racist black language pedagogy.” Theory into Practice 59.1 (2020): 8-21.
Ball, Arnetha F. “Expanding the dialogue on culture as a critical component when assessing writing.” Assessing Writing 4.2 (1997): 169-202.
Cedillo, Christina V. “What Does It Mean to Move?: Race, Disability, and Critical Embodiment Pedagogy.” Composition Forum. Vol. 39. Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition, 2018.
Condon, Frankie, and Vershawn Ashanti Young, eds. Performing Antiracist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication. WAC Clearinghouse, 2016.
- Condon, Frankie, and Vershawn Ashanti Young. “Introduction.”
- Diab, Rasha et al. “Making Commitments to Racial Justice Actionable.”
- Martinez, Aja. “A Plea for Critical Race Theory Counterstory: Stock Story vs. Counterstory Dialogues Concerning Alejandra’s “Fit” in the Academy.”
- Poe, Mya. “Reframing Race in Teaching Writing Across the Curriculum.“
- Pimentel, Octavio, Charise Pimentel, and John Dean. “The Myth of the Colorblind Writing Classroom: White Instructors Confront White Privilege in Their Classrooms.“
Davila, Bethany. “Standard English and Colorblindness in Composition Studies: Rhetorical Constructions of Racial and Linguistic Neutrality.” WPA: Writing Program Administration 40.2 (2017): 154-173.
de Müeller, Genevieve García, and Iris Ruiz. “Race, Silence, and Writing Program Administration: A Qualitative Study of US College Writing Programs.” Council of Writing Program Administrators 40.2 (2017): 19-39.
Inoue, Asao B. “How do we language so people stop killing each other, or what do we do about white language supremacy?.” College Composition and Communication 71.2 (2019): 352-369.
Kynard, Carmen. “Teaching while black: Witnessing disciplinary whiteness, racial violence, and race-management.” Literacy in Composition Studies 3.1 (2015): 1-20.
Perryman-Clark, Staci M., and Collin Lamont Craig. Black Perspectives in Writing Program Administration: From Margins to the Center. 2019.
Poe, Mya, and Norbert Elliot. “Evidence of fairness: Twenty-five years of research in Assessing Writing.” Assessing Writing 42 (2019):
Poe, Mya, Asao B. Inoue, and Norbert Elliot, eds. Writing assessment, social justice, and the advancement of opportunity. WAC Clearinghouse, 2018.
- Chapter 6: Writing Assessment and Responsibility for Colonialism
- Chapter 7: The Violence of Assessment: Writing Assessment, Social (In)Justice, and the Role of Validation
Anti-Racist Assessment & Labor-Based Grading Contracts
For guidance on antiracist assessment in the form of labor-based grading contracts, please refer to the following resources. These resources may be of special interest to GTAs and instructors who will be attending the workshop on labor-based grading contracts and antiracist pedagogies with Dr. Asao Inoue, Professor & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Equity, and Inclusion at Arizona State U, hosted by the Composition Program in coordination with Writing Across Virginia (WAVA). This workshop will take place at 12:30-2 EDT (via Zoom) on Wed., Oct. 21.
Inoue, Asao B. Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future. WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press, 2015.
—. Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom. WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado.
Additionally, Inoue has shared a Google folder of scholarship and classroom resources on grading contracts.
BLACK MATTERS: A Teach-In On Language, Literature, Rhetoric, Writing, and Verbal Art
Early in summer 2020, the VT English Department sponsored a webinar teach-in via Zoom on the interdisciplinary ways the discipline of English and its subfields interpret and engage with the historic and contemporary issues of “Black matters.” For the purposes of this webinar, the presenters defined “Black Matters” as “issues regarding identity, language, personhood, citizenship, art, communication, and other dimensions of Black life in and outside the classroom.” This webinar offers a great deal of insight into how some VT English faculty take up Black Matters in the classroom, including the writing classroom, and offer fruitful ways to consider enacting antiracist measures in your own classroom pedagogy and practice.
Presenters included Nikki Giovanni (University Distinguished Professor, English), Gena Chandler Smith (Associate Professor, English), S. Moon Cassinelli (Assistant Professor, English), Katie Carmichael (Associate Professor, English), Alexa Garvoille (3rd year MFA student in poetry), L. Lamar Wilson (Assistant Professor, Creative Writing, Wake Forest University), Sheila Carter-Tod (Associate Professor, English), and Jennifer Sano-Franchini (Associate Professor, English).
Anti-Racism as a Continual, Reflexive Process
While these resources are intended as a foundation for antiracist pedagogy and assessment, the materials included on this page and their important teachings represent only the beginning of antiracism work in the writing classroom and at our predominantly white institution. Importantly, we acknowledge that the work of antiracism in our communities and in our classrooms is never complete but instead a continual, reflexive process. To that end, if you would like to contribute resources to help combat institutional racism and white language supremacy in the writing classroom, we hope you’ll submit feedback and materials via email to composition[at]vt.edu.