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One of the Being Human project’s four original components, Teaching Religion in Public (TRiP) is a series of collaborative meetings between faculty and graduate students. The aim is to reflect on diverse experiences of teaching religion both within and outside the public university classroom; to create a distinctive sort of public among ourselves; and to reimagine teaching religion in public as a collaborative activity rather than a transmission of expertise.
Each semester explores a different theme, led by a team of faculty and graduate students. Join our email list (email@example.com) to receive the readings and Zoom link.
The current cultural conversation around critical race theory, and its frenzied, feigned concern over the corruption of innocents, resembles the satanic panic of the 1980s. State legislatures are signing anti-critical race theory policies into law; teachers are being asked to wear body cameras to ensure compliance with such curricular boundaries. “Critical race theory,” itself, has become a linguistic surrogate for a kind of history deemed inconvenient or contaminated. A new revelation of an evergreen truth, the fear around race—particularly as it pertains to the classroom—is the fear that we might infect our children.
With race as its organizing theme, this series takes up the question of pedagogical possibility amidst such ever-encroaching surveillance when teaching about race (or being perceived as teaching about race incorrectly) comes with high stakes—stakes that are higher for some of us than for others. How might we think with our students about, with, inside of, and beyond the category of race amidst these conditions? We take as premise that regardless of the content of our respective courses and the extent to which racial frameworks relate to those temporal and cultural situations, that the classrooms and publics in which we teach are, themselves, deeply racialized demands our thoughtful and continual engagement with this nexus of religion, race, and pedagogy. We aim to ground these conversations through various curricular issues.