This article employs Black feminist autoethnographic methods (Griffin, 2012; Burkhard, 2020) to examine a series of racialized, gendered, and xenophobic incidents in an undergraduate class focused on equity and diversity, in which the author was the instructor after the summer of 2020—now often referred to as the “Summer of Racial Reckoning.” The aforementioned incidents generated severe discomfort in the classroom and revolved around the interactions between a student who is a member of the radical far-right QAnon movement and the instructor, a Black immigrant woman. Drawing on journal entries, emails, and other artifacts, this article examines the layers of discomfort that arose in the class due to the incompatibility of ideologies that emerged from the instructor’s culturally sustaining pedagogical approaches (Paris & Alim, 2014; Wong & Burkhard, 2021) and the politicized rhetoric related to race, (im)migration, and child welfare promoted within particular circles of the QAnon movement. These incompatible ideologies called into question what it means to teach for justice and “to create an open learning community” (hooks, 1994, p. 8) on the one hand, and on the other hand, what it means for instructors of color to work through layers of violence, fear, and discomfort for themselves and for students of color within predominantly white classrooms.
Facing Post-Truth Conspiracies in the Classroom: A Black Feminist Autoethnography of Teaching for Liberation After the Summer of Racial Reckoning
Tanja Burkhard, PhD, is an assistant professor of Human Development at Washington State University. Her work focuses on the intersections of qualitative methodologies and racialization, immigration, and gender.
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Tanja Burkhard; Facing Post-Truth Conspiracies in the Classroom: A Black Feminist Autoethnography of Teaching for Liberation After the Summer of Racial Reckoning. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 September 2022; 11 (3): 24–39. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2022.11.3.24
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