Center for Faculty Innovation

AAAD Critical Perspectives & Pedagogies Institute

Wed, 9 Sep 2020 12:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Critical Perspectives & Pedagogies Institute will meet online on Fridays, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/30, 11/6, and 11/13 from 10:00-11:30 AM.

Application deadline: Wed, 9/9 at 12 PM.

After the death of many Black people (including George Floyd, on May 25, 2020), and the nationwide protests that resulted, there has been a growing awareness among JMU faculty, especially white faculty, that we need to do more to address systemic racism in our teaching, yet many do not know where to start. In this institute that will span 6-8 weeks, participants will meet once a week, remotely, for at least 90 minutes, in order to dive deeply into the histories, philosophies, knowledges, methodologies, and pedagogies of experiences of people of African descent globally as well as the rich field of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies. Guided by expert faculty facilitators from JMU’s African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies program, as well as guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines, participants will receive an introduction to the field, guidance on discussion about key readings and other resources, as well as mentorship and targeted feedback on their pedagogical projects. The institute will be limited to 12 participants who will receive $250 to honor their work (stipends for 10-month faculty and professional development funds for 12-month faculty).

Designer and Chief Facilitator: Mollie Godfrey, College of Arts and Letters

With invited AAAD guest speakers from across campus including; 

  • Taimi Castle (College of Arts & Letters),
  • BJ Bryson (College of Health & Behavioral Studies),
  • Joshua Streeter (College of Visual & Performing Arts),
  • Kara Kavanagh (College of Education),
  • Tolu Odumosu (College of Integrated Science & Engineering), and
  • Jennifer PeeksMease (College of Arts & Letters).

Partners: Center for Faculty Innovation, College of Arts & Letters, JMU Libraries, and Center for Civic Engagement.

Faculty participants will make progress toward these program outcomes:

  • Understand that AAAD is an interdisciplinary field with specific histories, philosophies, innovations, methodologies, and experts, and with an activist-intellectual core;
  • Recognize that AAAD is a decolonial critique of all other disciplines that counters the long and ongoing tradition of white studies (which are typically framed as “objective”) by centering a critical frame of reference and non-eurocentric perspectives;
  • Evaluate the places where implicit bias and colonial thinking occur within your own field, research, course design, and teaching materials;
  • Discover AAAD scholarship and pedagogical resources in your own discipline and determine their value for your own pedagogical practice; and
  • Develop a plan for structural and systemic change within your discipline and your unit.

Faculty participants will make progress toward these teaching outcomes:

  • Identifying factors that influence pedagogical choices; and
  • Articulating how current pedagogical choices reflect disciplinary norms.

We want this program to be welcoming, accessible, and inclusive for all of our participants. Please reach out to us at or (568-4846) with any considerations (e.g., disability, wellness, cultural, etc.) you want us to know about. There is also a place to note this while registering.


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