Center for Faculty Innovation

AAAD Critical Perspectives & Pedagogies Institute

Fri, 10 Sep 2021 12:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Critical Perspectives & Pedagogies Institute will meet on Fridays from 10-11:30 AM: 9/17, 9/24, 10/8, 10/15, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12 (on Zoom), and 12/3 (in-person).

Extended deadline: Fri, 9/10 at 12 PM.

This institute cultivates a space where participants will reflectively study and explore how to address systemic racism in our teaching. Specifically, over the course of eight sessions during the fall semester participants will 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. Participants will draw upon these knowledges to evaluate the places where implicit bias, colonial and/or racist thinking occur within their own field; discover AAAD scholarship and pedagogical resources in their discipline and determine its value for their own scholarly and pedagogical practice; and develop a plan for structural and systemic change within their unit. 

Guided by faculty facilitators from JMU’s African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies program across 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 15 participants.

The institute will meet remotely via Zoom for the first seven sessions and in-person on campus for the final meeting on December 3.



  • Dr. Melissa Alemán, Communication Studies
  • Dr. BJ Bryson, Social Work
  • Dr. Taimi Castle, Justice Studies
  • Dr. Kara Kavanagh, Early, Elementary and Reading Education
  • Dr. Amy Lewis, Music Education
  • Dr. Tolu Odumosu, Integrated Science and Technology
and support and expertise from:
  • Malia Willey, JMU Libraries.


  • African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Center,
  • College of Arts & Letters,
  • The President’s Madison Vision Fund,
  • School of Communication Studies,
  • Center for Faculty Innovation, and
  • JMU Libraries.

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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