Social Justice in the German Classroom
Women in German 2016
Banff, Alberta, Canada
October 13-16, 2016
Questions of social justice belong in the undergraduate classroom. Indeed, they lie at the heart of a liberal arts education, where discussions and
debates in the humanities and social sciences often hinge on critical analyses of economic, political, and cultural structures and inequalities. The wealth of recent scholarship on teaching social justice in a range of disciplines suggests a growing commitment
to critical pedagogies and educational leadership across the curriculum. The discipline of German studies is ideally positioned to attend to matters of social justice, both due to Germany’s historical burden of addressing human rights violations from the Third
Reich and the Cold War, and in light of current events surrounding the European refugee crisis, the rise of Islamophobia, extremist politics and terrorism, economic inequality in post-socialist states, and austerity measures in the European Union.
Contributions to this panel may discuss social justice issues in Germany past and present, or explore strategies for incorporating discussions relevant to contemporary social justice initiatives in the United States—such as #blacklivesmatter, police brutality, LGBTQIA rights, asylum politics, and national security—into the German language and literature classroom. How do studies of such movements reach out into the world beyond the classroom through homework assignments, service learning projects, or study abroad programs? What specifically can feminist and queer, critical race and ethnic studies contribute to pedagogies of social justice in German studies? We are interested in viewing not just the instructor but also the students as agents of social justice, regardless of whether the course is focused on language, linguistics, culture, or theory. How can such pedagogies be transformative for the future of democracy and the formation of global citizens?
Innovative, interactive, and nontraditional submissions that encourage audience participation are especially welcome! We invite prospective presenters to propose alternatives to the traditional 15-20-minute conference paper. Depending on the number of submissions we receive and the topics they address, we would like to consider a roundtable or workshop format for this panel.
Please send abstracts of 200-300 words, including your thoughts on the panel format, to both organizers by March 1, 2016: Jessica Riviere ([log in to unmask]) and Faye Stewart ([log in to unmask]). Please also email both organizers with any questions. Panelists should become members of Women in German or renew their membership for 2016 prior to the conference.