Difficult Subjects
Insights and Strategies for Teaching about Race, Sexuality, and Gender

Paper: 978 1 62036 792 6 / $37.50
Due: May 2018  

Cloth: 978 1 62036 791 9 / $95.00
Due: May 2018  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 793 3 / $95.00 Due: May 2018  
About Library E-Book


E-Book: 978 1 62036 794 0 / $29.99
Due: May 2018  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
296 pp., 6" x 9"
7 figures, 4 tables
Difficult Subjects: Insights and Strategies for Teaching about Race, Sexuality and Gender is a collection of essays from scholars across disciplines, institutions, and ranks that offers diverse and multi-faceted approaches to teaching about subjects that prove both challenging and often uncomfortable for both the professor and the student. It encourages college educators to engage in forms of practice that do not pretend that teachers and students are unaffected by world events and incidents that highlight social inequalities. Readers will find the collected essays useful for identifying new approaches to taking on the “difficult subjects” of race, gender, and sexuality.

The book will also serve as inspiration for academics who believe that their area of study does not allow for such pedagogical inquiries to also teach in ways that address difficult subjects. Contributors to this volume span a range of disciplines from criminal justice to gender studies to organic chemistry, and demonstrate the productive possibilities that can emerge in college classrooms when faculty consider “identity” as constitutive of rather than divorced from their academic disciplines.

Discussions of race, gender, and sexuality are always hot-button issues in the college classroom, whether they emerge in response to a national event or tragedy or constitute the content of the class over a semester-long term. Even seasoned professors who specialize in these areas find it difficult to talk about identity politics in a room full of students. And many professors for whom issues of racial, and sexual identity is not a primary concern find it even more challenging to raise these issues with students.

Offering reflections and practical guidance, the book accounts for a range of challenges facing college educators, and encourages faculty to teach with courage and conviction, especially when it feels as though the world around us is crashing down upon our students and ourselves.

Table of Contents:
Introduction—Oiyan Poon and Badia Ahad-Legardy

1) A Conversation on Challenging and Using Comfort-Zone Racism in the Classroom—Rucha Ambikar, Daniel Guentchev, and Dennis Lunt
2) When Racially Just Teaching Becomes Your Own Heart: Pedagogical Strategies for Teaching Whiteness—Cheryl E. Matias, and Lisa Silverstein
3) Addressing Incivility in the Classroom: Effective Strategies for Faculty at the Margins—Chavella Pittman
4) Whiteness Matters: Tourism, Customer Service, and the Neoliberal University—David Leonard and Paula Price Groves
5) Black Lives, Black Women, and the Academy: “Doing” Equity and Inclusion Work at PWIs—Nicole Truesdell
6) Feeling Our Way to Knowing: Decolonizing the American Studies Classroom—Adriana Estill
7) Feeling Black and Blue in Pre-service Teacher Education: Encountering Emotion and Embodiment in Antiracist Teaching—Esther O. Ohito and Sherry L. Deckman
8) Transformational Pedagogies of the Abject Body: An Argument for Radical Fat Pedagogies—Breanne Fahs
9) “The Least We Can Do”: Gender-Affirming Pedagogy Starting on Day One—Erica Chu
10) Creating Inclusive Classrooms: Toward Collective and Diverse Intersectional Success—Dian D. Squire, Azura Booth, and Brandon Arnold
11) A Call for Difficult Conversations Around Diversity in STEM Courses—Thomas Poon
12) Diversity Matters in the STEM Classroom—Jennifer S. Fang
13) Between Critique and Professional Ambition—Akhila L. Ananth
14) Uncomfortable Learning: Teaching Race through Discomfort in Higher Education—Jasmine L. Harris

In Closing—Badia Ahad-Legardy and Oiyan Poon