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Experiential Learning: Honing Erotic Joy Toward a Feminist, Decolonial, and Anti-racist University

Wednesday, July 6th
9:00 am - 11:30 am
Registration is required

Event Description

For this workshop, participants will explore the feminist, decolonial, and anti-racist potentials of experiential learning. The university is a space entangled with histories and presence of white supremacy, settler colonialism, classism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia, and sexism. Doing well as both a student and a faculty member is entangled with white, elite, and ableist notions of success. Projects that are hands-on and make connections with the “real-world” can in turn deemphasize a focus on traditional forms of measurable success in academic spaces such as on white and non-immigrant writing norms and traditional assignments like essays and exams.

Experiential learning, learning-by-doing, project-based, and praxis-based learning is thus a potentially powerful approach to pedagogy that can challenge oppressive systems under which the university is built toward the making and sharing of knowledge that is project-oriented. By challenging the white habitus of learning, which is grounded in discipline, productivity, and assessment, experiential learning has the potential to make learning joyful, erotic, self-guided, and collaborative. There is no one way to do experiential learning, and it can include students working collaboratively to build a peer-reviewed journal or individually to make a podcast episode, or it can include small scale projects such as going on walks or crafting projects that extend beyond the classroom.

In this workshop, participants will aim to reconnect with the joy and erotic of learning and teaching through the centering of experiential learning. The erotic will be understood drawing on Audre Lorde’s “Uses of the Erotic” (1978) as accessing an inner well of knowledge that is attuned to the self and opposed to “racist, patriarchal, and anti-erotic society.” We will read a small selection of feminist, decolonial, and anti-racist texts, go on walks, listen to podcasts, and, as a capstone, work on incorporating an experiential element/assignment into a syllabus (each participant will bring their own syllabus to work on).

In the mornings we will meet over Zoom to discuss readings, work in breakout groups and in pairs on our syllabi, and talk about praxis-based strategies. In the afternoons, we will have our asynchronous portion during which we will go on prompt-related walks, listen to podcasts, do readings, and work individually to develop an experiential element or assignment of our syllabi. Registration is required by July 4th.

Artifact: Participants will create an experiential element or assignment on one syllabus that you are either currently developing and will teach in the future or that you have already taught and would like to incorporate an experiential learning assignment into. Experiential learning is a strategy to value other ways of knowing and learning in our classrooms, which directly supports student success through inclusion.

Eligible participants will receive a $300 stipend for successfully completing this course. Note: participants may sign up for only one Teaching Scholar-in-Residence workshop per Summer Institute.

This workshop falls under the AAC&U High-Impact Educational Practices of Service Learning and Community-Based Learning.

If you will need special accommodations, please contact the event organizer.


Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology
(309) 438-2542