The N-word is here to stay, and so are debates about it. However, scholars and teachers don’t need the word to disappear so much as they need to be more deliberate and intellectually rigorous in handling it. In this episode, Koritha Mitchell (Ohio State University) suggests that students and faculty members should not be subjected to hate speech in the classroom just because it appears in the texts we study.

She shares her deep disappointment with how little white instructors as well as those in other dominant identity categories have thought about their use of slurs in their classes and proposes solutions to improve pedagogical practices. She details her own classroom policies and offers examples of how the policies function in texts by Mark Twain and James Baldwin. We also hear Mitchell's former students discuss how her policy transformed their learning experiences and critical thinking during and beyond her courses. Throughout, Mitchell identifies how intellectually lazy ways of handing racial slurs in the classroom result from, and fuel, that which makes our institutions unjust. Episode produced by Xine Yao, Paul Kotheimer, and Koritha Mitchell. Post-production by Xine Yao.
View Koritha Mitchell's classroom covenant: http://www.korithamitchell.com/teaching-and-the-n-word/
United States


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