A Nation Divided, A Campus Undecided: Teaching To and Beyond Ferguson Workshop 1/15

Thursday, January 15th, 2.30-4.30pm
The Barbara Christian Conference Room (554 Barrows Hall)

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We recently commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of UC Berkeley's American Cultures (AC) curriculum. During those Spring 2014 moments of recollection, we situated the history in which the AC curriculum was born. We asked how AC came to be, what was it responding to and what it hoped to provide. The conclusion? To deliver a critical analysis of the context of our racial histories and its effects on our current lives and futures. If so, then today, we are in an 'AC moment'. 

In the last days of the Fall 2014 semester, our nation and campus was intensely engaged with what soon came to be called #BlackLivesMatter. The winter break arrived and a lull descended. As it always does, a quick exodus from the Berkeley campus followed the exhaustion of finals. In its wake, the campus walls became a palimpsest of chalk markings, shadows on shadows of statements made from November 24th onwards. Even the big December storm providing the campus its only ‘rain day’ in recent memory, did not wash away these shadows. “No justice, No peace”; “UC Berkeley you showed us how, come out and join us now”; “#BlackLivesMatter”. Mobilizing, organizing, expressed in time worn passion on the walls of the university.  

We open our eyes on the Spring 2015 semester with the next set of shadows in this palimpsest to be added.  And they will. But who is the audience for them? Who are they speaking to? Who sees them? 

What is the teaching present in this moment? How might we facilitate conversations on the complex, multilayered social histories and personal connections tethered to this moment? And how, given the wide berth of both AC courses and non-AC courses centered in racial and social analyses, might we do this together? 
If you would like to learn more about the ideas, resources, and perspectives captured at this event, please contact americancultures@berkeley.edu.
Supported through a partnership of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, The Cross Cultural Development Office, The AC Center, and The Public Service Center.