Monday, October 29, 2007

Conference presentation

I just returned from the American Educational Studies Association conference in Cleveland, Ohio. While I attended other academic conferences last year, this was my first conference as a presenter. To say that I was anxious, nervous, and scared is the tip of my emotional iceberg prior to my presentation. My session started at 8:30AM on Friday morning. Consequently, the UNC social (bar crawl) began at 8PM on Thursday. My roommates wandered back to the room around 1AM, but I was in bed early. I just couldn’t party and network on an anxious stomach.

The presentation went better than I expected. If I may, I rocked socks! Attendees requested my paper and I received many compliments on my work and presentation style.

I’m looking forward to my next foray into the academy. My article is being published in a book edited by Paula Groves Price at Washington State University.

Here’s my article abstract:

Anna Todd, “Nice white teacher: The role of racial representations in popular culture and teacher education” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007.

This article examines the impact of the film Freedom Writers on the racial identities of white female teachers. By using Critical Race Theory, I examine the place of “white allies” and “colorblindness” (Cochran-Smith, 1995) in the film. Using Stuart Hall’s definitions of preferred, negotiated, and oppositional readings, I will analyze the figure of the “white female teacher” (1980). Henry Giroux conceptualizes popular culture texts as “public pedagogies” (2003), meaning that they “work pedagogically to legitimate some meanings, invite particular desires, and exclude others“ (pp.78). Freedom Writers is a recent popular culture text that constructs a representation of a young white female teacher. By analyzing scenes from the film and using a critical race lens, I examine how popular culture can be used to address race in teacher education, and the potential pitfalls. This article considers the power of media texts in the formation of teacher identity and race roles in education. I propose that this critique can be used as a pedagogical strategy for engaging pre-service teachers of all teaching levels in critical discussions of race and identity.


Hope said...

Congrats on the presentation!


Tina said...

I'd like to know more- but I was told I had to buy the book. What book, you ask? Exactly!