About the event

Activism in Academia is an interdisciplinary, one-day symposium organized to initiate a larger conversation between CUNY and non-CUNY faculty and students about the value of apolitical and political work in the classroom as it relates to activism within underrepresented communities. Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates will engage in discussion and debate through various panels on religion and secularism in the classroom, syllabi and canon construction, training students for careers in social justice, as well as the growing place for ethnic studies and disabilities studies. Symposium Coordinators: Dhipinder Walia and Olivia Loksing Moy.

#ActivisminAcademia #CUNYactivism #LehmanEnglish



Words for Social Change: Empathy & Literature

Olivia Loksing Moy (Lehman College): Introductory Remarks: “Shooting an Elephant”

Talia Schaffer (Queens College & GC): Critical Care: Relationality, Ethics, and Literary Studies

Emanuele Castano (New School): On Literary Fiction and Its Effects on Theory of Mind

11:30-12:30 Faculty Roundtable Moderator: Eva Chou (Baruch)

Diversifying the Curriculum: A Conversation with English Department Chairs

Eva Chou (Baruch College), Renata Miller (City College), Joyce Harte (BMCC), Ellen Tremper (Brooklyn College), Allison Pease (John Jay), Paula Loscocco (Lehman College)

12:30-1:00 Lunch Reception

1:00-2:30 Student Panels Moderator: J. Bret Maney (Lehman)

Activism, Authority, and Ethics in the Black-Authored Text

C. Lionel Spencer (Lehman): The Moment to Act: Why I Choose to Write about Hip Hop instead of Traditional Literature

Nadia Floyd (Lehman): So, Can You Hear Me Now? Probing Racial Self-Awareness through Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

Religious Representation & Secularism in the Classroom

Alegna Santos (Lehman): Reading Paradise Lost as a Jehovah’s Witness

Sheema Alamari (Lehman): “By Virtue of Being a Muslim, I am by Default a Feminist”: Revisiting the Feminist-Muslim Paradox

Ndeye Fatou Coundoul (Lehman Muslim Students Association): “A Letter to My Future Daughter”


Activist Histories & Pedagogies

Jorge Matos Valldejuli (Hostos): The Invisible History of Race at the Willowbrook State School, New York: 1947-1975

Andrea McArdle & Maria Brinkman (CUNY Law School): Enacting Social-Justice Values through our Pedagogy and Curriculum: Land Use and Community Lawyering

Joseph North (Yale): What’s the Relationship between Academia and Activism?

Cosponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Management & Office of Recruitment and Diversity, and the Lehman College Department of English. This symposium was made possible by a Diversity Projects Development Fund grant.