Students of the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program (LHSP) have a new course option in winter ’17. In line with the mission of LHSP to provide an inclusive and creative living-learning community for students interested in writing and the arts, interim director Paul Barron, and director-on-leave Carol Tell, secured a CRLT Faculty Development Fund grant to research and design a writing course to fulfill the Race & Ethnicity requirement.

The working group, joined by Stamps School of Art and Design writing coordinator (and former Sweetland faculty) Jennifer Metsker, and LHSP art director Mark Tucker, researched similar first-year writing courses and drilled down into best practices for teaching race and writing. One such practice is showing students historical examples of the ways in which racism is produced and acted out, disconnecting the mechanisms of racism from the identities of victimized groups. Historical examples also provide shared perspectives by which to view contemporary racism—helping students to learn from the “there and then” to understand the “here and now.”

Students will employ this grounding to examine the “stories” told in a variety of texts, from political speeches, to novels, poems, and films, to better assess the veracity of these stories, and to discover the affordances of different genres to reveal, conceal, or resist narratives about race and ethnicity. We look forward to interesting and productive discussions.