Faculty Writing: Power in the Classroom and Against Critical Thinking

In The Revealer, Abby Kluchin shares field notes from her experience teaching queer and trans theory. Kluchin raises several critical, potentially unanswerable, questions: “How can I make it clear that my own specific experiences of marginalization inform how I teach – but are not some sort of master key to understanding other forms of marginalization, including the ones that may structure my students’ lives? How can I keep myself from falling into the trap of collapsing “difference” into a catch-all term that can’t possibly carry the weight of all that it is asked to bear?”

For PSC CUNY, Anthony Alessandrini challenges the limits of “marketable critical thinking.” Alessandrini writes: “As critical theorists, we’ve struck a collective bargain in order to maintain a few crumbs of public support for the humanities. In return for being allowed to continue to teach “nonmarketable” (i.e. “useless”) areas of study – literary studies, art history, philosophy, critical theory and any forms of historical and foreign language study not directly tied to US foreign policy or business interests – we have told students (and ourselves) that these subjects would prepare them for the job market.”

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