Nothing Never Happens is a journey into cutting-edge pedagogical theory and praxis, where co-hosts Tina Pippin and Lucia Hulsether connect with leading voices in radical teaching and learning. We engage a range of approaches — including but not limited to democratic, feminist, queer, decolonial, and abolitionist models.
Light It Up: Accessible Learning or Academic Surveillance? (Part 1)
How can we prioritize multiplicity and accessibility when designing learning activities? What does an “inclusive” pedagogy entail? Can design ever be universal? And how can teachers and learners make the most of digital tools while also resisting the creep of academic surveillance technologies into our classrooms, homes, and bodies?
Sarah E. Silverman, feminist instructional designer and disability studies scholar, breaks down these questions and their reverberant implications. Dr. Silverman is a leading voice in the multi-front movement to resist remote proctoring and educational surveillance technologies, as well as to promote authentic assessment and universal design for learning (UDL). A generous critic and prolific writer—especially on her extraordinarily useful blog—Dr. Silverman is currently based at the Hub for Teaching and Learning Resources at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. She holds a PhD in Entomology and Demography from the University of California, Davis.
Our conversation is divided into two parts.
Part 1 maps the terrain of academic surveillance tech and introduces universal design as a specifically feminist approach to pedagogy, with concrete examples from Sarah's own practice.Part 2 (coming soon!) digs deeper into these issues, as we discuss principles of the “non-abusive syllabus," classroom practices of harm reduction, and the ambivalent institutional role of university centers for teaching and learning.
Credits: Outro Music by Akrasis (Max Bowen, raps; Mark McKee, beats); audio editing by Aliyah Harris; production by Lucia Hulsether + Tina Pippin.
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"You Are Not the Chain of Freedom": A Conversation with Loretta Ross
What becomes possible when we anchor our pedagogical praxes in frameworks of reproductive justice and intersectional feminist care? What coalitions grow? What visions are revealed, and what worlds emerge?
Teacher, organizer, storyteller, and freedom-fighter Loretta Ross shares her wisdom on these questions and so much more. Topics include: attacks on reproductive autonomy, to politicized teaching in a democratic classroom, to the history of Black women's organizing, to creative and effective protest tactics, to the "rotating international favorites" served at the West Point Military Academy dinner club.
Loretta Ross is a movement visionary recently recognized as a Class of 2022 MacArthur Genius Fellow. After working at the Center for Democratic Renewal in Atlanta, she went on to found and then become the National Coordinator of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. She has taught very widely, in and out of the university, as Founder of the National Center for Human Rights Education, as Program Director of the National Black Women's Health Project, and now as the Associate Professor in the Program on Women and Gender at Smith College.
She is a prolific author, whose authored and co-authored works include Reproductive Justice: An Introduction (2017), Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundation, Theory, Practice, Critique (2017), and Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice (2004). Her forthcoming book, Calling In the Calling Out Culture, will be out in 2023.
Credits: Outro Music by Akrasis (Max Bowen, raps; Mark McKee, beats); audio editing by Aliyah Harris; production by Lucia Hulsether and Tina Pippin.
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Southern Spaces, Southern Changes: Educating for Environmental Justice
How can we ground our classrooms in praxes of environmental justice? How can teachers and learners build ethical connections to local communities mobilizing against climate emergency and structural abandonment?
Scholar-activist Ellen Spears joins us to discuss these questions and more. Prof. Spears is a Professor of American Studies at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. She is a prolific author, whose most recent books include the award-winning Baptized in PCBs: Race, Religion, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town (2014) and Rethinking the American Environmental Movement Post-1945 (2019). She was part of the Task Force on History, Slavery, and Civil Rights at the UA-Tuscaloosa. Her courses range from comparative ecologies, to environmental ethics and policy, to environment and film.
Co-Hosts: Lucia Hulsether and Tina Pippin
Music by Akrasis
Image by LL Sammons via Unsplash
No Study Without Struggle: A Conversation with Leigh Patel
As calls to decolonize education multiply across contexts and institutions, we must push this issue beyond optics and return to the question: what does commitment to decolonization demand? What risks and struggles? What experiments and solidarities?
Leigh Patel guides us as we embark on a deep dive into these urgent questions as they ramify across scales. Refusing to partition study from struggle, Patel exposes the settler colonial processes that continue to shape higher education, even as she lifts up radical projects of education otherwise.
Leigh Patel is Professor of Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. Her most recent book is No Study without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education.
Resistance Pedagogy: Truth, Healing, and Justice in Atlanta Public Schools
Amid the newest wave of attacks on public education and inclusive learning, there are stories of hope and resistance. In this episode we talk with a high school social studies teacher at the front of the fight for antiracist, liberatory K-12 classrooms. Anthony Downer teaches Africana Studies, social studies, and civics at Frederick Douglass High School in the Atlanta Public School system. We talk to Anthony about how he and his students are working together to create a trauma-informed, healing-centric classroom.
More about our guest: Anthony Downer teaches Africana Studies, social studies, and civics at Frederick Douglass High School in the Atlanta Public School system. He attended public schools in Gwinett County, Georgia, attained a BA in Political Science at the University of Chicago and a Master's of Art in Teaching in social studies education at Georgia State University.
Anthony is a co-founder and vice president of Georgia Educators for Equity and Justice, the founder and Vice President of the Liberation Learning Lab, and the host of his podcast “Wat Dat Wednesday: Conversations on Education and Liberation” on Educational Entities. Find it on Youtube and Instagram Live: @thenawfstar.
Structures of Solidarity: Undergraduate Student Workers Unite!
The common workplace issues of low pay, toxic environment, understaffing, corporate greed, wage theft, union busting, and high turnover also exist in institutions of higher education. Undergraduate students typically earn low wages at campus jobs. In this podcast we explore the concept that students are workers, due just wages and benefits and voice. Beginning in 2016, undergraduate students at Grinnell College in Iowa have worked to form the first union of undergraduate student workers, the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW). Union leaders, senior Keir Hichens and sophomore Malcolm Galpern Levin, are with us to give us the history of the movement, along with details of their organizing strategies. The union’s description is as “the only independent undergraduate labor union in the country, UGSDW fights for fair pay and benefits for workers at UGSDW.” Keir and Malcolm describe the context, the organizing process, the setbacks, the networks and coalitions, the victories, and the future expansion of the union. Students at Grinnell are discovering what collective power can do. As they work for transparency and accountability from their supervisors and the administration, they also address issues of food insecurity on campus. Keir and Malcolm provide insights on the value of undergraduate labor organizing to their own lives, to campus culture, and to the labor movement broadly.
a gem of teaching podcasts
This podcast is invaluable for educators looking to grow in the field of radical pedagogy and to build their social justice knowledge. It covers a range of issues in education (for example, grading, labor unions, theater pedagogy, abolition, environmental, writing and literacy programs) with a general focus on showing examples of teaching in democratic partnership with students and for social justice goals. I think it is special that the hosts met several years ago when one of them was a college freshman and she enrolled in a class the other host was teaching. Fast forward to now and they are both college faculty
I love Tina and Lucia!
They are a great team, and they help me think more clearly about my own teaching. I would like to go back to college to take a class with them!