Faculty Panel: Student Identity in the Social Justice Classroom–Challenges and Opportunities

by Poorvu Center: Faculty Programs and Initiatives

Training/Workshop Faculty Faculty Teaching Event Teaching

Tue, Apr 2, 2024

12:45 PM – 2 PM EDT (GMT-4)

Add to Calendar

Private Location (sign in to display)

View Map



Across higher education, students are increasingly bringing their interests in social justice into the classroom, often rooted in their individual experiences and identities. Faculty and instructors who center social justice in their curriculum, pedagogy and research want learning to be relevant to students’ lived experiences. At the same time, commitments to social change require all of us to be open to new questions, ideas and frameworks. How can faculty honor students’ lived experiences, insights and identities while also fostering a culture of critical reflection, exchange, and transformation? What practices allow instructors to engage student experiences while also supporting their exploration of scholarship and ideas that may challenge their assumptions and experiences?

In this lunchtime faculty discussion, Poorvu Center Faculty Fellow and American Studies Professor Daniel Martinez HoSang will explore these questions with Professor of English and African American Studies, Erica Edwards; Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Deb Vargas; and Assistant Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Tarren Andrews. Panelists will draw from the challenges and opportunities in their classroom experiences to set the stage for participants to share their perspectives, ideas and questions. The Poorvu Center’s Teaching Development and Initiatives team is committed to hosting inclusive and accessible events that allow all participants to fully engage. Please contact us (faculty.teaching@yale.edu) if there are ways we can support accommodations or for questions about inclusion.
Food Provided


Deb Vargas's profile photo

Deb Vargas

Deborah R. Vargas is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University. As an interdisciplinary scholar, her work engages the fields of queer studies, feminist studies, Chicana/x Latina/x Studies, and American Studies with an emphasis on the cultural politics of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.  Vargas is the author of Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda, awarded Best Book in Chicana/o Studies, The Woody Guthrie Prize for Best Book in Popular Music Studies, and an honorable mention for Outstanding Book in Latino Studies. She is also co-editor with Nancy Raquel Mirabal and Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes of Keywords for Latina/o Studies.

Vargas is currently working on two manuscripts. “Toward a Sucialogy of Culture,” (under contract with Duke University Press) explores Chicana/x working-class aesthetic forms and queer gender performances deemed as “cultures of poverty” in relation to normative Latino citizenship. And in “The Lower Frequencies of Brown Soul,” Vargas assembles an archive of Black and brown music and art to explore alternate geographies, queer intimacies, and sonic ecologies.

Vargas has conducted oral histories with Chicana singers for the Smithsonian Institute’s Latino Music Oral History Program and written for National Public Radio’s “Turning the Tables” music series. Vargas has been awarded fellowships from The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, The University of California Humanities Research Institute, The Ford Foundation and The Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science. Vargas received her B.S. in Communications and B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of Texas, Austin and her Ph.D. in Sociology (Feminist Studies certificate) from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Daniel HoSang's profile photo

Daniel HoSang

Daniel Martinez HoSang is Professor of Ethnicity Race and Migration and American Studies and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Political Science and serves on the Education Studies Advisory Committee.

His most recent book is A Wider Type of Freedom: How Struggles for Racial Justice Liberate Everyone (University of California Press, 2021).  HoSang is the co-author (with Joseph Lowndes) of Producers, Parasites, Patriots: Race and the New Right-Wing Politics of Precarity (University of Minnesota Press, 2019) and the author of the author of Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California (University of California Press, 2010) which was awarded the 2011 James A Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians.

His three current research projects include Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that Covid Lays Bare (Haymarket Press) co-edited with Kimberlé W. Crenshaw); A collaborative investigation into the history of research on Eugenics at Yale; and practice-based project on anti-racist curriculum and pedagogy for K-12 educators.

He is the co-editor of three volumes: Seeing Race Again: Countering Colorblindness Across the Disciplines (with Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, Luke Harris and George Lipsitz) University of California Press, 2019; Relational Formations of Race: Theory, Method and Practice (co-edited with Ramon Gutiérrez and Natalia Molina), University of California Press, 2019; and Racial Formation in the 21st Century (with Oneka LaBennett and Laura Pulido) University of California Press, 2012).

HoSang supports a summer community organizing training program for undergraduate students in conjunction with the Alliance for a Just Society, and organizing campaigns for public goods.

He has a long record of collaboration with community-based organizations and labor unions as a trainer, board member, and advisor with groups including the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), Oakland Kids First!, the Partnership for Safety and Justice, and Forward Together and the African American Policy Forum.

Through the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, he has taught seminars for K-12 public school teachers on Anti-racist Curriculum and Pedagogy, and works with teachers and youth organizing groups in Connecticut on teaching about racism and racial justice in the K-12 curriculum through the Anti-Racist Teaching & Learning Collective.

Prior to joining the Yale faculty in 2017, HoSang was an Associate Professor (and Department Head) of Ethnic Studies and Political Science at the University of Oregon. He received his BA in History from Wesleyan University and PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California.

HoSang serves as faculty advisor to Racial Capitalism and Carceral State Working Group. He has served on dissertation and exam committees for students in the fields of political science, sociology, English, comparative literature, anthropology, American Studies, and history. His recent undergraduate courses include Afro-Asian Formations of RaceCommunity Organizing Theory and Practice, Eugenics and its Afterlives, and Race, Politics, and the Law.

Hosted By

Poorvu Center: Faculty Programs and Initiatives | Website | View More Events

Contact the organizers