Sunday, January 6, 2013

Student Authors and Critical Reflection

My teaching partner, Pat Holder, and I were really proud with the anthology our students produced fall semester.  Literal and symbolic borders were the themes discussed and analyzed as we talked about topics like immigration, institutional powers, Arizona's SB1070 and HB2281, etc.  Students read books used in the TUSD Ethnic Studies Program  and wrote editorials on these readings and the state superindentent's decision to dismantle the program.  Readings included Bell Hooks, Gloria Anzaldua, Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sandra Cisneros, Luivette Resto, Luis Alberto Urrea, and many, many others.  We also read Zinn's A People's History of the United States and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 as a class, and utilized the fotonovela--inspired by Chicano artist, Harry Gamboa and ASCO--to explore various themes in F451.  In addition to this, we visited the border, invited notable speakers, namely David Shirk of University of San Diego's Trans-Border Institute and San Diego/Tijuana art crew Cognate Collective.  Finally, our partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (La Jolla) proved to be an enriching experience, especially after having our book-release party showcased at the museum.  It was beautiful night with some heavy moments.  

The publication below is made up of flash fiction, personal narratives, photographs, editorials, personal maps, and fotonovelas.  At the book party I counted two instances when separate audience members let go of a few tears. Needless to say, Pat and I were very proud with our students willingness to challenge themselves to dig deep and to introduce their voices into the public/political discourse related to critical issues like education and immigration. 

A big thank you to the individuals and organizations that helped us with this project!

You can read an excerpt of one of our student's editorials here that was recently published at La Prensa San Diego.

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