As I continue disseminating the CFP, building the site for the Social Justice Classroom, and conversing with colleagues about their experience with contributing their work, I have been met with interesting hiccups with which my people-pleasing personality has had to wrestle. While many would like a short CFP (because who has the time to read), this is a website for housing sensitive and critical material. Illustrating through a short paragraph what material this site is looking for, the guidelines needed to meet certain criteria, and how to submit, not to mention retract material, are large hurdles to overcome when sharing intellectual property, especially in a climate where CRT is constantly under fire.
Yet, these conversations have produced insightful dilemmas. While pedagogy has become increasingly enveloped under the notion of one’s intellectual property, nearly every scholar I know, and perhaps the trademark of a scholar, is to engage with their community. This inherently means sharing (with attribution, of course) your materials and borrowing from other scholars whose work intersects with your own and reflects your goals and objectives. Perhaps we do not all practice good citation habits with documents that are not meant to be shared outside the classroom but even this is one of the concerns this site can amend. Witnessing how other scholars document their engagement and borrow material can help us model for our students the extent to which their material can and should engage with their community. Not to mention how one of this site’s objectives is catered to creating more porous classrooms, not simply between instructors, but between disciplines and extending outside of academia. The ideal for broadcasting this work is not to “improve our pedagogy,” although that might be a side effect. Rather it is to think about accessibility and practicality. How can students apply what they learn in the classroom to their more private and public lives? How do these materials engage with communities outside of the classroom and how might crowdsourcing this knowledge contribute to creating a more affordable educational space? What are the benefits of creating a more cohesive educational resource for the public eye, and on the flip side, how does this jeopardize and make our intellectual efforts more vulnerable to external criticism and conventions?
While I originally embarked on this project with more idealism, its reality and conversation have signposted some serious stakes.