In 2020, Ronjaunee Chetterjee, Alicia Mireles Christoff, and Amy R. Wong published their call to action, “Undisciplining Victorian Studies” in the LA Review of Books where they urged Victorianists to undiscipline the way we teach, learn, and think about canonical, western literature published in the nineteenth century. Shortly after and in response to this call, conferences, caucuses, workshops, and websites sprouted as Victorian Studies proactively revamped its approach to the bastion of “unmarked universality,” seeking to diversify their curriculum and research to center identities that were marginalized in the wake of imperialism’s voracious appetite. Most notable is Pearl Chaozon Bauer’s, Ryan D. Fong’s, Sophia Hsu’s, and Adrian S. Wisnicki’s website, Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom (2021), which astutely reimagines how we might teach Victorian Studies through a positive, race-conscious lens.
This movement to proactively promote, engage, and redefine educators’ pedagogical approaches in a manner that is anti-racist, abides by DEI missions, and centers social justice as a transparent and central goal in collegiate curriculum is not isolated strictly to Victorian Studies. This project, The Social Justice Classroom’s, transdisciplinary reach and infrastructure aims to showcase the breadth of this reorientation across institutions, pulling from various departments and disciplines to think about the overlapping responsibility, cultural shift, and reimagined pedagogies that educators are developing to enhance their field’s contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is designed to build a network of responsible educators by collating, contextualizing, and disseminating course materials that are specifically oriented around social justice, and organized by their intervention in race, disability, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic positions, and species. Contributors who are published under the CC-ShareAlike-Noncommercial 4.0 license, are invited to discuss their course’s submission, which can be composed of syllabi, assignment sheets, rubrics, lesson plans, workbooks, data sets, labs, readings, etc., in an interview (which is uploaded as an MP3 on the site), to provide a more personal experience for users who are looking to remix their own materials and understand the environment and objective from which this course was produced. Crowdsourcing these materials not only serves to make responsible and intentional education more accessible and open source but aims to create more transdisciplinary classrooms to enhance and diversify students’ own novel research, validate the experiential knowledge of their home fields and environment, assist in decolonizing education, and establish more equitable, diverse, and collaborative spaces across institutions. It also hopes to address an economic disparity in education, inviting independent and public scholars, along with non-collegiate instructors, to access innovative pedagogy, materials, and resources.