Through the Syllabus Archive on Teaching Tools, we have worked to put together different opportunities for people to share their approaches to emergent topics in a variety of ways—through sharing suggested readings, assignments, and discussions on course objectives. Our community continues to grow and strengthen, especially during times of flux.
For this post, we are happy to reflect on an article that was recently published in the Teaching and Learning Anthropology Journal from Samantha J. Primiano, Ananya Krishnan, and Thurka Sangaramoorthy entitled “Plagues, Pathogens, and Pedagogical Decolonization: Reflecting on the Design of a Decolonized Pandemic Syllabus” (2020). The article summarizes the content covered in their “Plagues, Pathogens, and Public Policy” course from Fall 2020, while providing in-depth information about the process of creating an inclusive, decolonized syllabus for an online class within the context of widespread pandemic, racial discrimination and violence, and social upheaval. The authors comment on how the pandemic we’ve been living through has continually highlighted societal inequities and discrimination on many levels.
Starting with pedagogy and syllabi, Primiano, Krishnan, and Sangaramoorthy reflect on how to create decolonized classrooms. They note: “We imagine a decolonized pedagogy as being distinct from other forms of critical pedagogy in its commitment to centering perspectives and voices from marginalized populations, as well as a dedication to addressing and dismantling the harmful legacies of colonial and imperial powers'' (Primiano, Krishnan, and Sangaramoorthy 2020, 48). In the fight against systemic injustice, it is inspiring to see the authors put together a finalized project (both the syllabus and the class) that provides transparency about the process and considerations embedded within it. I hope this is the first of many initiatives that so clearly identifies the conscious thoughts and considerations behind their choices, demonstrating their commitment to decolonial classrooms and to creating a critical and supportive environment for students.
Please follow this link Primiano, Krishnan, and Sangaramoorthy (2020) “Plagues, Pathogens, and Pedagogical Decolonization: Reflecting on the Design of a Decolonized Pandemic Syllabus” to find their Teaching and Learning Anthropology Journal article and the syllabus reading list. (Note: the link to their full syllabus is within the article.)
Thanks to Samantha J. Primiano, Ananya Krishnan, Thurka Sangaramoorthy, and all of those involved at Teaching and Learning Anthropology Journal (especially Angela Jenks) for all of their work to produce and distribute this article and their willingness for this to be shared on Teaching Tools.
Primiano, Samantha J., Ananya Krishnan, and Thurka Sangaramoorthy. 2020. “Plagues, Pathogens, and Pedagogical Decolonization: Reflecting on the Design of a Decolonized Pandemic Syllabus.” Teaching and Learning Anthropology Journal 3, no. 2: 47–60.