Mix-in / Making a Difference, Amsterdam, 22/23 maart 2010 (Diversity 2010)
Ellis Jonker, Groningen University, March 23 20...
of Dutch society in general, is brought about by a largely unexamined, seldom discussed but
nevertheless persistent coloni...
them about their learning experiences and their educational and academic careers, who and
what inspired them to teach what...
Since its introduction, the concept of intersectionality was taken up by women of
colour and other critical feminists, fir...
generation, and they do less well than students of Surinamese descent (Quick scan, Tunjanan
2008). How come? We don’t know...
ethnicity and diversity programs, both at Utrecht and Amsterdam University. It is also what
my Groningen colleagues ordina...
ethnography, sexuality studies and mainstream science, or the intersection between national
politics, local politics and t...
class and sexuality, the Big Four as Gloria Wekker calls them, challenges students to clear
and reshuffle their minds, mak...
In class, I showed them parts of a troubling documentary by Jane Elliot, called Blue
Eye. The documentary is about the cla...
To openly discuss bias and prejudice in perceiving, interpreting and understanding
differences that make a difference is n...
students’ evaluation of learning outcome of group assignment & course on intercultural dilemmas:
        *I was shocked by...
teachers who enable our students to develop their critical thinking on diversity,
intersectionality and social justice wit...

    The only way to equip students for effective professionalism in multicultu...
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Teaching Diversity Groningen University Ellis Jonker

  1. 1. Mix-in / Making a Difference, Amsterdam, 22/23 maart 2010 (Diversity 2010) Ellis Jonker, Groningen University, March 23 2010, slightly updated March 25 2010 e.f.jonker@rug.nl TALK/ PAPER NOT TO BE QUOTED Teaching diversity – teaching intersectionality at the White Dutch Academy My name is Ellis Jonker. I am trained as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Amsterdam. I moved into the field of feminist anthropology, oral history, and gender and diversity studies. I work at Groningen University, at the department of Education. I teach different courses, which all center on the relationship between culture and education, in a broad sense. Groningen University is a research university with a predominantly White Dutch student body who come from the North-Eastern Dutch provinces. I finished my PhD in 2004, I wrote an ethnographic and biographic study of the ambition and motivation of Amsterdam youth in vocational training for care work and elderly care in particular. Most of the students in that program were black, immigrant and refugee girls; all teachers were white. So, that for a start, that you know a little bit about me and can make links between my positioning and what I am going to tell you today. Teaching Diversity as Teaching Intersectionality at the White Dutch Academy. How to move beyond a fake “happy” multiculturalism to a colour and power cognizant, anti-racist, feminist, and maybe even provocative pedagogy to enable our students to learn about diversity. That is the topic of my presentation to you today. By White Dutch academy I refer to the Whiteness of Dutch research universities, the Whiteness of their boards, their staff, their teachers, their curricula, and, depending on their location, their student body as well. 2. GLORIA WEKKER: WINDY PLACES In her inaugural speech Gloria Wekker, first Black female professor in the Netherlands, compared Dutch academia to a windy place to build one’s nest for anyone who is non-white and non-male (Wekker 2002). She quotes a line from a poem by the black Caribbean- American lesbian poet and activist Audre Lorde [1934-1992], to stress this fact – I must always be building nests in a windy place [opening lines of Portrait, The Black Unicorn, 1978]. A windy place is of course not the ideal site to build one’s nest, produce good, useful knowledge and teach the next generation of scholars and professionals in an innovative and empowering way. According to Wekker, the same inhospitability applies to Dutch society in general. Dutch post-colonial society is a windy place to black, migrant and refugee people, both women and men. They have a tough time to make themselves at home in the Netherlands and feel a sense of belonging. According to Wekker, the windyness of the Dutch academy and 1
  2. 2. of Dutch society in general, is brought about by a largely unexamined, seldom discussed but nevertheless persistent colonial cultural archive. This archive continues to reproduce social divides on the basis of race/ethnicity and skin colour, tying them into social inequalities produced by other crucial markers of difference, like gender, class, and religion. The workings of this colonial archive are clearly visible in the racialized and gendered discourses on migration and integration nowadays, which dominate Dutch national politics and the media, giving voice to islamophobia and general xenophobia. The windy atmosphere of Dutch universities for black, migrant and refugee students and teachers, Wekker states, is reinforced by practices of unquestioned white male supremacy and the dominant colour and power evasive discourse in the university classroom. 3. TEACHING AT A WINDY PLACE LIKE THE WHITE DUTCH ACADEMY In windy places like the White Dutch academy, feminist teachers and critical anthropologists like Gloria Wekker and me are working against the grain to teach gender, race/ethnicity, diversity, and of late intersectionality, to predominantly white student audiences. It is wishful thinking that students of colour have already entered the academic scene in vast and growing numbers in the Netherlands. That is simply not true at the research university level. At least not in Groningen, nor in the Amsterdam, Maastricht and Utrecht university classrooms I know of. We do this, teaching gender, diversity and intersectionality foremost by teaching interdisciplinary, using literature which represents a variety of voices, perspectives and genres, and by engaging students in critical thinking, dialogue and self-reflection. Our goal is to debunk colour- and power evasive dominant discourse and further anti-bias academic practices, which aknowledge the colonial heritage in our post-colonial multicultural society. But how do we actually do it and with what results, both successes and drawbacks? And how does the way we teach relate to our own embodiment, being black, migrant, refugee or White Dutch teachers? 4. RESEARCH ON TEACHING INTERSECTIONALITY In september 2008 I started a research project on this, the how, what and why of teaching diversity as intersectionality at the White Dutch academy. I started joining courses, lectures and seminars of Dutch feminist professors, both black and white, in the field of gender and diversity studies. I interviewed them about growing up in the Netherlands of the sixties and seventies and how they came to understand Dutch society. I asked them I also interviewed 2
  3. 3. them about their learning experiences and their educational and academic careers, who and what inspired them to teach what they teach and to teach the way they do. I use a loose topical life history approach to guide the interviews. These professors are my senior colleagues. I greatly admire them for their achievements and performances at the White Dutch academic scene, their passionate professional drive and actions. I feel close to them. At times, it was difficult to perform the bold critical interviewer role. What stories we came up with doing the interview together also depended on the choices made by the interviewees, how much of themselves they wanted to reveal to the imagined public, of which I am a White Dutch (academic) representative. In wanted to hear their personal/professional life stories because I wanted to learn from them how we can deal with diversity in the White Dutch academy in a sensible way, diversity as key topic and current buzzword among policy makers, managers and teacher trainers, diversity as presence in the classroom, embodied by ourselves and our students, and diversity as presence outside the classroom, in society at large. As it is work in progress, I will tell you only some preliminary findings. 5. DEFINITION OF INTERSECTIONALITY / INTERSECTIONAL THINKING Before I go into that, I probably need to explain to you what the concept of intersectionality entails, and how it relates to race/ethnicity, cultural difference and diversity in higher education, the main topic of this conference. Intersectionality is a concept coined in 1989 by the Afro-American professor of law, race and gender Kimberle Crenshaw [UCLA (Univ of Calif. Los Angeles) & Columbia Law School]. She uses the concept of intersectionality to highlight the triple jeopardy in the lives of poor Afro-American women, who according to her suffer from multiple disadvantages and triple oppression by their gender, their class position and their race. Crenshaw urges us to acknowledge the simultaneous workings of the Big Three, race, class and gender, in anything we do and say. As you know, in the Netherlands the concept of race is taboo, also at the university. We Dutch prefer to talk about ethnicity and cultural difference, concepts which seem much more innocent and harmless. The polarising and annoyingly persistent distinction between so called “autochtonen” and “allochtonen” in Dutch media, research and politics should make us reconsider this taboo, however, and prompt us to start looking for alternative labels to talk about difference and similarity. 3
  4. 4. Since its introduction, the concept of intersectionality was taken up by women of colour and other critical feminists, first in the United States and then in Europe. Since its introduction, the concept of intersectionality was taken up by women of colour and other critical feminists, first in the United States and then in Europe, to debunk the dominant view in the women’s movement, in gender studies and in governmental and non-governmental institutes, of women as one homogenous category who suffer from male oppression in identical ways. Intersectionality points at the crossroads in people’s identifications and lives, the interweaving of different markers of identity and meaning-making, of different social ordering principles, like gender, race, ethnicity, culture, belief, religion, age, sexuality and class. Some feminist scholars go as far as to name 14 axes of difference and inequality (cf. Helma Lutz, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Celebrating Intersectionality?, January 2009), but one can wonder if that really enhances our understanding of the ways social inequalities are produced. One can also wonder which categories on this list of crucial difference makers who operate in processes of inclusion and exclusion in multicultural and globalizing societies today are most important. I will not go into that, now, it is a complicated and ongoing debate among feminists and scholars in gender and diversity studies. In European legislation and policies on equal opportunities and diversity (EOD), not only The Big Three or Big Four, but intersectional thinking with The New Six is gaining ground. We are urged to recognize, acknowledge and combat disadvantages and discrimination on the basis of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and age. Interestingly, European EOD policies do not adress class and income inequalities, nor the disadvantages resulting from them (Franken et al. 2009).1 Intersectionality reminds us that people’s lives, their sense of belonging, their actions, convictions and prejudices, are informed by different identifications and positionings, in different situations, at different times. This reminder complicates our thinking about diversity in education and society at large, since the notions of cultural difference or ethnicity no longer suffice to account for differences that really matter in education, differences that really make a difference in classroom interaction, educational outcome, and educational policy. I will give some brief example how complicated diversity issues in education are, nowadays. “Allochtone” students, black, migrant and refugee students, are doing better in education than before, we learn, but this does not apply to all of them. Third generation students of Moluccan descent, for example, supposedly are doing less well than their parents’ 1 Franken, Martha, Alison Woodward, Anna Cabo & Barbara Bagilhole (eds) (2009). Teaching Intersectionality. Putting Gender at the Centre. Utrecht/Stockholm: Athena 3/Centre for Gender Studies, Stockholm University. 4
  5. 5. generation, and they do less well than students of Surinamese descent (Quick scan, Tunjanan 2008). How come? We don’t know. Girl students of Moroccan descent appearantly do better at school than their brothers, although it depends on their family class background and class aspirations how far they will get. What about Turkish-Dutch or Chinese-Dutch boys with special needs, how are they doing and what approach works with them in special education? And why is it, in higher education, that my fellow anthropologist Ruben Gowrinchan, from Tilburg University, thought it necessary to start a special training programme for PhD students of colour, to help them succeed and build their nests? (Sligter 2010).2 Looking at diversity in higher education from an intersectional perspective, rather than from a more limited and quasi innocent perspective of ethnicity and cultural difference, means we have to start looking from a colour and power cognizant perspective, and stop silencing power inequalities and practices of exclusion in education. This presents quite a few challenges in our teaching practices, nowadays. I will tell you about some of the challenges I encounter doing research on teaching intersectionality and while trying to teach intersectionality myself. 6. PRELIMINARY FINDINGS Joining the courses of my senior feminist colleagues in gender, ethnicity and diversity studies and reading their course material proved to be very interesting. Other than I expected, the teaching practices of these feminist professors, both black and white, were not particularly informed by feminist pedagogy. Instead, they largely followed common routines at the Dutch academy: ‘I talk, you listen’, or: ‘you prepare and present, and I comment on what you say, drawing from my expertise and authoritative knowledge’. In general, I saw little critical engagement or dialogue in the classroom. The topics introduced, the critical angles in at times disturbing literature would be discussed in a fairly standard, detached manner. Outside the classroom, critical engagement, reflection and dialogue on diversity and intersectionality was to be performed as an individual and rather silent inner exercise, guided by writing assigments for the students, followed by written feedback from the teacher. At least, this is what I saw during my participant observations at different courses and seminars of feminist professors like Gloria Wekker, Philomena Essed, Frances Gouda and some of their colleagues in gender, 2 Surinamese-Dutch professor of Social Cohesion and Transnational Issues, Ruben Gowrinchan from Tilburg University, launched a foundation to help black, migrant and refugee PhD candidates succeed. He calls his foundation a maternity ward for “doctors”, where he’s active in assisting the birth of PhD thesises and PhD graduates of colour. The foundation is called St. Vorming Multicultureel Kader (SVMK). Anja Sligter (2010). Kraamkamer van doctoren. Volkskrant 9 maart 2010, pp. 16-17. 5
  6. 6. ethnicity and diversity programs, both at Utrecht and Amsterdam University. It is also what my Groningen colleagues ordinarily do, and it is probably not that different from what’s standard teaching practice in academic classrooms elsewhere in the Netherlands. In the academic classroom, I observed, teaching diversity and intersectionality, is more about teaching on diversity than teaching with diversity. Students are offered knowledge about things they are not familiar with, or knowledge presented from perspectives that are new to them, which ideally shine a different light on what they thought they knew. They are largely left to themselves how to make sense of that new knowledge and challenging new perspectives. The diversity they embody themselves is not taken into account in the classroom interaction. In this way, students and teacher miss the opportunity to examine dominant and alternative ways of doing diversity and thinking intersectionally in class. 7. DOING DIVERSITY IN THE CLASSROOM: TWO EXAMPLES Today, because of time constraints, I will give just two examples of this, of what actually happens in academic classrooms when teachers teach diversity with an intersectional approach and how opportunities are seized or missed to engage in a meaningful, live exchange of views. The first example is based on an observation of a lecture by Gloria Wekker on sexual practices and the politics of passion among Afro-Surinamese women, last year, at the University of Amsterdam, last year. I will connect this observation with an example from my own teaching practice, a course on Intercultural Pedagogy I recently taught at Groningen University. Gloria Wekker was invited as a guest teacher in a course called Experiencing Differences at the University of Amsterdam, in the Gender, Sexuality and Society Program, to talk about ‘Women with Women’. The course was attended by a very mixed group of international and predominantly white Dutch students, 35 in all. Wekker gave a lecture of two hours on mati work, which is the central theme of her book The Politics of Passion. Women's Sexual Culture in the Afro-Surinamese Diaspora (2006). The first long chapter of the book was the reading assignment for that day’s lecture. In that chapter, Wekker describes at length the theoretical framework and the lived environment of which is essentially an auto- etnography of mati work and passion: the intimate sexual relationship she engaged in with her landlady, a Creole-Surinamese woman twice her age, while doing her fieldwork. The chapter provides ample food for thought, for examining and discussing different lived intersections, for example the intersection of gender, sexuality, age, class and ethnicity, or the intersection of researcher, research topic and research subject, as well as the intersection of auto- 6
  7. 7. ethnography, sexuality studies and mainstream science, or the intersection between national politics, local politics and the micropolitics of everyday life and passion of both Paramaribo and the White Dutch academy for example. It would have been great if students would have been invited to relate, directly and out loud, what they read and heard in the lecture to what they think and know from experience about micropolitics and passion, and how all that relates to academic learning and knowledge production. Yet, the teaching facilitators, the two coordinators of the course, White Dutch anthropologists Marie-Louise Janssen and Gert Hekma, nor Gloria Wekker herself, allowed for any such discussion to come up. Students sat and listened, were intimidated perhaps, by the impressive and authoritative presence and illuminating lecture of a Black Lesbian Feminist Professor talking about colonial echoes in the study of present day sexual practices. At the end of the two hour lecture, as the time for that class was up already, students only asked some questions for clarification. Of course, their learning experience will have been much broader and complex than just sitting and listening to an impressive professor presenting her exciting research and views on things. They could also discuss their learning experiences in special working groups, after class, led by Janssen or Hekma. We do not know for sure, however, what students actually learned from Wekker’s performance. We do not know how the diversity embodied by the students in the classroom, like differences in race/ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, gender, and probably class and belief as well, connected to the performance and embodiment of diversity in Gloria Wekker’s lecture and in the reading assignment. Students were left to themselves, to the small talk in the corridor during the break or after class, to make sense of what they read and heard and felt and thought in class, and to connect that experience to their own views and knowledge about things. A missed opportunity, I wondered afterwards? Or is embodying diversity and presenting diversity orally and in writing enough to make for an interesting and challenging learning experience which broadens students’ minds and enhances their understanding of diversity issues and their implications for academic knowledge dissemination and production? The good thing about teaching on diversity and intersectionality the way Gloria Wekker did, is that it provides students with knowledge, views and tools to think with, to start thinking beyond what they think and know already. It stimulates them to go outside the classroom to observe the world around them anew, and critically reflect on their positionings, convictions, presuppositions and prejudices vis à vis others. At best, by doing this, this way of teaching on diversity, on the intersections of crucial markers of difference like race, gender, 7
  8. 8. class and sexuality, the Big Four as Gloria Wekker calls them, challenges students to clear and reshuffle their minds, making room for new and different perspectives on things, embracing the complexities of the lived experiences of themselves and others. In my course on intercultural pedagogy to 200, predominantly white Dutch young female students of education, BA level, second year, I also teach diversity with an intersectional approach. I do this to counter more conventional and traditional ways of teaching intercultural pedagogy which is predominantly understood as teaching about cultural Others, and their ways of raising, socializing and educating children. By cultural Others is understood families in non-western countries, and black, migrant and refugee families in western multicultural societies. In general, in the realm of Dutch academic research, politics, education, care, and counseling, the socialization practices of cultural Others are problematized, like in the commonly voiced belief that immigrant parents with a Moroccon cultural heritage for example, are unfit parents, who do not succeed in preparing their children well enough to actively participate as good democratically inclined citizens in Dutch multicultural society, since they do not know how to properly behave and participate themselves. In order to counter this dominant kinds of misrepresentation and stigmatization of black, migrant and refugee parents and their children, I invited students to look into the mirror and question the positions from which they speak and understand life inside and outside the classroom. I did this by presenting intercultural dilemmas from the news which highlight the different perspectives of those involved, like the debate on banning the headscarf or burqa from schools and public life in different European countries or the legitimacy of a Roman Catholic cross in public schools in Italy. I also offered and discussed with them different genres of literature, including autobiographical accounts about growing up in multicultural society, and I invited a black, migrant or refugee guest lecturer to speak on difference and diversity from his point of view [Junus Latul, Dutch-Moluccan rehabilitation worker 2009, 2008; Massoud Djabani, Iranian refugee and consultant intercultural communication 2007]. Along with the weekly lectures, I had students work in groups of 6 do a small investigation of the representation of a current cultural conflict/intercultural dilemma, like black and white schools and ethnic segregation in Dutch education or the advocay of a “educational” slap (pedaogische tik)by a White Dutch pastor.3 3 Gert-Jan Goldschmeding, pastor at ACC Your Church, Amersfoort, in the fall of 2009 unintentionally unleashed a renewed debate on the educational merits or dangers of a so-called “educational slap” (pedagogische tik; corrigerende tik) in the Netherlands, when he openly professed the necessity of using the birch (rod) to educate one’s children, like he does at home in his family too. He refers to the Bible as the word of god to legitimate his plea. “Onthoud een kind geen onderricht, van stokslagen gaat het niet dood. Sla het met de 8
  9. 9. In class, I showed them parts of a troubling documentary by Jane Elliot, called Blue Eye. The documentary is about the classroom experiment White American primary school teacher Jane Elliot embarked upon in April 5, 1968, the day after the assasination of Martin Luther King, to teach white American 8 year olds in Riceville, Iowa, about race and discrimination, by making them actually feel it. Over the years, most of my Groningen students reacted with shock at the ethical implications of this “classroom exercise”, which Elliot over the years turned into a huge anti-racist diversity training business corporation. I then introduced the concept of White privilege to them, coined by Peggy McIntosh (1991), the unearned privileges which come with being born with a white skin. I did this by inviting them to discuss what privileges they have themselves in everyday public life, by belonging to and identifying with the White, middle class part of the Dutch population. Of course I knew that not all 200 students in my class are white Dutch and/or middle class. Looking at my student audience from my lectern at the front of the huge classroom, I could see for example that at the most five of them were visibly non-white, embodying different races/ethnicities. Less clearly visible, there were for sure a number of students with a working class family background or an orthodox religious family background in the audience. And occasionally, there was a student with special needs which might give her a completely different outlook on difference and diversity inside and outside the classroom, like the blind student who took this course two years ago. Rather than drawing students’ attention to the presence of the small ethnic minority in their midst or to any other embodied (in)visible difference in the classroom, rather than forcing those few to educate us about what being more or less visibly different is all about and how it relates to our thinking about socialization and education and difference that make a difference, I invited the whole group to reflect on dominant power- and colour evasive ways of thinking about difference and diversity they unknowingly might engage in themselves as well. I also invited them to critically reflect on dominant ways of reductionist and essentialist binary thinking which separate people, cultures and worlds into us and them, right and wrong, western and eastern, oral and literate, acceptable and deviant, friends and foes, backward and enlightened, superior and inferior. The guest lecture by my senior colleague Wilna Meijer on islamic pedagogy and the future of islamic education in the Netherlands (17 november 2009) was very enlightening in this respect. stok en je redt het van het dodenrijk” (Spreuken 23,13 en 14, geciteerd in een internetartikel van de IKON over persoon en functie van Gertj-Jan Goldschmeding, zijn pleidooi voor en het daaruitvolgende debat over de pedagogische tik, 20 september 2009, op 25 maart 2010 opgevraagd van http://www.ikonpastoraat.nl/column.asp?oId=601&oItem=32). 9
  10. 10. To openly discuss bias and prejudice in perceiving, interpreting and understanding differences that make a difference is no easy thing to do in a mass course like this. Most students have difficulty speaking up at all in such a large group. I have difficulty managing a mass group discussion, not in the least since I am the only one with a small microphone attached to my cardigan. Some students openly challenged the need to reflect on their own position, since they claimed to have nothing to do with racism anyway since they are no racists themselves. Or, they don’t need to be educated about diversity issues, since they do not encounter people with different cultural heritage and orientation, living in predominantly White Dutch communities. Others did not see the point of discussing things in class at all. All they wanted to know from me is what they needed to study in order to pass the test for this course at the end. To some, however, this classroom experience of thinking about power and privilege in relation to racial/ethnic and cultural differences was an eye opener, which they took home to ponder upon and discuss with their friends and parents. 8. TEACHING REFLECTIONS I will move on to some teaching reflections on the pitfalls of teaching diversity and intersectionality at the White Dutch academy and other institutes of higher learning like it. Overall, and for several reasons, teaching diversity with a critical intersectional approach in a university classroom, discussing things like White privilege, male privilege and reductionist, essentialist, dichotomous thinking about us and them, culture and cultural difference, gives rise to mixed feelings, both among students and among teachers. A multitude of different reactions and learning experiences is evoked by it, which go well beyond initial teaching goals and expectations, and include student resistance. To illustrate this, I have a few quotes from students who took the course on Intercultural Pedagogy at Groningen University last year. The quotes are taken from answers to the question I posed to them as part of the examination for the course. The question referred to the group assignment they did along the weekly lectures which centered on cultural difference and intercultural dilemmas in socialization and education world wide, students worked in groups of six on an assignment. The assignment was to analyse the representation of a current cultural conflict/intercultural dilemma in education, and locate different interest groups and their perspectives in that representation. I asked them to describe what students learned from the group assignment and how it related to the knowledge offered and things discussed in the lectures and course material. 10
  11. 11. students’ evaluation of learning outcome of group assignment & course on intercultural dilemmas: *I was shocked by so many different perspectives, also within our group; *I learned people have reasons to do what they do the way that they do it; *I took a step outside my own frame of mind to look at things from a different perspective; *Now I know why muslim girls actually like to wear a headscarf; *Differences in culture do not necessarily entail different opinions on things; *Why did we need to talk so much about prejudice and stereotypes? Do you want me to start feeling sorry for those poor foreigners? Students’ diverse evaluations of the learning outcome of group assignments and courses like these reflect the pitfalls of teaching diversity and intersectionality. I’ll name three of them as I have come to understand them. Firstly, adressing different inequalities and several crucial markers of difference at the same time, teachers run the risk of dropping one or more of them along the way. Often, sexuality, in the sense of different sexual preferences, drops out, or class, or race/ethnicity, depending on what the teacher herself deems most important in relation to the subject she teaches, and also depending on the blind spots she might have. Secondly, eagerness to offer exciting food for thought, broaden the horizon and engage students in critical dialogue and self-reflection may slip into politically correct moral preaching. Thirdly, students may not like what we do and ask us to present what they value as “objective” knowledge on for example cultural differences in socialization practices worldwide and in the Netherlands, models to understand the differences and theories to explain them. Above all they want us to give them clear guidelines how to pass tests and get on with their education, instead of looking in the mirror, doing the disturbing and painful job of examining their own prejudices and biases in class, which influence their studies and outlook on life, its promises and problems. These pitfalls point to the challenges in teaching diversity from a critical, intersectional, colour and power cognizant perspective. I think we need to acknowledge diversity as embodied and lived in our classrooms, and create space to discuss how it relates to diversity outside the classroom, in society at large. We need more audacity to actually experiment with teaching diversity and teaching intersectionality in higher education classrooms and probably, research university teachers can learn a lot from universities of applied science and professional education, where classrooms at least in the Western parts of the Netherlands, over the years have become much more “diverse”. We also need to exchange views on different ways of doing this, teaching diversity and intersectionality, in order for ourselves to become intersectionally sensitive, power and colour cognizant, anti-bias teachers, 11
  12. 12. teachers who enable our students to develop their critical thinking on diversity, intersectionality and social justice with and against our ways of thinking, inside the classroom and beyond. Therefore we need to be teachers who believe in the possibility of social change and social justice. We might have to develop a different kind of pedagogy to do this, a kind I tentatively call provocative pedagogy, with a cosmopolitan twist perhaps, like Handel Kashope Wright proposed in his key note, yesterday (Mix-in, March 22 2010). And at the same time, we have to use extra branches to build bridges across our different nests at the White Dutch academy, or any other location in higher education, to help each other shield our nests from adversary winds and turn them into safe havens in which to produce good, useful knowledge and teach social justice with diversity, from an critical intersectional perspective, in daring and empowering ways. There are numerous challenges ahead, as I see it. So much work remains to be done in this country on this score, to quote my dear friend and colleague, feminist professor in history and post-colonial studies Frances Gouda from her inaugural speech at the University of Amsterdam in 2001.4 So much work remains to be done…. Thank you for listening. 4 Gouda, Frances (2001). What’s to Be Done With Gender and Post-Colonial Studies. Amsterdam: Vossius Press. 12
  13. 13. Appendix DISCUSSION ON TWO STATEMENTS5 1. The only way to equip students for effective professionalism in multicultural society is to urge them to develop a diversity perspective 2. To enhance a diversity perspective among students in higher education which allows for sensible and effective professionalism in multicultural society we need: a. more teachers of colour b. curriculum change c. anti-bias education d. provocative pedagogy e. all of the above (a, b, c, d) f. something else, …………………….. concepts toelaborate upon:6 1. provocative pedagogy: unsettling the student audience, unsettling the academy 2. feminist pedagogy 3. pedagogy of hope (hooks 2003) 4. teaching to transgress (hooks 1994) 5. whiteness is a colour 6. white supremacy / hegemony (a.o. Eske Wollrad, DE) 7. unsettling the academy: deconstruct the normative, always view / present issues from a multiplicity of standpoints; unsettling learning ≠ polite, settled, calm, [safe?]  teachers need conflict resolution skills… (Leslie R. Morgan) 8. Freire: transformational educational practices 9. white defensiveness (as if whites are also victims of racism) (Leslie R. Morgan) 5 Together with my fellow anthropologists Mariet Meurs and Jos Hilte, who both have a long record of teaching interculturality and diversity at the HAN, university for applied science in Arnhem, the Netherlands, we prepared two statements to discuss after our individual presentations about the way we work in our panel Teaching diversity. Other perspectives for professional life, at Mix in, conference on diversity in higher education, Amsterdam, March 22-23 2010. As we were in the very last round of sessions after two exciting, long days of conferencing, and had only one hour to share with our small audience, the discussion was not very extensive nor lively, alas. The first statement was prepared by Meurs and Hilte, the second one by me. 6 See separate document on feminist etc. pedagogy, EFJ, March 23 2010. 13