Hana Rivers, Center for Engaged Pedagogy, Barnard
Annabelle Tseng, Center for Engaged Pedagogy, Barnard
The Center for Engaged Pedagogy’s Land Acknowledgment Series was a virtual, recurring learning community open to Barnard faculty, students, and staff across three meetings in Fall 2021. The series, which functioned as a learning community, aimed to cultivate collaborative engagement with the work of Indigenous scholars writing on the topic of land acknowledgments. Participants and organizers from various parts of the college came together to grapple with key questions such as: What does it mean to be in thoughtful, action-oriented relationship to land? What purpose do land acknowledgements serve in the context of institutions like Barnard? How do we ‘go beyond’ written or spoken recognitions of Indigenous presence? This series was created not only to facilitate communal learning around the nuanced implications of land acknowledgments, but also to integrate Indigenous knowledge into the CEP’s approach to pedagogy. Participants in the series built upon their awareness of their individual positionality and deepened their engagement with both Indigenous scholarship and the teaching and learning community at Barnard. Rather than producing a singular written land acknowledgment statement, this series made space for self-reflection, collaboration, and discussion so that participants came away with a sense of how to engage with land acknowledgment in their own work. Ultimately, our experience facilitating this series reinforced the importance of bringing student, faculty, and staff contingencies together to grapple with difficult questions in a communal, non-hierarchical learning setting.
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