NCTE Assembly for Research Mid-Winter Conference

College of Education & Human Development University of Minnesota

"Teaching and Researching Across Color Lines: Literacies, Pedagogies, and the Politics of Difference"

February 21 - 23, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Please note: Alice McIntyre's pre-conference workshop 
has been rescheduled. Her workshop will start at noon on
 Friday, February 21, in the McNamara Alumni Center. 
(It was originally scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.)

W.E.B. Du Bois wrote that the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the Color-Line. The problem survives. For Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres, racially marginalized groups are a society’s miner’s canary. Like the distress of the caged finch taken into the mines, the plight of these social groups signal an endemic danger that threatens us all. Guinier and Torres call for a political race project that is not only diagnostic—a project that pays attention to the canary’s critique—but that is also activist. They imagine a “new language to discuss race, in order to rebuild a progressive democratic movement led by people of color but joined by others.”

This year’s Assembly for Research Midwinter Conference will focus on race and difference and will explore how these inform our perspectives and practices as educators and researchers. The conference builds on and extends past conferences that have explored race and language; new literacies; and the workings of power in our pedagogies and institutions, in our research methods and reports.

The 2003 conference will explore dimensions of language and literacy practices in schools by addressing questions such as the following:

  • How can research with racially marginalized groups generate a critique of our research methodologies and pedagogies?
  • How can research with racially marginalized groups inform our research and classroom practices with dominant groups?
  • How can examinations of whiteness in literacy research and classroom practices help teachers and students question power relations in schooling and society?
While the conference explores what we can learn by putting race at the center of our pedagogical and methodological inquiries, we also recognize a broader “politics of difference.” The movement between discussions of race and other differences that make a difference is unavoidable and desirable, and will characterize the conference.

Keynote speakers include:

Gerald Torres, co-author with Lani Guinier of The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy
Gloria Ladson-Billings, author of The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children and Crossing Over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms
Julie Landsman, author of A White Teacher Talks About Race and Basic Needs: A Year with Street Kids in a City School
Donaldo Macedo, author of Literacies of Power: What Americans Are Not Allowed to Know, and, with Lilia Bartolome, Dancing with Bigotry: Beyond the Politics of Tolerance
Alice McIntyre, author of Making Meaning of Whiteness: Exploring the Racial Identities of White Teachers and Inner-City Kids: Adolescents Confront Life and Violence in an Urban Community
Carol Miller, author of “Academe as Indian Country” and editor and co-founder of the website Voices from the Gaps: Women Writers of Color at
David Roediger, author of The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class and editor of Black on White: Black Writers on What It Means to Be White

Speaker biographies



Keynote speakers

Roundtables by theme

Presenters at a glance

Conference site

Registration form [pdf file]

Call for proposals

Join the Assembly

2002 Conference



Timothy J. Lensmire

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