The Doyle faculty fellows program for 2013-14 brought together 15 faculty members from 10 disciplines ranging across main campus, as well as one participant from the School of Foreign Service in Qatar.
Together they formed a cohort committed to grappling with the challenges of incorporating diversity into both pedagogy and content. Seeking to develop ways for their students to engage substantively with their respective disciplines and issues of diversity prominent in society today, the faculty fellows were crucial sources of inspiration, creativity, and expertise for each other.
Faculty fellows first met as a cohort in May 2013 with an intensive series of workshops, continued over the summer with small group consultations, and met monthly throughout the academic year. Each cohort member designed or redesigned a course in such a way to highlight issues of diversity and difference not only in the course content but also through assignments, activities, and discussions. The dynamic interactions as a cohort—face-to-face as well as virtual—provided a significant space for the faculty fellows to examine their teaching in a rigorously reflective way, as well as to learn from, share with, and continually challenge one another. As faculty fellows have reported since the first Doyle cohort in 2009, this space and the community it creates are among the most beneficial and rewarding aspects of the Doyle Faculty Fellows Program.
Elizabeth “Betty” Andretta | School of Foreign Service-Qatar | Intro to Justice & Peace (JUPS 123)
Randy Bass | Department of English | Humanities & Writing I (HUMW 011)
Christine Evans | Department of Performing Arts | U.S. Latino/a Theatre and Performance (TPST 333)
Emily Francomano | Department of Spanish and Portuguese | Writing and Reading in the Renaissance (HUMW 011)
Anna von der Goltz | BMW Center, School of Foreign Service | SFS Proseminar: 1968: Protest and Rebellion in Europe (INAF 100)
Aaron Hanlon | Department of English | 99 Problems (HUMW 011)
Laurie King | Department of Anthropology | Visual Anthropology (ANTH 120)
Sherry Linkon | Department of English | Humanities and Writing I (HUMW 011)
Toby Long | Center for Child and Human Development | Children with Disabilities (EDU 253)
Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer | Department of Anthropology | Shamans, Priests and Healers (ANTH 352)
Marilyn McMorrow | School of Foreign Service | Human Rights in International Relations (GOVT 406)
Sylvia Önder | Department of Anthropology | Cultures and Identities (ANTH 225)
Erika Seamon | American Studies Program | American Civilization I (AMST 203)
Elizabeth Stephen | School of Foreign Service | The Geopolitics of Population Issues in Turkey (CULP 337)
Sarah Stiles | Department of Sociology | Law & Society (SOCI 192)
Faculty Fellow Profiles
Introduction to Justice and Peace
Betty Andretta focused the redesign of her course, Introduction to Justice and Peace, on the topic of migration in the Persian Gulf. She created opportunities for students to consider “their own positionality and how this affects their perception of labor relations, citizenship, and belonging.” As a way to gather a starting baseline on students’ perspectives, students took a survey at the beginning of the course indicating their opinions on relevant questions and how these opinions were formed. In addition to readings, the module included two key meetings: one with other SFS-Q peers who had travelled to the Philippines to study labor migration, and a second via videoconference with Professor Marilyn McMorrow’s class based at the Georgetown campus. Students also engaged in a role-playing exercise about the controversial kafala (sponsorship) migration system, with each student adopting the perspective of a key stakeholder. Finally, students revisited their responses to the earlier survey and discussed whether and how their perspectives had changed as a result of their learning experiences.
Sherry Linkon & Randy Bass
Writing as Translation
Sherry Linkon’s and Randy Bass’s Writing as Translation class employed videoconferences with university students in the Middle East.
A major feature of Sherry Linkon’s and Randy Bass’s writing class was the use of Soliya Connect—an eight- week online program that facilitated videoconferencing between their students and students in Middle Eastern universities. During the second half of the semester, students spent two hours each week in conversation with a group of approximately seven other students. These cross-cultural dialogues provided a rich experiential learning component designed to complement the course readings, class activities, and assignments—all of which examined ways that authors “translate” their ideas according to audience perspectives and expectations. In particular the writing assignments (including biography, autobiography, and technical prose) and in-class debriefs of the readings and Soliya conversations focused on the communication elements of intention, perspective, empathy, and performance. Additionally, students wrote reflection papers connecting their experiences in the Soliya conversations with other course elements and concepts. Among other benefits, this unique experiential learning component concretely immersed students in the significant challenges and hard work required for meaningful engagement in cross-cultural dialogue.
US Latino/a Drama and Performance
Christine Evans designed her course to examine the complexities of ethnic identity in the creative work of Latino/a artists. Her Doyle goal concerned personal identity, and students continually reflected on how their own lives are always shaped in dialogue with specific cultural communities. They also grappled with the ‘constructed’ nature of ethnic identity and considered societal tendencies to understand others’ identities that way, but to view one’s own as ‘neutral’ or unconstructed. To deepen and personalize these themes, Evans developed assignments partnering students with classmates for interdisciplinary dialogue or to apply cultural contexts to the analysis of plays. Students also engaged each other on a dynamic class blog. In a particularly imaginative assignment, everyone brought objects significant to their personal identity to class and described how the objects related to their own cultural communities. Through consistent opportunities for students to connect their lives to course content, Professor Evans highlighted the role of identity—and the clusters of communities and relationships that shape that identity—as central to artistic, academic, and personal endeavors.
“The primary gifts and surprises of the experience were in realizing how absolutely tied pedagogy and supporting diversity are—and that to work on one means to address the other.” — Christine Evans (Performing Arts)
Emily C. Francomano
Spanish & Portuguese
Survey of Spanish Literature I
“The overarching Doyle goal I had been working on for the writing course was to encourage students to see study of the past as a way of engaging diversity. To study the distant past is an encounter with diversity; it always involves an experience of alterity, of not being ‘at home’ in the period studied.” — Emily Francomano (Spanish & Portuguese)
Emily Francomano restructured her Survey of Spanish Literature from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century around one common theme related to diversity: “how others are identified and defined in relation to the self,” or what we might consider an issue of positionality. In order to become proficient at reading literary texts from diverse points of view, students completed a series of informal writing assignments on the class blog. This allowed students to practice expressing their ideas in Spanish before doing so in class discussions or formal papers. It also helped students develop their understanding of different perspectives and the complex issue of positionality as they uncovered the ways in which “literary and cultural texts are structured with particular audience expectations in mind.” In a final blog reflection, many students described their experience in the course as a deep engagement with diversity and highlighted the critical value of reading from multiple perspectives. Francomano feels that reflecting on how texts define and situate others is an important step to reading and thinking with empathy.
Anna von der Goltz
School of Foreign Service
1968: Protest and Rebellion in Europe
In Anna von der Goltz’s 1968: Protest and Rebellion in Europe, students discussed the historical events of 1968 from diverse perspectives.
Anna von der Goltz redesigned her proseminar, 1968: Protest and Rebellion in Europe, to focus on how different factors such as class, race, gender, political beliefs, ethnicity, and age shaped people’s experiences and perceptions of that year. Professor von der Goltz sought to have students assess “1968” from a perspective other than their own, and to evaluate critically and deconstruct various historical narratives that attempted to fix the meaning of 1968 by privileging the perspective of a particular group of participants. To accomplish this, she incorporated structured reflection activities into the course. In addition to writing regular blog posts and participating in class discussion focused on these themes, students examined the difficulties of organizing a diverse group of people in conversation with a present-day activist from Occupy DC. Throughout the course, students were challenged to think more deeply about the relationship and possible similarities between the 1960s protesters and themselves.
“I discovered that history as a discipline lends itself rather well to fostering engagement with diversity, because the ‘past is a foreign country; they do things differently there’ (L. P. Hartley).” — Anna von der Goltz (SFS)
99 Problems: Writing as Problem Solving
A key question for Aaron Hanlon was how to make the issues of diversity embedded in the course content more personal and more personally relevant for his students. Concretely, this became a challenge of translation: turning unfamiliarity and difference into avenues for self- exploration when grappling with the difficulty of translating feelings and experiences from one person to another. In one exercise students translated the lyrics of artist Jay-Z’s “Most Kings” into prose. This was coupled with a post-translation reflection exercise, forcing students to grapple not only with their translations, but also the higher-order questions of what it is to translate and how context and perspective influence translation. Students were also led to contrast their subjective judgements concerning the traits of a ninth-century Japanese poet with the values they could hear that poet expressing. In exploring this contrast, students reflected on their own perspectives and the importance of context in communicating across cultural divides. This reflection in turn prepared students to offer more rigorous analyses in their longer essays.
“My experience with the faculty cohort was the primary driver of this realization about the need to defamiliarize certain terms to get beyond stock or comfortable student conceptions, and thus to pay closer attention to how the very language we give students can constrain their thinking on a concept or issue.” — Aaron Hanlon (English)
Visual Ethnography: Expanding Our Fields of Knowledge and (In)Sight
Laurie King redesigned her Visual Ethnography course to encourage students to think more critically and reflexively about “diversity” and “the other”—not as pre-existing monolithic categories or entities, but rather to see the multiple perspectives that are already part and parcel of their lives as university students in Washington, DC. The course used the process of making an ethnographic film as the basis for course discussion. Then, readings, class activities, and other assignments were integrated accordingly. Producing a film allowed students to see the direct connection between their own experiences and some of the animating questions in anthropology that the course considered. In particular, they gained a sense of the difference between observation and participation and the way one’s degree of participation in a community practice shapes their own and others’ experiences. This understanding is critical not just to producing a rigorous ethnography, but also to understanding both the possibilities and limits of seeing others from one’s own perspective.
“The Doyle program gave me valuable opportunities to engage with my students in new ways, to share ideas and concerns with colleagues, and to question a lot of my own assumptions about teaching in general, and teaching anthropology in particular.” — Laurie King (Anthropology)
While creating ethnographic videos, Laurie King’s Visual Ethnography students analyzed their own roles as both observer and participants and what that means for engaging with a community as an initial outsider.
Center for Child and Human Development
Children with Disabilities
Toby Long redesigned her Doyle Course, Children with Disabilities, to help students see both the category of disability and those with disabilities as an element of diversity in human experience rather than as a kind of illness requiring accommodation. Concretely, this impacted students’ thinking about how to design classroom teaching for a universal audience and prepared students for challenges in implementing contemporary teaching practices. In addition to creating activities and emphasizing discussion points that reinforced disability as a characteristic of diversity, Professor Long used written reflections and coding of student comments at the beginning and conclusion of the semester in order to track students’ shifts in perspectives on disability. Not only did she measure significant shifts, she likewise observed that students developed an increased understanding of the ways in which disability is constituted by both the context and the specific characteristics of a given individual.
“From a teaching perspective, involvement in Doyle and the accountability it required also helped me, even subconsciously, to create activities or stress discussion points that reinforced disability as a characteristic of diversity.” — Toby Long (Center for Child and Human Development)
Marjorie Mandelstem Balzer
Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies
Shamans, Priests, and Healers
Marjorie Balzer’s anthropology course explored indigenous healing practices within the context of globalization to address substantive questions about social, cultural and religious diversity. After hearing from guest speakers who represented different stakeholders in the development of indigenous medicine-based pharmaceuticals, students took part in a simulated negotiation. This exercise focused on the problems and benefits of today’s increasing interconnectedness and raised students’ awareness of their own connection to others across the globe. Additionally, students took a field trip to the National Museum of the American Indian in part to try and see how the museum expresses native self-conceptions. They also studied the “radical empathy” practices of Puerto Rican women healers who temporarily take on the pains or illnesses of their clients. Students then experimented with radical empathy themselves as they researched and role-played the experiences of vulnerable individuals in contemporary society.
“I learned an enormous amount from interaction with my ‘cohort’—teaching techniques, ideas for creative assignments, and about enhancing awareness of diversity in all its forms. These can and should be synergistic. Drawing on recurring themes, I was continually reminded of the importance of being more self-conscious about the narrative frameworks we are using as we teach…” — Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer (Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies)
School of Foreign Service
Human Rights in International Relations
Marilyn McMorrow designed her course, Human Rights in International Relations, to include a focus on migrant detention with the goal of heightening student awareness of how “human rights concerns make up such a part of the fabric of our daily circumstances that we do not really notice.” Professor McMorrow incorporated readings, videos, reflection, discussion, and many guest speakers—including staff from Jesuit Refugee Service/ USA, a Federal Judge on the Bench in Maricopa County, Arizona, and an undocumented Georgetown student. Students engaged in a collaborative learning project with students from Professor Betty Andretta’s class at SFS-Q who were studying issues of migration in the Qatari context. A videoconference in which students shared what they had learned gave each class new perspectives on migration and its relationship to human rights. Students then wrote reflection papers exploring how their understanding of these issues had changed, questions that they were still thinking through, and the ways in which their dispositions had been affected by their engagement in the module.
Erika B. Seamon
American Civilization I
Erika Seamon designed a new module for her American Civilization I course centered entirely on three new student learning goals highlighting structural inequality and social disenfranchisement. She created opportunities for students: first, to describe instances in the American narrative where ideas considered true, normal, or natural were socially constructed; second, to identify agents, practices, and institutions that created and perpetuated social constructions; and third, to reflect on their own role in creating or perpetuating social constructions today. Through regular reflection papers, debate, and in-depth discussion, students articulated ideas that dominate American cultural narratives—particularly, the norm of the town and pastoral lifestyle of New England, and the ideal of the English goodwife. Students then explored ways that structures of power similar to those operating in the seventeenth century shape their own lives. By tracing social constructions and power dynamics from the seventeenth century to today, students were better able to understand theoretically and see in their own lives the nature and relationship between privilege and disenfranchisement in the processes that institutionalize key beliefs about American society.
“Working with the cohort was helpful for gaining perspectives on a myriad of pedagogical approaches to discussing diversity with students. I like that the classes that we are teaching are so different. I appreciate that the ways that we are approaching diversity differ widely. I got a lot out of the case studies—new ideas for texts, exercises, and methods for capturing evidence of student learning.” — Erika Seamon (American Studies)
Culture and Identities
One goal for Sylvia Önder’s Culture and Identities course was for her Georgetown students to grapple with themes of difference outside of those students might more commonly engage, such as racism and sexism. To do this, she oriented the course around engaging with deaf students at Gallaudet University. Building on a previous case study from her Medical Anthropology course, Professor Önder created numerous opportunities for her students to interact with Deaf culture. Videoconferences with students at Gallaudet University focused on cross-cultural communication. Students also created five one-minute “personal identity videos” to share with the class. Additionally, Georgetown students partnered with Gallaudet students for assigned group work. Professor Önder saw this joint-work as a critical moment, especially as her own students experienced culture shock, which became a fruitful issue to explore in class discussion. Students were challenged to encounter diversity through the group work and exercises from the perspective of the “hearing world.” Ultimately, the commonalities of college experience served to build a bridge between cultures.
“When I promote the Doyle Faculty Fellowship to colleagues across the university, I stress the importance of the cohort meetings as places where like-minded faculty can have meaningful cross-disciplinary conversations about teaching and university goals. The f irst time I did the Doyle Fellowship, I felt that I was able to be more experimental in my pedagogy than I had ever been before. In this second Doyle experience, my class was perhaps four times as experimental—so I think the repeat experience has a compounded effect.” — Sylvia Önder (Anthropology)
Law and Society
Doyle Fellow Sarah Stiles focused her Law and Society course around the diversity issues embedded in several landmark Supreme Court cases.
Sarah Stiles based her Law and Society course around the idea that society creates laws and that laws in turn help create society. Building on a series of “hot topics” epitomized in landmark Supreme Court cases, Professor Stiles added a mock sexual assault trial as an avenue for students to explore empathy through experiential learning and performance. In preparation for this difficult and potentially triggering topic, students read articles, watched current news stories, and discussed issues with a campus health professional. To deepen their ability to understand experiences from other perspectives, students then had to write a decision for the case as though they were the presiding judge—ruling in favor of their opponents. In a questionnaire following the actual trial, students reflected on definitions of justice and explored ways in which the trial system disadvantages those with fewer means. For their final projects, students created a “You Need to Know This!” series of short videos explaining to fellow Millennials why they needed to know about certain key legal topics related to diversity.
School of Foreign Service
The Conversation on Race and Ethnicity: A Struggle for Authenticity
Betsi Stephen centered her course, The Conversation on Race and Ethnicity: A Struggle for Authenticity, on the structural and historical reasons why diversity is represented so differently in the narrative of European Union countries than that of the United States. Professor Stephen devised experiential teaching strategies to immerse students in the controversial issues confronting both the EU and US today. In order to “feel the sting” of anti-immigrant discourse, her students performed an in-class play about immigration in Italy. The class also participated in a weekly “EU Café” at Midnight Mug, debating cultural differences and live issues. Finally, students extended their learning to participation in public discourse, writing letters to the editor of an online European newspaper or journal in response to aspects of demography in the EU. Observing the nuance and depth of understanding in her students led Professor Stephen to adapt her Doyle course for Fall 2014 at the McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies in Alanya, Turkey.
Click here to access the full 2013-2014 Doyle Annual Report.
Return to the Faculty Fellows page.