4C’s Presentation: Counternarratives, Social Justice, and College Composition

Note: This post is subject to updates through this Friday, May 25th!

This Friday I’ll be presenting at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, which VCU will be hosting for the second year. My topic this year is “Counternarratives in the Classroom: Rethinking College Composition as Storytelling for Social Justice.”

This project has been evolving for some time, and was facilitated this year by a grant-funded project in my home department to redesign our curriculum and pedagogical methods for greater inclusion of our broad student body. That project, supported by VCU’s Division of Inclusive Excellence, has allowed our faculty to redesign curriculum, course learning outcomes, syllabi, shared texts, and teaching practices through extensive professional development. I have been very lucky to work as a member of a close teaching team piloting some of our new content and methods, and as a member of our in-house professional development team. In an effort to align our work with the broader university I also served on the planning team for our 2018-2019 Institute for inclusive teaching. We just had our two-day kick off event last week, but if you’re interested and you’re working at VCU there’s still time to join us for our year-long project! Learn more at the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence’s website.

If you’re not ready for the full Institute experience and just want to do some excellent reading this summer I highly recommend joining the members of Richmond Teachers for Social Justice for our upcoming reading group focused on the new volume Teaching for Black Lives put out by Rethinking Schools. We’ll begin meeting in June, and our reading sessions will be paired with information about how to better engage social justice in the classroom and in the city at large.

Below are the resources I’ll be touching on in my presentation Friday. They’re designed to expand out the excellent work being done in the field of critical race pedagogy for inclusive teaching practices with a range of student demographics.

Counterstorytelling resources from my fall 2017 classes

A Guide to Narrative Framing (subject to updates!)

Group Presentation on Origin Stories [See also my presentation from the 2017 4C conference, “Origin Stories and Authors Notes“]

Counternarrative Annotated Bibliography

Final Paper: Counternarratives and Ethical Reasoning


Delgado (1989) – “Storytelling for Oppositionists and Others: A Plea for Narrative

Gámez (2016) – “Reframing Justice: Counter-Storytelling and Social Transformation

Marshall (2016) – “Counter-Storytelling through Graphic Life Writing

Solórzano & Yosso (2000/2001) – “Maintaining Social Justice Hopes within Academic Realities: A Freirean Approach to Critical Race/LatCrit Pedagogy

Solórzano & Yosso (2002) – “Critical Race Methodology: Counter-Storytelling as an Analytical Framework for Education Research


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