EVENT Mar 07
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Teaching Societal Change in the Classroom Despite Sociopolitical Surplus (https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla.html)

Boston, MA
Organization: Northeast MLA
Event: https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla.html
Categories: Rhetoric & Composition
Event Date: 2024-03-07 to 2024-03-10 Abstract Due: 2023-09-30

US paper currency iconography is archaic and unethical considering yesterday's history & today's demographics. Non-representation of minorities on US paper currency obtusely affects the way our students perceive language and how we access power culturally & politically, for current cultural contexts of said paper currency overtly omit the marginalized. Despite superfluous sociopolitical surplus inundating our students, using US paper currency iconography, my topic addresses NEMLA’s theme by showing how we instructors can teach students to view & transform representational iconography in societal artifacts.

Being that America has a large dichotomy between minority and mainstream groups, it’s important to explain the phenomenon through grounded scholarship and provide examples of social disturbances and pedagogical heuristic models to enact, which NEMLA advocates. After all, a significant goal is to work against injustice through intercultural knowledges to enact equitable change. This new perspective provides the means for social justice to disrupt inequitable power structures and to build a worthy rhetorical path to serve the people better. Students will become empowered despite surplus.

This roundtable is looking to create a robust discussion on how faculty can show students how to acknowledge sociopolitical surplus in each faculty’s respective field—artifacts in the form of rhetoric, bylaws, and other narrative spins that particularly omit the marginalized. Additionally, instructors can explore ways to incorporate social change into critically successful content-related assignments. Strong examples of praxis and pedagogy from multiple disciplines are welcome.


Dr. Cynthia Pope