SYMPOSIUM ON DIVERSE EPISTEMOLOGIES:Towards a Black Epistemological Literacy Education

Monday, April 24, 2023
Center for Black Studies Research, South Hall 4603, UCSB

"White epistemologies have long narrated the literacy practices taught in teacher education programs and enacted in classrooms. Literacy education has siloed issues of literacy and equity, and mutually excluding them in the teaching of literacy methods perpetuate white-centric literacy instruction in classrooms. In this talk, I argue for a Black epistemological literacy education that centers Black Language in the process of teaching literacy methods. By intertwining the two, this approach shifts whose epistemologies are centered, and offers an equitable pathway for future teachers to re-imagine early childhood and elementary literacy instruction. This approach also elucidates how phonics instruction in its current state belongs to White Mainstream English. I have conceptually framed this work through linguistic and sociolinguistic theories of Black Language, as well as through raciolinguistic notions and raciolinguistic ideologies. As a non-Black scholar, I adjoin myself to historic Black Freedom movements as I work in community with Black Language scholars to combat white hegemony. By connecting scholarship in Black Language and literacy education, this talk illuminates the possibilities of interdisciplinary research when Black epistemologies are centered. Teachers need to envision how Black Language is integral in all aspects of literacy for young readers and writers. In our contested context for Black Lives mattering in schools, there is an urgent need to cohere our precepts and practices in our work towards Black equity." -Dr. Alice Lee

Join us as we welcome Dr. Alice Lee for her in person talk, Towards a Black Epistemological Literacy Education! Dr. Alice Y. Lee, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Critical Literacy in the School of Education at University of California, Riverside. Her research focuses on the raciolinguistic life experiences of teachers, and how such experiences are embodied into pedagogy. She employs this lens to interrogate the continued maltreatment of Black Language speakers, particularly early childhood and elementary-aged children. She also applies her work toward teacher selection, recruitment, and education in efforts to diversify the teacher workforce. She received the More Just World Award from Literacy Research Association for her publication proposing a Black epistemological literacy education. Her work has been supported by the Spencer Foundation, published in Research in the Teaching of English, Language Arts, Literacy Research: Theory, Method, Practice, The Reading Teacher, Journal of Curriculum Studies Research, Literacy Today, Language Arts Journal of Michigan, and the inaugural chapter on critical race methodologies in literacy research in the third edition of Literacy Research Methodologies.

Appetizers and refreshments will be served!