Teaching and Our Dystopian Reality

As the ground shifts beneath us, Covid has a particular and general way it has moved us into a new reality. In March 2020 CUNY underwent a massive migration to the digital sphere. Working from home, sheltering through the global crisis, and managing the new reality are all significant contexts that shape teaching and learning. These conversations capture moments in this new dystopian reality as we shift our teaching practices and live, together and alone, through the pandemic. We discuss the role of tone and body language, touch and intimacy, seeing students holistically, and more.


This podcast series is developed and hosted by Sakina Laksimi-Morrow, a TLC Fellow and Phd Candidate in the Urban Education department at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is based in New York City.

Episodes are listed below. You can also listen to the whole podcast on Anchor.FM or on Spotify.

Episode 7: Kiera Bono

This conversation about disability and chronic illness with Kiera Bono illuminates the ways in which accessibility is an on-going project. Kiera Bono is an instructor at City College, PhD student in the Theatre and Performance at the Graduate Center, and artist. We talk about survival, access, chronic pain, and shifting discourse about disability from deficit to wisdom.

Listen to  episode 7 on Anchor.fm.

Episode 6: Jesse Rice-Evans

In this November conversation with Jesse Rice-Evans we talk about neurodivergent teaching, ableism, labor, exhaustion, health and illness, and access pedagogy. Jesse Rice-Evans is a doctoral candidate in English at the Graduate Center, an educator, and poet. We discuss how disability and illness has shaped our experiences in the academy, both as students and instructors, and the wisdoms we have gained from navigating our health and access needs.

Listen to episode 6 on Anchor.fm.

Episode 5: Luke Waltzer

In a November interview with Luke Waltzer, director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the Graduate Center, historian, and faculty in the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy program, we discuss how his practice has shifted and evolved through the pandemic. Our collective work building communities of practice at the TLC takes on new meaning and new urgency as we all navigate these crises.  In this conversation we talk about redefining rigor and high standards, how flexibility can deepen learning and engage students, care work, and the value of slowing down.

Listen to episode 5 on Anchor.fm.

Episode 4: Asilia Franklin-Phipps

In my May interview with Asilia Franklin-Phipps we discussed some significant issues that surfaced as educators transitioned their courses online during the beginning of the pandemic. Asilia is an education scholar, researcher, writer and faculty.Her practice at the intersection of arts-based methods, anti-racist pedagogy and the posthuman offers new ways to imagine teaching and learning as she does the important work of training teachers.

In this interview we discuss anxiety, boundaries, care, flexibility, race, class and building and maintaining virtual communities in this dystopian reality. Asilia offers teaching strategies that facilitate conscientious teaching and the ways that translate to online courses, from creating connections to offering student choice.

Episode 3: Matt Gold

In this conversation with Matt Gold, Associate Professor of English and Digital Humanities in May 2020,  we discuss the university’s future during our current crisis, safety and chaos, pedagogical style, and productive use of online and hybrid learning. Matt shares how his class shifted and adapted to the pandemic, and the wonderful archival project that was inspired during these challenging times. Somewhere between working at home and teaching online, new practices are emerging and challenging the ways we think about infrastructure and the university, and the people and relationships within that.

Episode 2: Atasi Das

Our dystopian reality continues to shift and morph as we continue living/teaching/coping/struggling through this pandemic. The second conversation in the series Teaching and Our Dystopian Reality, is with Atasi Das, math educator, scholar, fellow doctoral candidate at the PhD program in Urban Education, and more.   In this interview I talk with Atasi about washing dishes, doing math problems, the role of touch and materiality, space and place, and the divine minutia of survival. There are  unusual pockets of wisdom and understanding in our new practices as educators and as human.

Episode 1: Michelle Fine

The first interview in this series took place in March 2020 with Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor in Psychology and Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY.