Portrait of an Antiracist, Hypermasculine Black Male Pedagogue: Race, Gender (Performance), and Antiracist Pedagogy in U.S. Teacher Education
Dr. Esther Ohito
Friday, March 25, 2022 | 12:30 – 2:00 pm (PDT) | via Zoom
Faculty Host: Dr. Harper Keenan
Scholarship on antiracist pedagogy has proliferated the white world of U.S. teacher education; however, studies scrutinizing this phenomenon from the perspective of Black teacher educators and Black aspiring teachers are scarce. In this talk, I present a phenomenological study investigating the racialized, sexed, and gendered aspects of antiracist pedagogy. I examine a Black male teacher educator’s theory and practice of antiracist pedagogy, the latter as captured in two classroom scenarios featuring performances of Black hypermasculinity. This theory/practice juxtaposition reveals the entanglement of antiracist pedagogy, race, gender (performance), (male) privilege, and power. The relationship between gender performance and the practice of antiracist pedagogy illuminated elucidates how Black pedagogues and preservice teachers’ racialized, affective, and embodied experiences are shaped by the un/met desire for cultural affirmation and social recognition in U.S. teacher education. Preliminary implications for dismantling whiteness by cultivating teacher education environments that support the well-being of Black preservice teachers of all genders and gender performances are explored.
Esther O. Ohito, Ed.D. is a curriculum and cultural theorist and an educational researcher with a focus on English/literacy education and expertise in (Black) feminist qualitative approaches. Broadly, her lines of inquiry concern the entangled politics of Blackness, gender, race, and knowledge production at the nexus of curriculum, pedagogy, embodiment, and emotion. Dr. Ohito’s research agenda is split into three overlapping strands: 1) the poetics and aesthetics of Black knowledge and cultural production, 2) the gendered geographies of Black girlhoods, and 3) the gendered pedagogies of Black critical educators. Dr. Ohito’s interdisciplinary research is as inspired by Black intellectual traditions as by (memories of) her lived experiences, including herstories as a multilingual, transnational, first-generation Black/African/Kenyan immigrant student in the United States, a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system, and a U.S-based teacher/educator in various educational spaces across the African diaspora.