Best Practices in Teaching about Racism and Colonialism: Pedagogies for Pursuing Racial Justice and Decolonization

Conference Highlights, Panels and Plenary, Professional Development

This session examines best practices in teaching about racism and colonialism, primarily in a Canadian post-secondary context. How can universities become both sites of deep learning and critical reflection and sites for advancing racial justice and decolonization? Leading instructors in the field will discuss what they have learned about effective approaches to designing reading lists and assignments, creating inclusive and equitable classroom environments, incorporating Indigenous knowledges and perspectives, and facilitating meaningful discussions around such topics as whiteness, blackness, xenophobia, settler colonialism, antiracism, Indigenous resurgence, and reconciliation. Questions concerning academic freedom, instructor/student power dynamics, the management of conflicts and emotions, and the particular challenges facing Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) faculty and students in such courses also may be addressed.

This session is sponsored by the Canadian Sociological Association Equity Subcommittee and Decolonization Subcommittee.

Chair: Jeff Denis, McMaster University


Alana Butler, Queen’s University
Eloy Rivas Sanchez, Carleton University
Vanessa Watts, McMaster University
Jennifer Davis, Queen’s University

Tags: Indigenous Studies, Race and Ethnicity, Teaching Sociology

Organizers: Irene Shankar, Mount Royal University, Jeffrey Denis, McMaster University, Robert Henry, University of Saskatchewan, Gülden Özcan, University of Lethbridge, Kristin Lozanski, King's University College, Western University