Radical + Practical: How the Pandemic Has Fostered Better Teaching Practices

Old Dominion University’s annual Spring Conference on the Teaching of Writing brings together secondary and two-year and four-year post-secondary teachers from the Hampton Roads area and beyond. In this, our 43rd year, we will host a two-day virtual conference on March 17 and 18, 2022, from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. EST each day with the theme “Radical + Practical: How the Pandemic Has Fostered Better Teaching Practices.” 

Over the two days of this conference, we will have featured speakers and workshops on radically inclusive teaching practices and online literacy education as inclusive practice.

Our keynote speaker will be Dr. April Baker-Bell, an award-winning transdisciplinary teacher-researcher-activist and associate professor of language, literacy, and English education in the Department of English and Department of African American and African Studies at Michigan State University. Baker-Bell is an international leader in conversations on Black Language education, and her research interrogates the intersections of Black Language and literacies, anti-Black racism, and antiracist pedagogies.

Her award-winning book, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, brings together theory, research, and practice to dismantle Anti-Black Linguistic Racism (a term Baker-Bell coined) and white linguistic supremacy. Baker-Bell is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including the 2021 Coalition for Community Writing Outstanding Book Award, the 2021 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s New Directions Fellowship, the 2021 Michigan State University’s Community Engagement Scholarship Award and the 2021 Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Creative Activity, the 2020 NCTE George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language, the 2020 Theory Into Practice Article of the Year Award, the 2019 Michigan State University Alumni Award for Innovation & Leadership in Teaching and Learning, and the 2018 AERA Language and Social Processes Early Career Scholar Award.

Dr. Baker-Bell’s keynote address, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, will take place at 10:30 AM EST on Thursday, March 17

In this keynote, Dr. April Baker-Bell will discuss how anti-Black linguistic racism and white linguistic supremacy get normalized in teacher attitudes, curriculum and instruction, pedagogical approaches, disciplinary discourses, and research, and she will discuss the impact these decisions have on Black students’ language education and their linguistic, racial, and intellectual identities. Dr. Baker-Bell will introduce a new way forward through Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy, a pedagogical approach that intentionally and unapologetically places Black Language at the center to critically interrogate white linguistic hegemony and anti-Black linguistic racism. 

Dr. Baker-Bell will also lead a workshop, From Theory to Praxis: Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy + Writing, at 10:30 AM EST on Friday, March 18

In this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to engage in more intimate conversations about Anti-Black Linguistic Racism and how they can implement Antiracist Language Pedagogies in their respective courses. Participants will also have opportunities to ask specific questions about their teaching philosophies of language, language policies, curriculum, practices, syllabi, and writing assignments.