COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester



A talk by Frankie Condon for Middlebury College; 6 October, 2020

The title of this talk is taken from the closing lines of Zora Neale Hurston’s magnificent work, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Alone at the end of the novel, Janie’s memory trails her like a shadow into the quiet darkness of her room. There, Hurston writes, “[s]he pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.” In this talk, Condon explores the significance of such moments in the lives of teachers – those moments when, in the still and silent slivers of our lives we might call ourselves to “see” those inherited white and whitely orientations and perspectives that both shadow us as we move through our teaching lives and shape for us the teaching spaces in which we make those lives. This talk is about the significance of critical self-reflection to actionable anti-racist commitments in the design and development of anti-racist pedagogies across a variety of disciplines. Participants should expect both an exploration of critical race theory as it pertains to teaching and examples of what that theory might look like in action in the university classroom.


Frankie Condon is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. Her books include I Hope I Join the Band: Narrative, Affiliation, and Antiracist Rhetoric; Performing Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing and Communication, co-edited with Vershawn Ashanti Young; and The Everyday Writing Center: A Community of Practice, co-authored with Michele Eodice, Elizabeth Boquet, Anne Ellen Geller and Margaret Carroll. Frankie’s forthcoming book Counterstories from the Writing Center was co-edited with Wonderful Faison. In addition to her writing and teaching through the University of Waterloo, Frankie is a member of the APTLY OUTSPOKEN! Collective, a group of academics and activists committed to speaking and writing against anti-Black racism, settler colonialism, and, indeed, all forms of racism in the USA and Canada. Frankie has been the recipient of the Federation of Students Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award (Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance) and the Outstanding Performance Award (for excellence in teaching and scholarship) from the University of Waterloo.