Tuesday, July 20, 2021

TOPIC 2: Listening to Our Many Pasts: The History and Myths of Modern Poverty

Workshop Leaders on Tuesday, July 20

Jamie Warren & Sangeeta Bishop

Tuesday, July 20 — 9am – 2pm

9:0010:00Screening and discussion of the 1964 testimony of Fanny Lou Hammer
10:1512:30Small group discussions of Topic 2 readings and talks
12:301:00Lunch break
1:002:00Pedagogy workshop


Our focus this Friday will be to grapple with and unpack commonly held myths about the historical roots of modern poverty. What are the decisive historical forces that have shaped American poverty today? SenGupta, Westbrook, and Katznelson will bring their expertise to this question. With Westbrook we will focus on one of DuBois’s central texts. DuBois offers a rich example of a scholar who purposefully wove his training as a social scientist with his commitment to creative and expressive prose. On Tuesday we will continue to think about the topic together, through a screening of Fanny Lou Hammer’s testimony and through discussion. Institute co-directors Warren and Bishop will lead a pedagogy workshop where we explore the use of poverty-related historical documents in our classes.

Key Questions

  • How do slavery and colonialism relate to poverty?
  • What are the central myths about history and slavery and its relation to modern poverty?
  • How can we connect history to our students’ current experiences of obligation to help their family, friends, and neighbors?
  • How can we as educators allow the impoverished voices of the past to “speak” in our classrooms?
  • How do artistic and literary constructions of home, place, and displacement resonate with these histories?

Topic 2 –  Required Readings and Resources

Required readings will be available on our website and @ the “Required Readings Folder.”


Topic 2 – Additional Readings and Resources Folder

Click the above link to go to the Institute Folder for Additional Readings and navigate to Topic 2 for an evolving list of readings and resources.




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