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[Xmca-l] Re: Identity through "experiential texts": Summary of off-line responses

In addition to the online suggestions and conversations, I received 4 off-line responses to my request for "experiential texts" that perturb notions of identity. Here is a summary of the off-line responses. 

This has been a wonderful shower of resources for me, greatly enriching the work I will do with our preservice teachers. 
My thanks to all.


1. Anna Stetsenko was kind enough to send me an article and link me to her work on identity as informed by Vygotsky, Freire and Bakhtin.

Vianna, E., & Stetsenko, A. (2011). Connecting learning and identity development through a transformative activist stance: Application in adolescent development in a child welfare program. Human Development, 54, 313-338.

This paper is based on a series of works on self/identity that can be found on my www.academia page or I could send some of them if you are interested. Some of these themes from these works have been taken up for example in Ian Burkitt, The social selves: Theories of Self and Society.

2. Christina Berchini kindly sent me three of her publications and links to further works that address race / identity / experience in some way. Christina is not part of XMCA, but was forwarded my request by Peter Smagorinsky -- thanks, Peter.

I have attached a recent IJQS piece, in which I address teacher identity development. 
Berchini, C. (2016). Structuring contexts: Pathways toward un-obstructing race-consciousness. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Special Issue, 29(8), 1030-1044.

I have also attached my English Education piece, which is a personal reflection wherein I address tensions/contradictions in my own practices and attempts to employ a critical pedagogy in my teacher education classroom.
Berchini, C. (2014). Learning to teach and critical Pedagogy: Struggling with a "Do as I say/ Not as I do" practice. English Education, 46(3), 247-267. 

I also have a chapter in a book titled What Does It Mean to Be White in America? Breaking the White Code of Silence, A Collection of Personal Narratives. In this chapter, I address my personal experiences with learning to understand my own racial identity development. (The other essays in this volume might also be of interest to you, given that it provides a series of "experiential texts" and can be bought on createspace for $12 with this coupon code: GFGPQJ7S (case sensitive). 

Berchini, C. (2016). How to be white: A primer. In G. David & S.F. Forbes (Eds.), What does it mean to be white in America? (pp. 45-58). New York, NY: 2Leaf Press.

I also wonder whether some of my published creative work might be useful for you:
[1]Berchini, C. (2016). "School is what you make of it," and other lies my parents told me. Empty Sink Publishing. Issue 17. http://emptysinkpublishing.com/reality/4891-2/
[2]Berchini, C. (2015, April 28). Why are all the teachers white? Education Week Teacher. http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2015/04/28/why-are-all-the-teachers-white.html

3. Richard Beach was kind enough to send a bibliography as well as a link to an amazing Wiki (http://identities.pbworks.com/w/page/64216419/FrontPage) that he developed in conjunction with his textbook, Identity-Focused ELA Teaching: A Curriculum Framework for Diverse Learners and Contexts, by Richard Beach, Anthony Johnston, and Amanda Haertling-Thein, published by Routledge Press in March, 2015 in print and Kindle/Nook editions. 

One key focus is how students own identities constituted through different discourses (Gee) and peer-group/community allegiances shape their responses to texts, for example, discourses of race, class, or gender/sexuality (see attached bibliography).

4. Ellen Scully-Russ, sent me an exercise "I use in my adult learning class to help students to explore identity and identify formation:"

Who am I? (Ask yourself this question at least 20 times and write down your answer each time you ask the question.)

Debrief/reflective questions 
*       Is there particular hierarchy or order to my identities?   
*       How are my identities aligned?
*       How do my identities contradict? 
*       How do each of my identities influence my assumptions about learning: what it is, how it occurs?
*       How did I develop my identity(s)?
*       What resources have I used to develop my identity (ies), and how have I acquired these resources?
*       How do my identities change?
*       What is my sense of self? 

Again, a great thanks to all who replied.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of David H Kirshner
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2016 11:21 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Identity through "experiential texts": Poems and Works of Art??

My thanks for the many great suggestions of movies and academic works!

I would also welcome suggestions of poems and works of graphic art that seem to you to problematize the notion of identity. 

You're welcome to send suggestions off-line, and I'll compile and share with XMCA.


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of David H Kirshner
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:05 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity (xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu)
Subject: [Xmca-l] Identity through "experiential texts"

I'm preparing to teach a capstone graduate course for teachers-to-be that includes a focus on identity.
The major assignment is a Personal Literacy Portfolio in which students compile, organize, and discuss artifacts of their past in exploration of their identity. The rationale is that this self-awareness of positioning facilitates engagement with students of diverse cultural locations.

I'm asking for suggestions of course resources.
Rather than a single course reader, I'm looking for "experiential texts"-that is creative products in any medium that can help perturb essentialist ideas of core identity in favor of a more complex, poststructural view of identity as multiple and fragmented. Media can include academic writing in psychology, sociology, philosophy; short stories; poetry; film; works of art, etc.

If you'd like to email me off-line (dkirsh@lsu.edu<mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>), I'll send a compilation of all suggestions to XMCA.

Below is a list of some experiential texts I'm already considering.


Walkerdine, V. (1990). Chapter 1: Sex, power and pedagogy. In V. Walkerdine (Ed.), Schoolgirl fictions(pp. 3-15). London: Verso. Reprinted from Screen Education, 38, 14-24, 1981.

PBS Video: http://www.pbs.org/program/nine-months-that-made-you/
9 Months That Made You   -  How a person's individuality is developed, including their sexuality

Documentary on the life of a child kept without language for 13 years.

Movie: Enemy  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enemy_(2013_film)
The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as two men who are physically identical, but different in terms of personality.

Gee, J. P. (2001). Identity as an analytic lens for research in education. In W. G. Secada (Ed.), Review of Research in Education, 25 (pp. 3-56). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association. [identity = kind of person one is recognized as being]

Stremmel, A., Burns, J., Nganga, C., & Bertolini, K. (2015). Countering the essentialized discourse of teacher education. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 36(2), 156-174. [discussed in http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=20275]