Transformative Learning in the Humanities

Transformative Learning in the Humanities (TLH) is a three-year initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This OpenEd CUNY group has been created as a repository for sample lessons, assignments, syllabi, and other OER materials that TLH faculty and students want to share with others. TLH supports public talks, symposia, and workshops as well as a series of intensive peer-to-peer faculty seminars for CUNY faculty at all ranks (including adjuncts) in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences. The program focuses on equitable, creative, student-centered pedagogical research and methods designed for the rich diversity of CUNY students; greater recognition for the importance of teaching; and the role of an urgent and indispensable humanities for the future of CUNY students and a more just and equitable society.
11 Members | 24 Affiliated resources

All resources in Transformative Learning in the Humanities

Your Day In Stripes - An Art Class Lesson Plan by Prof. Noëlle King

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This is a lesson plan for an art class that could be conducted in person or online, developed by Prof. Noëlle King. Noëlle King is a visual artist with an active practice. Her choice of media includes painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, mixed media, collaborative art projects, and textiles. She has exhibited internationally in numerous galleries and museums. Currently she teaches at Bronx Community College. She was graduated from SVA with a MFA in Art Practice, a Drawing and Painting Certificate from RISD, a M.A. from Columbia University, and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. She lives and works in New York City. 

Material Type: Lesson

Author: Christina Katopodis

A Syllabus Planner for Students by Marta Cabral and Niyati Mehta

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This Prof-Proof-Planner is designed by Professors Marta Cabral (College of Staten Island) and Niyati Mehta (Queensborough Community College) to help students navigate syllabi, regardless of how dis/organized, un/clear, or fluid/ strict/ they may be. The goal is for students to take the time to digest the essential information as they take note of it on this planner, jot down due dates, characteristics of each assignment (in terms of effort/ time required, group/individual, etc.), how to contact instructors, characteristics of each course, etc. Throughout the planner there are short reminders that each student is encouraged strive to make meaningful connections between each assignment/ course and their personal and professional interests, and there are places to write down these reflections and notes. We welcome feedback, as we would love to keep adapting this tool to our students’ needs!

Material Type: Student Guide, Syllabus

Author: Christina Katopodis

Teaching Audre Lorde, A Sample Syllabus

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The premise of this series of classes is that the work of poet and essayist Audre Lorde has myriad lessons to teach us not only about current social issues and problems, but also about our individual and collective processes of dealing with them.  The key question becomes: how can we use our feelings to negotiate our way through these issues? How can we use our selves—our experiences, our intuitions and the insights born of our differences--as resources? Lorde was adamant that all of our most difficult emotions and experiences could be *used* for our collective progress toward creating an equal, just and healthy society.  

Material Type: Full Course, Syllabus

Author: Christina Katopodis

AfroLatino History & Culture Syllabus

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The African presence in Latin America has received a disproportionately low level of popular and scholarly attention. By the end of the Atlantic slave trade, an estimated 5.7 million Africans had arrived in Spanish and Portuguese territories as compared to 560,000 in the United States (Klein1999). Additionally, hundreds of thousands of Afro-Caribbean laborers circulated throughout and settled in Latin American countries during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This course syllabus, by Anthropology Prof. Ryan Mann-Hamilton, adopts an interdisciplinary approach in examining processes of identity formation, cultural transformation, and social activism among Afro-Latin@ Americans across national boundaries. 

Material Type: Syllabus

Author: Christina Katopodis

Introduction to Critical Theory Syllabus

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This syllabus for an introductory course on critical theory, designed for students at Lehman College in Spring 2021, incorporates the works of Audre Lorde as a running touchstone throughout the semester. ENG 463/702, “Introduction to Critical Theory x The Audre Lorde Great Read,” was designed to provide students with an understanding of literary theory that could be implemented and practiced right away, enabling them to experience what it means to engage with public-facing humanities during a course-long semester on theory. Half of our sessions are seminar discussions of critical theory readings in the classroom; the other half is host to lectures, performances, and in conjunction with Activism in Academia, Lehman Envision ARC, Transformative Learning in the Humanities, The Center for the Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center, and The Grolier Club. This resource is provided by Olivia Loksing Moy.Olivia Loksing Moy is assistant professor of English at Lehman College, CUNY, where she specializes in nineteenth-century British poetry and poetics. She is the founder and director of The CUNY Rare Book Scholars and, since 2016, has organized the Activism in Academia symposium alongside Dhipinder Walia, Lise Esdaile, and the Center for the Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center. 

Material Type: Full Course, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan, Student Guide, Syllabus, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Christina Katopodis

Three Steps to Claim your Digital Workspace

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Three Steps to Claim your Digital Workspace! is a quick reference guide intended to help students, teachers, and performers to feel empowered to create and claim a Digital Workspace: a vital resource in the coming years. The easy to follow steps can be an excellent guide for you as you work to make space for your creative self in the digital world. Co-created by Beto O’Byrne, Ashley Tata, and Michael Alifanz.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Homework/Assignment, Student Guide

Author: Christina Katopodis

Quiz on AfroLatinx Revolution

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This sample quiz can be used by instructors after students watch Natasha S. Alford’s “Afro-Latinx Revolution: Puerto Rico,” a 30-minute documentary on Afro-Latinx experiences in Puerto Rico: https://youtu.be/8uM83LNZmWs. This resource is provided by Prof. Sonia Alejandra Rodríguez.Sonia Alejandra Rodríguez is an Associate Professor in the English Department at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, where she teaches composition, literature, and creative writing.

Material Type: Assessment

Author: Christina Katopodis

Introduction to Africana Studies Syllabus

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The AFR 140 Module above is a sample lesson plan/course content of the Introduction to Africana Studies syllabus that the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Africana Studies department developed collectively. This sample module showcases the template that each faculty used to co-create the syllabus that is used for this OER course which is required for the AFR minor at our campus. This lesson plan was featured during the TLH-CUNY funded program co-facilitated by Dr. Teresa Booker, Dr. Crystal Endsley, and co-moderated by AFR students Halimah Kihulo and Christine Feliciano on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Material Type: Syllabus

Author: Jessica Murray

Let's Renga!: Creating Community Through Japanese Poetry

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On April 14th, 2021, Queensborough Community College students gathered online with the Creative Writing Club to create a group poem called a renga. Renga, a collaborative poem from Japan, follows a form that allows for each person to add one to two stanzas. The event, "Let's Renga: Creating Community Through Japanese Poetry," was part of the Asian Heritage Month celebration and made possible through the Transformitive Learning in the Humanities grant. Please click to read more about renga and to read our collaborative poem. We hope you enjoy it!

Material Type: Lesson, Reading

Author: Alison Cimino

Sample Assignment: Science Fiction Social Justice Story

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This assignment is inspired by the learnings that arose from the workshop, “Fostering Play in the Classroom - Pedagogies to Build Creativity, Connection and Light to Oppressive Spaces”. Based on group dialogue, feedback, and the desire to build on pedagogies of play in the workshop, this science fiction short story assignment has been created as an additional layer of liberatory, contemplative learning for students that can be used/tweaked to work in a variety of courses. Powerful conversations arose in the workshop surrounding power/oppression, positionality and how this impacts our ability to engage in play, and the importance of holding both/and (i.e. - joy/sadness, pain/pleasure, restriction/liberation). This assignment attempts to deepen these reflections through creativity, storytelling, and removal of limits for dreaming in a world with obstacles. 

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Homework/Assignment, Interactive, Lesson, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Christina Katopodis

Live Performance Essay and Follow-Up Discussion Board Activity

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Since we all miss going to (or even having the option of going to) see concerts and other live performances, for this essay we will re-visit what makes art performed live such a marvelous experience. This assignment was created by Beth Counihan, Queensborough Community College, Department of English

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Homework/Assignment, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Module, Unit of Study

Author: Christina Katopodis

Resources for Students' Health and Wellness

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CUNY Professors Millicent Freeman and Diane Banks led this two-hour workshop intended to raise awareness and discuss the complexities of an urban student's experience, and their narratives of resilience. This resource is the Power Point presentation used at the event. It includes a long list of resources for CUNY students' health and wellness. Millicent Freeman, (she/her) recently retired from the NYC DOHMH, Director of Outreach of Training at the New York City DOHMH Bureau of Sexually Transmitted Infections.  She is an Adjunct Professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, in the Department of Ethnic and Race Studies. She holds a masters’ degree in Health Education and PhD in Counseling.

Material Type: Student Guide, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Christina Katopodis

Podcasts and the Classroom

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by Rebecca Salois, Black and Latino Studies Department at BaruchThis special episode is brought to you by the Transformative Learning in the Humanities Initiative at the City University of New York. As part of this initiative, I was invited to speak on the topic of podcasts and the classroom. This episode is my public contribution to knowledge based on the information I shared in that workshop. 

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Jessica Murray

Flipping the Script

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The "Flipping the Script: Challenging Our Perceptions about Race”  Lesson Plan provides a step by step plan on how to conduct this workshop. Also, the Lesson Plan provides a link to an After Event Toolbox that was designed to allow participants to continue the conversation after the workshop is completed. 

Material Type: Lesson

Author: Christina Katopodis