This semester, I’m team-teaching a first-year seminar called Colonialism, Power, and Resistance. These were my first-day-of-class thoughts:
As we start a new semester (and for you, a new school and new phase of your lives), I hope our time together is mutually beneficial and instructive.
I hope that we leave this course feeling that we have a greater understanding of how colonialism structures the lives of colonizers and colonized alike as well as how the dynamics of colonialism are constantly re-negotiated even as they feel permanent and static.
I hope we leave this course stronger, clearer writers, thinkers, and speakers with more compassion for others and for ourselves.
I hope we finish this course equipped with a sharper vision of where we fit in the world and a more developed sense of how to begin to effect the social changes we want to see.
I hope we leave this course with more courage to speak out against the ways that colonialism continues to negatively impact the lives of Indigenous people.
I hope we leave more attuned to and ready to support acts of ongoing resistance in the face of oppression.
I hope we are challenged and exhilarated by our class conversations and readings, all the while feeling safe and encouraged to wrestle with complex, disquieting concepts.
Despite the often discouraging history we’ll learn about in our course, I hope we all leave this semester feeling empowered and excited to engage the world around us with positivity and hope.
Lastly, I hope we leave feeling inspired, confident, and equipped with the tools we need to be successful in our lives, whatever that means to each of us.
Happy first day of classes, everyone!