by Cate Denial, Knox College
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Kindness not only has a place in higher education, but is vital to pedagogical practice, and to our well-being. The events unfolding in the world around us demand a response—our students are traumatized, navigating college in a global pandemic, responding to the continuous brutalization of BIPOC bodies and minds by a white supremacist culture, looking for safety from a world that treats their gender and sexual identities as mere whims.
We too—the faculty and staff that collaborate with those students—experience stress, fear, and trauma. A compassion that is self-reflective, accountable, generous, and just is badly needed in higher education if we are to create space in which genuine learning can take place.
This institute offers examples of what a pedagogy of kindness looks like in action, and the risks, creativity, imagination, and trust it demands. It will also provide a road map for the ways that radical kindness can transform the classroom for everyone involved in collaborating in that space.
Cate Denial is the Bright Distinguished Professor of American History, Chair of the History department, and Director of the Bright Institute at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. A 2018-2021 Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, Cate is the winner of the American Historical Association’s 2018 Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching award, and a former member of the Digital Public Library of America‘s Educational Advisory Board. Cate currently sits on the boards of the Western Historical Quarterly and Commonplace: A Journal of Early American Life. Cate is at work on a new book, A Pedagogy of Kindness, under contract with West Virginia University Press. Her historical research has examined the early nineteenth-century experience of pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing in Upper Midwestern Ojibwe and missionary cultures, research that grew from Cate’s previous book, Making Marriage: Husbands, Wives, and the American State in Dakota and Ojibwe Country (2013). In summer 2018, Cate was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, PA.
Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning
The Institute is open to NIU faculty, instructors, and SPS and Civil Service staff. Please register by the deadline so that we can ensure you have access to the technology used for the virtual Institute.
Registration Deadline: Monday, January 10, 2022. Please register online.
After you register, if you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration by Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at citl.niu.edu/myprograms.
Questions? View answers to commonly asked questions below.
You will need a computer with speakers or headphones for the live sessions, or a smartphone (Android or iOS). You will need a webcam or microphone to share your audio or video with other participants, but this is not required. There is a text chat for discussion if you do not have a microphone built in to your computer or headphones. You will also need a reliable Internet connection.
The institute will take place via Zoom, so it would be helpful to have Zoom installed on your computer prior to the institute.