Group Identity (Part Nine)

Removed from many curriculum – as “unreliable”

This ninth installment of my series on education and the focus of group identity is particularly important to me. Only because I feel so strongly about this topic. I am completely opposed to the idea that students can only relate to literature written by authors of the same ethnic background and gender as they are and to literature written about people just like them. And although I used to lecture my students about this topic fifteen to twenty years ago, I am completely shocked at how this idea has become so mainstream today.

So let’s get into it…

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Group Identity (Part Eight)

A book with important lessons for students

I didn’t realize that this commentary would turn into so may individual installments. I am already up to the eighth! But I have definitely been enjoying going through this speech, which I gave at a conference in 2007. It has reminded me of many of the experiences I have gone through in my decades of teaching. 

This installment will continue with a discussion of the curriculum and more specifically what happens in classroom instruction when an institution focuses on group identity. If you want to go back and start from the beginning, you can access the first installment here.

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Group Identity (Part Seven)

One of my favorite books to use in class

This series on education is based on a speech I gave at a conference in 2007. I recently came across it and reading through it, I was surprised at how relevant it is to what is happening in education today. The first six Installments focused primarily on relationships between people on campus (instructors, students, administration) when a college or university is more focused on group identity than on individuals.

This seventh installment focuses on the impact of identity politics on the curriculum.

If you want to go back to the beginning, you can find the FIRST essay here.

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Group Identity (Part Six)

This is the sixth installment in a series of essays on group identity on college campuses that comes from a speech I gave back in 2007. You can find the firstsecondthirdfourth, and fifth here. In this essay, I will continue discussing what happens with a fixation on group identity, problems I saw playing out 15 years ago. And these problems have only increased since then.

This installment begins with how group identity damages relationships between students. The speech is rewritten in the indented sections, and I interrupt periodically with my current comments about what I wrote so long ago. 

Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash
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Group Identity (Part Five)

I don’t seem to have photos of me teaching, but here is a staged photo of me grading papers (while on the phone??) for an article about my writing.

This is the fifth installment of a series of essays on group identity on college campuses that comes from a speech I gave back in 2007. You can find the firstsecondthird, and fourth here. I will continue discussing what happens with a fixation on group identity, problems I saw playing out 15 years ago. And these problems have only increased since then.

This installment continues with the discussion of the detrimental impact group identity has on the relationship between faculty members and students. The speech is rewritten in the indented sections, and I interrupt periodically with my current comments about what I wrote so long ago. 

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Group Identity (Part Four)

Another not-very-good photo of me speaking at a conference!

This is the fourth installment of a series of essays on group identity on college campuses that comes from a speech I gave back in 2007. You can find the firstsecond, and third here. I will continue discussing what happens when the educational system develops a fixation on group identity, problems I saw playing out 15 years ago. And these problems have only increased since then.

The fourth installment begins with how group identity damages relationships between faculty members. The speech is rewritten in the indented sections, and I interrupt periodically with my current comments about what I wrote so long ago. 

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Group Identity (Part Three)

Not the best photo of me, but here I am during a presentation!

This is the third installment of a series of essays about the impact of group identity as practiced on college campuses (You can find Parts One and Two here). It is an expansion of a speech I gave back in 2007. In this installment, I will continue discussing some of the dangers of fixating on group identity, problems I saw playing out 15 years ago. And these problems have only increased since then.

The speech is rewritten in the indented sections, and I interrupt periodically with my current comments about what I wrote so long ago. I begin with some examples of people seeing themselves as part of a group rather than as individuals.

So here goes!

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Group Identity (Part Two)

Movie poster for Absence of Malice, a movie I discuss later in this post.

In the first installment of this series discussing group identity on college campuses, I provided some background information on my history and background of the speech I gave in 2007 on the same topic. 

In Part Two, I provide information on the college where I was tenured at the time. I think that is important to the story because what was happening there seemed pretty extreme fifteen – twenty years ago. Today, such practices are mainstream in academia. But why was this particular 7,000-student college, tucked in the foothills of San Gabriel Mountains, at the forefront of identity politics?

I also introduce the first problem with a focus on group identity: the inability to develop relationships. 

Again, I will rewrite the speech, interrupting periodically with my current comments about what I wrote so long ago.

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The Damage Wrought by Group Identity on College Campuses

Today starts a multi-part series on some of my experiences as a college professor. I found an old presentation I gave in 2007 called “The Damage Wrought by Group Identity on College Campuses.” In this series, I will be breaking down that speech, providing some background information on my points, and updating my thoughts on the topics discussed.

This introduction is the first installment.

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My Grandmother’s Legacy

Helen D’Arcy – my grandma!

In 1994, the Northridge earthquake tore apart the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. And I happened to live less than a mile from the epicenter. I lived with my boyfriend in a 400 square foot… house. Well, it wasn’t exactly a house. It was a small converted, one room clubhouse for a single tennis court on the property. The kitchenette was so small that we had to keep the refrigerator outside. But it was perfect for two people that owned little to nothing.

But the one piece of furniture of note that I did have was a china cabinet given to me by my grandmother.

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