Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy

Abolitionist Pedagogy Reading Series


The Abolitionist Pedagogy Reading Series is intended foster and further the foundational and liberative pedagogical work and teachings of bell hooks (1952-2021) and Paulo Freire (1921-1997). This series is reflective of hooks’ and Freire’s commitment to a liberatory education imbued with the wisdom and experience of everyone involved in the educational endeavor, particularly those on the margins who are often left out of and erased from academia.

This series will explore selected readings and other scholarly engagements of pedagogy that are, at their core, liberatory, values-based, justice-oriented, abolitionist, freedom-inspired, and anti-oppressive. We will engage with the material and come together during discussion sessions to further explore the pedagogical and abolitionist work and consider how it might be reflected in our own educational practices and lives. 

Join our open Sakai site at this link for more series information, supplemental engagement materials, and for access to free digital copies of the material! For members outside of the lUC community, please email jwright27@luc.edu for access.

See below for more information on our Fall '23 & Spring '24 Series dates, times, schedules, and content!

Abolitionist Pedagogy Reading Series Details

Meeting Structure:

  • When?
    • The AP Reading series will host virtual sessions bimonthly (twice a month) on Thursdays, from 12pm - 1:30pm.
  • How?
  • Who?
    • All Loyola educators (faculty, staff, and graduate students), as well as interested undergraduate students, and educators across the Chicago Community are invited and welcome to participate!
  • How many readings/texts?
    • The Summer & Fall semester series will explore multiple short-form readings and scholarly engagements.
    • During Spring semesters, we will engage with a singular text over the course of the semester
  • Extra info:
    • Discussion sessions are not recorded.
    • Reading and section summaries are provided in written and video format, along with other engagment, author, and concept information, and are located on our open hooks-Freire POJ Sakai site.
    • The Sakai site is open and accessible to all LUC community members. For those outside the LUC community, please contact the host/facilitator, Justin D. Wright for access via email at jwright27@luc.edu

Fall 2023 Schedule - Abolitionist Pedagogy Reading Series


September 21st, 2023: Thursday, 12pm - 1:30pm at this zoom link

Discussion Topic - Ant-Racism & its Co-option in Higher Education

  • A Black Professor Trapped in Anti-Racist Hell by Vincent Lloyd

    • In a recent essay in Compact with the luridly captivating title “A Black Professor Trapped in Anti-Racist Hell,” the Villanova University political theorist Vincent Lloyd describes his disturbing ordeal teaching a class hosted by the Telluride Association, a nonprofit devoted to “transformative education,” in 2022.   

October 5th, 2023: Thursday, 12pm - 1:30pm at this zoom link

Discussion Topic: Banned Book Legislation & its Pedaggical Fallout

  • Between The World & Me by Ta-Nehesi Coates
    • In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

      Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son

    • To read: Chapter 2, pages 74-97


Spring 2023 Schedule - Abolitionist Pedagogy Reading Series

Teaching To Transgress:  Education as the Practice of Freedom is a collection of personalized essays about the state of traditional education in the United States where diversity and culture are concerned. Through a blend of personal anecdotes and provocative essays, bell hooks revolutionizes what it means to teach children of minority backgrounds. This collection of narrative essays touches upon the difficulties of race and the intersectional of culture. It instructs the reader how to approach educating children of different backgrounds, particularly those who are black and Latino. hooks suggests that teachers meet children at their cultural and social level to teach concepts that stick.


Reading & Discussion Schedule:

  • March 2nd: Focusing on Introduction & Ch. 1-3
  • March 22nd: Focusing on Ch. 4-7
  • April 6th: Focusing on Ch. 8-11
  • April 26th: Focusing on Ch. 12-14

Dates & Meeting Times:


Summer 2023 Schedule - Abolitionist Pedagogy Reading Series

June Sessions

June 14th 

June 28th

  •  Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine - 1st Half 
    • The poet Claudia Rankine’s fifth volume, “Citizen: An American Lyric,” is a 2014 book-length poem about race and the imagination. Rankine has called it an attempt to “pull the lyric back into its realities.” Those realities include the acts of everyday racism—remarks, glances, implied judgments—that flourish in an environment where more explicit acts of discrimination have been outlawed. In her critique of racism and visibility, Rankine details the quotidian microaggressions African-Americans face, discusses controversial incidents such as backlashes against tennis player Serena Williams, and inquires about the ramifications of the shootings of Trayvon Martin and James Craig Anderson. She intersperses her writing with images of various paintings, drawings, sculptures, and other digital media to "render visible the black experience".

      The book ranked as a New York Times Bestseller in 2015 and won several awards, including the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry, and the 2015 Forward Prize for Poetry Best Collection.

    • Parts I - V, (physical copy, pg. 1 - 80), (pdf copy, pg. 1 - 65)
    • Pdf copy can be found at open Sakai Site here!
  • "An Ordinary Morning" by Joy Harjo - Poem
  • 12:00pm - 1:30pm, via this zoom link

July Sessions

  • July 12th
  • July 26th
    • Inciting Joy: Essays by Ross Gay - Selected Chapters
      • In these gorgeously written and timely pieces, prize-winning poet and author Ross Gay considers the joy we incite when we care for each other, especially during life's inevitable hardships. Throughout Inciting Joy, he explores how we can practice recognizing that connection, and also, crucially, how we expand it.
      • Pdf copy can be found at open Sakai Site here!
      • 12:00pm - 1:30pm, via this zoom link
    • Random Acts of Flyness: Nuncaland (Season 1 Episode 2 Clip)
      • ​Random Acts of Flyness is a late-night half-hour series from artist and filmmaker Terence Nance that explores topical and complex issues of race, gender, and sexuality, flipping them on their heads to illuminate new and distinctive perspectives. A fluid, stream-of-conscious look at the zeitgeist, each episode features a handful of short vignettes, showcasing an ensemble cast of emerging and established talent. Intermixing live-action shorts with animation, stop-motion and music, the six Season 1 episodes weave together a number of themes, including family, history, death, tech, relationships and more, creating an experience that is thought-provoking, visually unique, and subversively funny.
      • Find the YouTube video link here!