Benefiting from Multiple Perspectives

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DANA VIGUE: When I enrolled in this course, I expected it to be a traditional one professor, large population of students sort of dynamic in a seminar style. But what I found was that we had half a dozen different professors or more over the course of the semester. And I've never been in a class in that style before. So it was a new environment for learning.

And I wasn't sure how what we learned in class day to day would be able to carry over in a cohesive way as we switched lecturers, but what I found was that a common thread was woven throughout the course of the semester, and that thread drew from diverse individuals who have expertise in diverse fields of study, and who have used that expertise in diverse ways to work and collaborate with, again, diverse groups of people throughout the world.

And I think that ended up being the central theme of the class, that the black experience, you know, this sort of overused phrase that we might hear just as colloquially is monolithic compared to the diversity of experiences that this class was able to demonstrate to each of us.

ELENA ALBERTI: Bouncing off of that, I think something that was also interesting was not only the multitude of voices in the professors, but the multitude of different voices within the student population. When we were introducing ourselves, I think most of us are different majors, and we also come from different backgrounds and different ethnicities and different sexualities and genders. And I think having such a group discussion with different professors allows you to get a lot of different perspectives, not only from the professorial side, but from the student experience and what you're experiencing here as different individuals.

LORRAINE WONG: Yeah, I really appreciated the different courses of everyone in the class, but also in the professors, so some of our guest lecturers were from women's and gender studies, or CMS, which is comparative media studies, writing, literature, so we had all these different perspectives, like Fox Harrell's Phantasms and the virtual reality project, to Professor Helen Elaine Lee's writing workshops, and when we had to delve deep into what our parents taught us and how we were raised, and all these things.

And I think each of them brought such important facets to the conversation that we could explore within ourselves and within the outer world, and how black matters isn't just anthropology or just history or something, but it's all of these different things, which is why it's so important to the real engagement.

COLIN GODWIN: Yeah, it was like each speaker brought a different view on emancipatory literacy to the class, and just showed us the different ways we could dissect everything we see.

ELENA ALBERTI: Also, I think hearing from the different professors also, as a sophomore, opens me up to taking more classes in different areas. I didn't realize how many actual parts go into this class, because I remember when I was looking through the class list it's like, oh yeah, this counts for CI-H, HASS-A, like everything. And I was like, why? And then you realize, with all the different professors.

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