Arts educators have adopted social justice themes as part of a larger vision of transforming society. Social justice arts education confronts oppression and inequality arising from factors related to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, class, ability, gender, and sexuality.
This edition of Common Threads investigates the intersection of social justice work with education in the visual arts, music, theatre, dance, and literature. Weaving together resources from a range of University of Illinois Press journals, the editors offer articles on the scholarly inquiry, theory, and practice of social justice arts education. Selections from the past three decades reflect the synergy of the diverse scholars, educators, and artists actively engaged in such projects. Together, the contributors bring awareness to the importance of critically reflective and inclusive pedagogy in arts educational contexts. They also provide pedagogical theory and practical tools for building a social justice orientation through the arts.
Contributors: Joni Boyd Acuff, Seema Bahl, Elizabeth Delacruz, Elizabeth Garber, Elizabeth Gould, Kirstin Hotelling, Tuulikki Laes, Monica Prendergast, Elizabeth Saccá, Alexandra Schulteis, Amritjit Singh, and Stephanie Springgay
In 1981, Chicana feminist intellectuals Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa published what would become a touchstone work for generations of feminist women of color—the seminal This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. To celebrate and honor this important work, editors gloria j. wilson, Joni B. Acuff, and Amelia M. Kraehe offer new generations A Love Letter to This Bridge Called My Back.
In A Love Letter, creators illuminate, question, and respond to current politics, progressive struggles, transformations, acts of resistance, and solidarity, while also offering readers a space for renewal and healing. The central theme of the original Bridge is honored, exposing the lived realities of women of color at the intersections of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality, advancing those early conversations on what it means to be Third World feminist conscious.
A Love Letter recognizes the challenges faced by women of color in a twenty-first-century world of climate and economic crises, increasing gun violence, and ever-changing social media constructs for women of color. It also retains the clarion call Bridge set in motion, as Moraga wrote: “A theory in the flesh means one where the physical realities of our lives—our skin color, the land or concrete we grew up on, our sexual longing—all fuse to create a politic born of necessity.”