What is positionality?
We are all positioned in unique and intersecting vantage points. We navigate the world through our embodied experiences of race, gender, sexual desire, (dys)ability, class and other identity markers. Our realities are co-created between the corporeal experiences of these identities and the social power assigned to these categories. Positionality is the location where we stand/the perspective we hold/our social reality inscribed on our bodies and personal/collective histories. Positionality destabilizes the myth of scientific objectivity, or the concept of an objective truth. It imagines a pedagogical practice that is iterative, fluid, flexible and self-reflexive. Positionality is a re-embodiment of identity politics. Engaging our own life histories by tracing how we move through the world, and how we experience and trouble categories of identity, is a point of departure for developing a pedagogy that is self-reflexive, responsive, and subversive of hegemonic social and educational practices.
How do participants use art-making to think about positionality?
This workshop utilizes collage to invite participants to re-present their positionalities in the world. They are asked to use images to curate a personal story about their identity, and major influences in their life and academic trajectories. This activity deploys art making as a means of slowing down, pausing and considering the ways in which our own identities shape the values, expectations and constructs we bring into the classroom. The goal of the workshop is to draw attention inwards as a way of developing teaching practices that are intentional.