Lipshutz Lecture Series: Sandy Grande


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Thursday, February 28, 2019


5:00 pm


Sanders Classroom 212-Spitzer Auditorium

The Education Department presents the biennial Elaine Lipschutz lecture featuring Professor Sandy Grande, Professor of Education at Connecticut College and Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity. As a teacher and scholar, Grande centers her work in the belief that education is the heart of a critical democracy. She asserts that questions about education cannot be reduced to disciplinary parameters, but must include issues of power, history, self-identity and the possibility of collective agency and revolutionary struggle. Moreover, in her work with Indigenous schools and communities, Professor Grande draws connections between the political project of forming a new critical democracy and the Indigenous struggle for self-determination and tribal sovereignty. Her current research examines the intersections between critical theory and American Indian Intellectualism. Her approach is profoundly inter- and cross-disciplinary, and has included the integration of critical Indigenous and Marxist theories of education.

In this lecture, Professor Grande names liberal forms of multiculturalism as a complicit discourse and theory in the erasure of Indigenous peoples. For example, it troubles the false narrative of the United States as a “nation of immigrants,” offered up so frequently as a corrective to the current administration’s divisive rhetoric and policies. The talk underscores the important role of educators in interrupting the settler logics that pervade liberal educational spaces. Drawing from concrete and lived examples, she presents critical inquiry as one viable approach for supporting students’ understanding of the connections between place, power, and knowledge production.


Elaine Lipschutz was instrumental in the study that led in to the creation of Vassar's Department of Education in 1972. Vassar’s biennial lecture established in her name focuses on a timely topic in education, and previous speakers have included Betty Reardon (2009), Neal H. Shultz (2007), William Ayers (2005), and Carl A. Grant (2003). Lipschutz joined the Vassar faculty part-time in 1966 under the auspices of the 5 College Project, an innovative program to develop a model for teacher education in small liberal arts colleges. At the time, Lipschutz was a teacher in the nearby Arlington public school district. In 1979 she retired from the Arlington district and went on to teach full-time at Vassar until 1992.

Sponsored by the Education Department along with the Dean of the Faculty, American Studies, International Studies, Latin American and Latino/a Studies, Sociology and the Political Science Department.

Lindsay Dalpiaz

Education Department