Schools are historically one of the most efficient stratifying machines in U.S. society, according to Dr. Leigh Patel, an interdisciplinary researcher, educator, writer, and associate professor of education at Boston College. Patel will explore the ways that social categories such as race, gender, sexual identity are created and perpetuated in schools.
Her talk, “Intersectionality in Education: Are We Ready?” is the Elaine Lipschutz Biennial Lecture in Education. She’ll speak on Monday, September 26, 5:30pm, in the Students’ Building, second floor. This event is free and open to the public.
“Smart, normal, deviant—these divisions start early in society and are replete in schooling,” says Patel. “In this talk, I will provide historical and contemporary examples to show how these purposes are inadvertently carried out in schools. I will address both the obstacles and opportunities for education to veer from categorizing people to enlivening learning as a tool for liberation.”
Patel works extensively with societally marginalized youth and teacher activists. She has previously worked as a journalist, a teacher, and a state-level policymaker. Across all of these experiences, her focus has been on the ways in which education structures opportunities in society and the stories that are told about those opportunities.
This event is sponsored by the Education Department with co-sponsorship from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, Sociology Department, and the Programs in American Studies, Urban Studies, and Women's Studies.
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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.