Christopher D. Berk, Assistant Professor (Schar School of Policy and Government), "Legal Socialization and Resistance in a Boarding School for ‘At-Risk’ Youth"
I’ll use my time as a CHR residential fellow to draft a book manuscript on youth politics and legal socialization. The focus of the book will be a foundational component of the Center's annual theme of democracy, disposability, and repair: how children encounter the law through experiences with authority in the family, school, and the juvenile justice system. One of my core aims is to show how those encounters might support thoughtful civic engagement by young people, instead of dejection, withdrawal, or alienation.
Jennifer Leeman, Professor (Modern and Classical Languages), "Bilingual education in DC’s gentrifying neighborhoods: The interplay of language ideologies, urban policy and dispossession"
Whereas Spanish/English bilingual education programs implemented in the 1960s were designed primarily for Latinx children, since the 1980s dual language immersion (DLI) programs, which are designed to promote bilingualism among English-speakers as well as Spanish-speakers, have become the dominant model. Along with a shift in educational policy there has been a shift in discourses surrounding bilingual education and bilingualism; whereas the motivation for early programs was framed primarily as a question of equity and inclusion, current discourses promoting DLI often extol the economic value of bilingualism. In recent years, the metaphor of “gentrification” has been used to critique these shifts, the prioritizing of affluent White English-speaking children within DLI programs, and the dispossession of educational resources and opportunities from children of color (especially Latinx and Black children). In this project, my collaborators Dr. Galey Modan (Ohio State University) and Dr. Lou Thomas (Rowan University) go beyond the use of gentrification as a metaphor by investigating educational policies and discourses at a DLI school in Washington DC and their connection to the political economic processes and policies that have led to the displacement of racialized and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups from the surrounding neighborhood and city. Specifically, we analyze the interplay of educational policies (such as school boundaries and accountability measures); discourses about the social, economic and academic value of Spanish, multilingualism and ethnoracial diversity; housing policies and real estate prices; and neighborhood demographics in order to understand how DLI programs fit into the larger economic, political and cultural landscape of gentrification in DC.
In this project, I aim to explore the role of public education in the maelstrom of financial capitalism and the crisis of health. Sparked by the political intensity of the 2018 statewide teachers’ strike in West Virginia and my historical interest in the legacies of the labor movement in this noted hotbed of labor militancy in the United States, my dissertation research examines the occupational field of education, emerging from the shadows of the monocultural focus on coal, to the center of the debate revolving around a more democratic reorientation of society. In particular, through insights gleaned from interviews with local educators I hope to better understand the philosophical and cultural bearings on public education in the Mountain State. Over the course of my fellowship, I aim to further explore the experiences among West Virginia educators with austerity, the decimation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the chances for repair offered by a fresh groundswell of the historical conflict between labor and capital.
My project investigates the ways in which the French built environment between the Enlightenment and early twentieth century accommodated, and at times failed to accommodate, the disabled subject. During my CHR fellowship, I will focus specifically on efforts to rehabilitate disabled veterans during and after the First World War. The scale of this conflict necessitated a shift from disposing to repairing and even recycling human bodies, and the French government focused on the re-education, training, and reintegration of disabled veterans through labor – at times against their wishes. I will be analyzing the spatial and material dimensions of some of the earliest rehabilitation and professional reeducation centers, situating these institutional developments against early 20th-century veteran activism and charged debates about the nation’s responsibilities to those injured in war.
My research seeks to provide a sociological examination of the relationships between suburban housing development, urbanization, and land-use intensification within the United States. Coming to understand the economic, political, and socio-environmental drivers that influence land-use intensification—as this project seeks to do with regard to suburban housing development and urbanization—is paramount to the discipline of sociology, an interdisciplinary body of scholarship, and a transdisciplinary body of researchers and communities that aim for the equitable co-production of sustainable land systems. It should be noted that features of suburban housing development and relative population growth within rural, suburban, and urban regions of the U.S. are not entirely unique phenomena to this nation-state alone; that is, as suburban housing development has no signs of slowing down globally, this project seeks to problematize claims from seemingly disparate bodies of scholarship that maintains there exists a useful application of what is known as the “town-country” divide into socio-environmental dimensions of land-use and land-use intensification. While this project intends to employ an inductive approach to provide something resembling an answer to the questions it raises, forms of disposability and perceptions of repair are exceedingly present with regard to this particular topic of suburbanization as a site of land-use intensification. There are lasting vestiges of the historical, and blatant reminders of the contemporary, claims-making processes—as well as forms of spectacle—that have overwhelmingly relied upon discursive arrangements and formations that have attempted to minimize understanding about the rates of extraction, the fractionalized handlings of “true” ecological costs, and to displace commonly held feelings of precarity that undergird this particular type of social and housing arrangement.
Andrew Wingfield, Associate Professor (School of Integrative Studies), "River of Resistance: Fighting for Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice in the Peruvian Amazon."
River of Resistance is a book of literary nonfiction that I am coauthoring with my School of Integrative Studies colleague Dr. Michael Gilmore. The book, which is under contract with University of Georgia Press, focuses on the Maijuna Indigenous group in the Peruvian Amazon, exploring the deep connections between Maijuna culture and Maijuna ancestral lands. Since Europeans first arrived in their region, the Maijuna and their lands have routinely been treated as disposable by outside actors pursuing various self-interested agendas. But diligent Maijuna efforts at building political agency over the past two decades represent a bright spot in the mostly gloomy post-contact history of Indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon. The book pays close attention to the current Maijuna fight for land rights and environmental justice as they work to block a government-planned highway that would run through the heart of their ancestral lands, violating Maijuna sovereignty and posing an existential threat to the intact rainforest landscape that sustains the Maijuna physically and culturally.