You’re invited to an interactive workshop I’ll be facilitating on Monday, February 12th at 12:00-1:30pm ET titled “How Mentors Can Support Writers and Counter Epistemic Injustice.” The workshop is free and open to the public.
This workshop is sponsored by the Ball State University Graduate School and the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and is part of the Building Mentoring Capacities Workshop Series. Thanks especially to Dr. Robin Phelps-Ward, Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Professor of Higher Education, for this invitation to present.
This workshop draws on and extends my previous academic articles, including:
- “The Trauma of Graduate Education: Graduate Writers Countering Epistemic Injustice and Reclaiming Epistemic Rights”
- “Writing Up: How Assertions of Epistemic Rights Counter Epistemic Injustice”
- “Asserting the Right to Belong: Feminist Co-Mentoring Among Graduate Student Women”
About the Workshop:
Academic writing is not only a central site of our academic work but also a central site for navigating everyday microaggressions. Many academic writers (undergraduate and graduate students and faculty and staff alike) experience epistemic injustice, or harm to our capacity as knowers. In this interactive workshop, we’ll address which conditions and practices undermine and, in contrast, which support writers. We’ll consider our various relationships with writing and what derails us as writers. In the process, we’ll describe why writers need an ecology of readers and mentors—all with the goal of striving toward epistemic justice.
About the Facilitator:
Beth Godbee, Ph.D. is a public educator and writer with deep commitments to social, racial, and environmental justice. Beth brings years of experience as a writer, writing coach, and writing teacher (previously tenured professor in composition, rhetoric, and literacy studies). Beth has worked in writing centers, community literacy programs, and writing across the curriculum programs for more than two decades. Beth’s research addresses matters of power, agency, and rights and advocates for feminist co-mentoring. Through Heart-Head-Hands: Everyday Living for Justice, Beth facilitates writing groups, retreats, workshops, and programs, including Career Discernment for Academics and Pathways Through Burnout.
What to Expect During the Workshop:
This workshop will be an interactive working session, so come ready to write, reflect on your experiences, and share to the extent that you are comfortable.
We’ll be a small group, so plan to have video and audio on, as you’re able. At the same time, it’s important to honor what your body wants/needs, so know that it’s no problem to step away from the screen as the need arises.
There’s no expectation to prepare before we meet, but if you’d like to take a few minutes, you might journal about your experiences with academic writing.
- Which moments or projects stand out as particularly memorable?
- What roles did people play in those writing memories?
- When did you feel well supported?
- When did you feel let down, undermined, or bruised?
- What do you wish that mentors might have said or done to support you as a writer?
- What hopes or desires or longings do you have for writers you are now involved in mentoring?
Plan to have on hand some pens, paper, and even some markers or highlighters.
Please reach out with any questions, requests, or accessibility considerations ahead of time. You can reach Beth here.
I offer this workshop with deep gratitude for so many people who continue to teach me what it means to support writers in countering epistemic injustice. To name a few, thank you to Rasha Diab, Candace Epps-Robertson, Chloe de los Reyes, and participants in writing groups and retreats. Across critical feminist scholarship, Black feminists and feminists and womanists of color especially continue to highlight, explain, and strive against epistemic injustice.
And to understand epistemic injustice more deeply, I recommend Dr. E (Elaine Richardson)’s PHD to PhD: How Education Saved My Life, especially the chapter “The Cleveland State University Years,” where Dr. E says of school English: “It looks you in the face and tells you, you don’t even know what you know” (200). Through sharing her story, Dr. E relates how systemic injustice—including epistemic injustice and linguistic prejudice and racism—become everyday and intimate. Striving toward epistemic justice, therefore, necessitates the rights to experience, express, name, narrate, and know.
- Tuesday 2/27: Next One-Day Writing Retreat
- New Article: “Is This Burnout? You Aren’t Alone in Asking the Question” co-authored with Candace Epps-Robertson in EON, Editorial Online News
- Related Blog Posts: “Countering Imposter Syndrome: Workshop Handouts and Resources” and “Naming Trauma as Trauma”