Black Listed: What We Will Do on Day #1


Welcome to Day 1

 “Black Listed: African American Writers and the Cold War Politics of Integration, Surveillance, Censorship, and Publication”  English 80300, IDS 81630   S 2018

Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30pm  (Begins Tues, Jan 30, 2018)  ROOM 3207

Prof Cathy N. Davidson, Graduate Center; Prof Shelly Eversley, Baruch College; Assistant Instructor Allison Guess, Futures Initiative Fellow and PhD Student in Earth and Environmental Sciences

A Futures Initiative Course with a Public Component:

Student-Led, Participatory, Engaged, Radical Pedagogy with a Serious Subject-Matter Focus

NB: If you are a member of the public, we invite you to join this Group. As a Group member, you will receive notices about postings to this public class site. You must be a HASTAC network member to join a Group and then you will also be free to contribute and comment to and this Group, so long as you contribute to our community.  HASTAC membership is free and we never mis-use your data. You can leave at any time.

Here’s the url for this Group:




Day 1 (Jan 30, 2018):  6:30-8:30 pm  AGENDA

16 graduate students enrolled


Prior to class the instructors will prepare by doing the following:

–Invite all students to our (class-only) Google Doc where we will keep weekly Agendas.

  • Students will also join this public Group on HASTAC where they will publish recaps of their Group projects and publish their writing.  We need your emails to invite you to these lists.
    • When you sign in to, please include “Student in Black Listed, Spring 2018”
  • Students will also join a private, class-only Group on the Futures Initiative site where they will blog about weekly readings and respond each week to one another’s posts, carrying on a discussion all week about the readings that will enrich and inform our brief (two-hour) class meetings.
  • Purpose:  students will learn, analyze, and critique the affordances of these tools–WordPress and Drupal, private in-class-only communication v. public presentation and publication.   What do we gain from such tools?  What do we lose?
  • Each Group will be responsible for generating readings, topics, pedagogies for two class periods and contributing to the class agendas for that week.  

 –We will all (the entire class) contribute to collaborative note taking during class

 –Instructor Allison Guess will take photo documentation of materials and classes (anyone not wishing to appear in public photos should put red dot on their name card)

–Make physical copies of class syllabus (in case we do not have wifi that day and for students who don’t have wifi at home)

–Make 8 giant Post-Its to hang on the walls, two for each of the four class Groups, indicating the dates for those projects


Supplies to bring:  cardboard for table tents so each student can write full name, name they prefer to be called, pronoun they use, food or environmental allergies to be aware of, anything else.   Healthy snacks.


–Index cards and pencils


AGENDA for Jan 30 class:


–Think/pair/share (TPS)  Introduction method.  

THINK:  One one side of the card, please fill out basic information about yourself for our contact information/data base and so we can register you for the Google Doc and approve permission for the websites. (Allison Guess, our Assistant Instructor, will collect this information and put into our private class data base). 

Index card SIDE A (information)

–Name    Full official name and any nickname and preferred pronounc

–Email address (best way to contact you by email)

–Phone/text (this will be for emergency contact only; if you wish another class member or your group to have it, feel free but we will not distribute this without your expressed permission):

–Information relevant to accessibility, accommodation, participation and comfort in the class, including food or other allergies:

–Program (at the GC or elsewhere if you are a consortium or ePermit student)

–Are you teaching this semester? If so, what campus and what course?


Index Card SIDE B:

Each person writes a brief sentence answering:  “From this semester, I hope to learn ____ about the topic and ____about pedagogy.  I know I will be able to contribute _____.”   90 seconds.   

“Contribution”:  Think about skills that normally are not acknowledge in a class but that can be invaluable–music, photography, computer skills, writing skills, proofreading talents, project management, you are James Baldwin’s grandniece–in other words, anything that might be useful to make this an exciting class.

PAIR:  Exchange cards and introduce yourself  (90 seconds)

SHARE:  Go around the room and introduce your partner to the class, using the card as your guide.  (3 minutes)

–Distribute syllabi and name tents during TPS  (we will keep the latter and put them out each class period: research shows students leave even small classes not knowing one another’s names, let alone all of the intellectual and other resources one’s classmates contribute to the learning experience)

–Cathy, Shelly, and Allison leave the room for 45 minutes. We will take the cards and try to sign you up for the Google Doc and invite you. 

In their absence, students will assemble into Groups to:

–choose their topics from those on the syllabus, choose their date, and begin to decide how and when they will meet, who will be assigned what duties in the Group, and how they will customize readings and viewings to assign to the class. 
–They will also decide on what innovative pedagogical method they will use in our class and the best ways for those methods to be tried out and evaluated in (and by) the undergraduates they are teaching that semester out at the CUNY campuses.  
–If enough students are teaching, we will develop a C-Box tool so that all of the different undergrads across CUNY can communicate with one another and contribute to their own learning and to the graduate students’ professional development, and to the richness of our graduate course experience

Assessment:  We will be working together to design an assessment method suitable to the course, including a feedback system whereby students in a Project Group will assess one another’s contribution and the class as a whole will assess each Project.   The aim is to work on the best ways to give and receive feedback in order to improve one’s own work.   

What else?



Tentative Schedule:  Details to be decided by students in “Black Listed.”
Tuesdays  630-830PM

Jan 30  First day of class.   This is a student-centered, student-designed class that puts equal emphasis on original research and pedagogical innovation.  After carefully reading the syllabus together, students will design the class, select groups, and take responsibility (in the group) for two class sessions that both focus on the topic and use an innovative pedagogical approach to ensure that everyone in the class engages with the topic in a meaningful way.  Students who are teaching this semester are urged to try this approach in their undergraduate classrooms, gain feedback from their students, and report back to the class.
–Distribute hard copy of preliminary syllabus
–Leave room 645-745.  Students self-organize, divide up into groups, choose topics, design work plan.
–Rejoin at 745 and populate the syllabus on

Feb 6  Overview of the “Black Listed” (Prof. Shelly Eversley); Overview of pedagogy and introduction of symposium plans (March 28; Prof. Cathy Davidson)

Feb 13 Group 1  Topic:
Pedagogical innovation:  Those teaching this semester are urged to try the method in their undergraduate class and ask students for feedback on the method.

No class Feb 20 (GC classes follow a Monday Schedule)

Feb 27 Report back on how pedagogical method worked in classes they are teaching (360) and final discussion of the class topic

Mar 6  Group 2  Topic:
Pedagogical innovation:

Mar 13  Report back on how pedagogical method worked in classes they are teaching (360)

Mar 20 Group 3 Topic:
Pedagogical innovation:

Mar 27 Report back on how pedagogical method worked in classes they are teaching (360) [Prof. Eversley will be away]  AND Working Session for Symposium 

Our class is responsible for one break-out session/panel/interactive session at the Futures Initiative Symposium

MAR 28 FUTURES INITIATIVE SYMPOSIUM  “Publics, Politics, and Pedagogy”

No Class  Apr 3  Spring Break

Apr 10   Professor Shelly Eversley presents new work

April 17   Group 4  Topic:
Pedagogical innovation:

April 24 Report back on how pedagogical method worked in classes they are teaching (360)

May 1  Wrap up and reflection and left overs . . . or a field trip . . . 

May 8   Assistant Teacher, Professor Allison Guess presents

May 15   LAST DAY OF CLASS  Big wrap up Tentative Schedule:  Details to be decided by students in “Black Listed.”