Teaching and Race

How to Survive, Manage, and Even Encourage Race Talk

by Irene Murphy Lietz (Author)
Textbook XII, 170 Pages

Table Of Content


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

About the book

Teaching and Race: How To Survive, Manage, and Even Encourage Race Talk provides an in-depth interdisciplinary analysis of some common student talk about race, its flavor, character, rhetorical, sociological, psychological and educational development sources, and manageable tools for responding to students. The book recommends an accessible two-step, compassionate listening followed by critical challenges, to make the transformative connection between emotion and evidence. The book helps teachers embrace the moments of difficult conversation, confront student denial (as well as their own), and take advantage of the unique opportunity the classroom provides to advance the students’ antiracist identity development. Teaching and Race narrates common, sometimes offensive, language in four student interviews that are tied to strong feelings of confusion, denial, guilt, resistance and more. The student interviews help college teachers name and analyze loaded racial discussion so that they can thoughtfully address it in the classroom, rather than feel their only choices are explosive confrontation, gloss-overs or redirection. The book empowers teachers to shift potentially confrontational race talk to open-minded race dialogues that ultimately defuse the shock, sting, alarm and confusion of race talk by wellintentioned but unpracticed voices. The book creates a compassionate but informed moment for teachers, preparing them to confidently raise a critical challenge to misinformation at the moment it arises, and providing a beginning response for the teacher.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

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Thank you to the students who volunteered for the study that began as the basis of this book and particularly to the four students who participated in the interviews that anchor this book. Their eagerness to learn and their generosity of spirit in learning with me is all a teacher could ever hope for.


XII, 170
ISBN (Book)
Publication date
2020 (June)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2020. XII, 170 pp.

Biographical notes

Irene Murphy Lietz (Author)

Irene Murphy Lietz holds a B.A. (Marygrove College), M.A. (University of Detroit), and Ph.D. (Union Institute and University). A Professor Emerita of English at Carlow University, Pittsburgh, and long-time teacher of first-year and professional writing, her work focuses on social justice, racism, and gender-based violence.


Title: Teaching and Race