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The Critical Graduate Experience

An Ethics of Higher Education Responsibilities

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Charlotte Achieng-Evensen, Janae Dimick, Ndindi Kitonga, Maryann Krikorian, Kevin Stockbridge and Barry Kanpol

The Critical Graduate Experience is a collection of scholarly reflections on the possibilities of a new vision for critical studies. It is a remarkable book that provides daring analyses from the vantage of the graduate student experience. Drawing from individual knowledge and research, the authors invite you to re-imagine education for justice. Barry Kanpol opens the work with a brilliant meditation on joy and cynicism in university classrooms and educational theory. The book continues to unfold as an open and honest conversation with doctoral students and recent graduates concerning the ethics of higher education. In a true critical approach, each chapter problematizes a new facet of academic assumptions and practices as they touch the lives of students. The authors explore the ethical implications of acknowledging student spirituality and expanding the role of critical education studies. The book concludes with a transparent self-critique on the process and ethics of graduate students writing for publication. This is a wonderful text, guiding students and professors as they enter into dialogue on the ethics of an authentic critical education studies. Classes on practical ethics, educational spirituality, student voice, collaborative publishing, and critical pedagogy could benefit from the insights offered here. Daring to believe that student experience and knowledge have a place in the world of academic publishing, this book is both a prophetic proclamation of and humble invitation to a new future in the field.
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Chapter One: Identity Politics: The Dialectics of Cynicism and Joy and The Movement to Talking Back and Breaking Bread

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CHAPTER ONE

Identity Politics: THE Dialectics OF Cynicism AND Joy AND THE Movement TO Talking Back AND Breaking Bread

BARRY KANPOL

Testimony is a very hard spirit to convey in a written text…it struck me that dialogue was one of the ways where a sense of mutual witness and testimony could be made manifest. I link that sense to regular communion service in the black church at Yale where we would often stand in a collective voice and sing, “Let Us Break Bread Together on Our Knees,” and the lines in the song which say, “When I Fall on My Knees with my Face to the Rising Sun, Oh Lord Have Mercy on Me.” I liked the combination of the notion of community which is about sharing and breaking bread together, of dialogue as well as mercy because mercy speaks to the need we have for compassion, acceptance, understanding and empathy. (hooks & West, 1991, p. 1).

INTRODUCTION

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