Hello, everyone!

As the subject line says, this edition of the CARPE Newsletter is all about upcoming events and opportunities!


  1. Panel Discussion: Student Voices, Finding the Bright Spots
  2. Registration for Winter Academy is now open
  3. An Invitation to Join a Faculty-Staff Learning Community: Exploring Anti-Racist Initiatives in Higher Education
  4. Post-Election Resources–Tips for teaching at this particularly fraught moment in time.

1) Panel Discussion: Student Voices, Finding the Bright Spots–Wednesday, 4 November, 12:30-1:30 (Virtual)
The idea for this session is very simple. A panel of students will discuss approaches to virtual/blended instruction that have been working for them, then we’ll open the conversation up to hard questions and honest answers. This is an opportunity to take our thinking beyond the stress and pressure of the summer and get a clear sense of how our efforts in the classroom are landing: in the chaos of this crazy fall, what’s actually working?

Interested? Register Here! 

This event is co-sponsored by Academic Technologies and CARPE.

2) Registration for Winter Academy is now open!
Go to go.wlu.edu/winteracademy and spend a few minutes fantasizing about fun ways to spend exam week. At the risk of seeming biased (it is, after all, our newsletter!), we’d like to highlight a few particular events:

Small Contemplative Teaching for Focus, De-Stressing, and Building Community (Tuesday, 17 November, 10:30-12:00. Virtual)
We’re teaching college in some of the most demanding conditions most of us have ever seen. How can we reclaim scattered attention, or help ourselves and our students manage our stress, or nurture classroom relationships when there’s no classroom? This workshop offers an introduction to the field of contemplative pedagogy, an approach that combines contemplative and mindful practices with academic inquiry across all fields that offers ways to turn our problems into occasions for new possibilities. In the spirit of James Lang’s and Flower Darby’s Small Teaching books, this workshop will focus on simple, easily incorporated practices that you can start using right away, whether in chemistry or creative writing.

Dr. Chris Phillips is Professor of English at Lafayette College, where he specializes in early American literature, book history, and spiritual writing. He is the author of The Hymnal: A Reading History (Johns Hopkins, 2018) and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American Renaissance (Cambridge, 2018)

Imagining CBL Possibilities for Your Class (Tuesday, 17 November, 2:15-3:45. Virtual)
Want to try community-based learning (CBL) in your classes but don’t know how to begin? Join CARPE and CBL’s staff as they lead you through brainstorming exercises to imagine ways to enrich your course with CBL opportunities. Participants will leave this workshop with an overview of the basic elements of this pedagogy and knowledge of community partners, types of collaboration, resources for course development, and project examples. Meet faculty like you who are interested in exploring CBL and are interested and willing to think through a variety of options.

This event is co-sponsored by Community Based Learning and CARPE.

The Work Continues: Deconstructing Colonization and Racism in the Classroom (Wednesday, 18 November, 2:15-3:45. Virtual)
Session 2 in the series on Deconstructing Colonization and Racism in the Classroom will focus on exploring our positionality and locating ourselves in oppressive structures with the analysis of current syllabi and classroom practices. Dr. Chanelle Wilson will guide us through her evolving process for decolonization and implementing anti-racist practice. And, together, we will use principles of decolonization, Critical Race Theory, and Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture to analyze our contexts and professional documents as we continue deconstructing to rebuild. The work continues.

NOTE: Though this is the second session in a series, newcomers should not hesitate joining in!

Dr. Chanelle Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Africana Studies, at Bryn Mawr College. With over ten years of experience, and a lifelong commitment to revolutionizing education for justice, Dr. Wilson supports self-introspection for outer transformation and guides with the steady underlying premise of love, joy, and hope.

Co-sponsored by CARPE, The Office of Inclusion and Engagement, Academic Technologies, and Africana Studies

Ungrading in a Pandemic…and the Rest of the Time, Too (Thursday, 19 November, 2:15-3:45. Virtual)
In this workshop we discuss some of the research on motivation and learning and the reasons many educators have moved to ungrading—the WHY. Then we move to talk about the practical dimensions of moving toward ungrading, whether completely or partially—the HOW. Participants will workshop some revisions of their own assignments and course structures.

Susan D Blum is a professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, currently fixated on education and pedagogical praxis. She is the author of “I Love Learning; I Hate School”: An Anthropology of College (Cornell, 2016) and the editor of the forthcoming volume Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) (West Virginia University Press, 2002).

3) An Invitation to Join a Faculty-Staff Learning Community: Exploring Anti-Racist Initiatives in Higher Education
All faculty and staff are invited to participate in this year-long initiative. Our goal? To support ongoing campus-wide anti-racist initiatives at Washington and Lee by researching and creating a comprehensive and accessible data-base that looks at the best anti-racist practices at all levels and in all facets of higher education.

Working in cohorts, we will seek out resources that address essential anti-racist practices in curricula, course design, pedagogy, academic culture, social culture, institutional culture, individual mindset and positionality, technology, and any other topic that participants bring to the table. What are the best practices? Where are the innovations that raise the conversation to the next level? How do we make change sustainable and impactful? How do we curate these resources and make them accessible to all members of our community? How do we engage each other in powerful, positive conversations? What are the next steps, and the steps after that, and after that?

Participation will involve initial Learning Community-wide meetings, occasional cohort coordination, and on-going, at-your-own-pace, individual initiative. Faculty and staff from across campus, regardless of area of specialization, are encouraged to give this essential and rewarding opportunity serious consideration.

Interested? Please contact Paul Hanstedt at phanstedt@wlu.edu by no later than 2 November.

This learning community is co-sponsored by CARPE, the Office of Inclusion and Engagement, Africana Studies, and Academic Technologies.

4) Post-Election Resources–Tips for teaching at this particularly fraught moment in time.
This last resource comes by way of Dr. Ellen Mayock in Romance Languages. There’s a lot here; you don’t, of course, need to get to all of it by next Wednesday, but it’s worth browsing. And if you can get through that final video without tearing up, you’re stronger than me!

Take care, everyone. Here’s hoping we’re soon to leave these choppy waters behind.