Critical Race Theory, Transborder Theory, and Code Switching in the Trump Years
The national decline in the humanities suggests not only a systemic shift but also a cultural shift that can be addressed locally in the classroom. Since the presidential election of 2016, there has been a rise in race-based hate speech. First-year writing students are very interested in this. In this environment, then, teaching with Critical Race Theory as a toolset to unpack the Serial podcast, with Walter Benjamin and Terry Eagleton when addressing the cost of education, and with Latinx theory in conjunction with The Hand That Feeds and A Better Life, for example, provides students with an introduction to the critical capabilities the humanities offers. Furthermore, it addresses the national spike in hate groups and the rise in racism, and can be applied to readings of popular culture the students consume. In this chapter, a pedagogical model is outlined in which students write in response to these topics and the corresponding theoretical approaches through rhetorical analysis, persuasive writing, and personal writing reflecting on privilege.