University of Iowa Assistant Professor Jodi Linley is under fire for an article in a “peer-reviewed academic journal” in which she pledged to expose her students to “their own white ignorance.” She says that she used her “identities as a queer, able-bodied, cisgender woman” to offer a “teaching paradigm” that strips away white privilege. She segregates by race and works toward “interrupting oppression” that occurs in classroom settings.
As a white professor, Linley insists that if she did not actively try to expose the white privilege” of her class and “deconstruct whiteness,” she would be perpetuating white dominance. She adds: “As a white assistant professor of mostly white graduate students who will become higher education leaders, I work to dismantle whiteness in my curriculum, assignments and pedagogy.”
She also segregates by race because “For white students, talking about race with an all-white group of peers … [reveals] their own white ignorance.” She says that she rejects the notion that “neutrality and objectivity are realistic and attainable.”
Linley writes extensively on race and teaching, including her two most recent works Racism Here, Racism There, Racism Everywhere: The Racial Realities of Minoritized Peer Socialization Agents at a Historically White Institution (Journal of College Student Development) and Teaching to deconstruct whiteness in higher education (Whiteness & Education).
Linley has been called a bigot for her teaching approach and views of her students. The school has correctly defended her right to publish such views and to condemn threats directed at her.