Exploring the Cycle of Oppression and Whiteness in the Academy Through Currere: Reflections from a Reading-Group-Based Intergroup Dialogue



Whiteness, Internalized Dominance, Cycle of Oppression, Currere, Faculty Development Privilege, Faculty Development, Racism, Oppression, White Cultural Identity


White supremacy is long-standing and pervasive in higher education and it leads to internalized dominance in white faculty and the subjugation of faculty of color in the Cycle of Oppression. To explore this cycle and the power of whiteness and privilege in higher education, a multiracial group of campus community members from a range of institutional roles read What Does it Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy (DiAngelo, 2016) as a foundational text to foster an intergroup dialogue. Over the course of a semester, the authors shared how their own lives have been inextricably intertwined with the Cycle of Oppression. In this article, the authors employ currere as a method of curriculum inquiry to investigate their lived experiences (Pinar, 1975, 2004) to understand the effects of White privilege, and to explore the Cycle of Oppression within the context of academia (Baszile, 2006a, 2006b; Fine, 1997).

Author Biographies

Keri L. Rodgers, Ball State University

Keri L. Rodgers, PhD is a nationally recognized educator with over sixteen years of combined experience at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Her research interests include teacher education, inclusive pedagogy, disability studies, curriculum theory, epistemology, and research methodologies.

Ruby Cain, Ball State University

Dr. Ruby Cain is an Associate Professor of Practice, Adult and Community Education, and has over 22 years of experience in higher education. She is Director and Academic Adviser for two masters degree programs and two graduate certificates. She is Director of a community program in which volunteers and collaborative partners work with her students in a graduate community engagement course.

Melinda Messineo, Ball State University

Melinda Messineo, PhD is a professor of sociology. She is a nationally recognized teacher and workshop facilitator. Her research interests include SoTL, inclusive pedagogy, and representations of race, class and gender in media.


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