Date of Award

Fall 12-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Morgan Read-Davidson

Second Advisor

Nora Rivera

Third Advisor

Jan Osborn


Framed by the existing scholarship in anti-racist pedagogy, this thesis is inspired by Charise Pimentel and Octavio Pimentel’s dream of building coalitions with marginalized students, Steven Alvarez’s framework for academic biliteracy, and Marcos del Hierro’s advocacy for incorporating discussions about contentious social issues in the classroom. This research draws mainly from works by rhetoricians and compositionists of color who report that working through and pushing past the discomfort and tensions of politically charged topics in the classroom are crucial for an anti-racist writing program (Prendergast, 1998; Villanueva, 1999; Clary-Lemon, 2009; Inoue, 2015; García de Müeller and Ruiz, 2017). By reflecting on this scholarship, I aimed to find a practical means of incorporating anti-racist pedagogy into the first-year composition classroom. I attempted to answer how instructors create an anti-racist classroom, how students react to a cultural studies class where marginalized identities are the focus, and how the identity or perceived identity of the instructor changes the dynamics of the classroom in the design of my first-year composition syllabus. I sought to create a classroom that challenges the imposed hegemony of Western imperial writing practices by implementing three main components of anti-racist teaching practices: assigning multilingual writing projects that break Western conventions, centering social issues that impact those with marginalized identities, and building coalitions with marginalized students, but especially students of color. This thesis examines how constructing an actively anti-racist classroom works to dismantle imposed hegemonic norms that often exclude marginalized students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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