The Fugitive Life of Black Teaching: A History of Pedagogy and Power

September 24, 2021 – September 24, 2021, Noon-1pm

Wisconsin Idea Room - 159 Education Building, Zoom link:

Jarvis R. Givens, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Education Faculty Affiliate, African & African American Studies Harvard University

Professor Givens offers the term “fugitive pedagogy” to characterize African Americans’ subversive traditions of teaching and learning from the slavery era through Jim Crow. Using the life of famed educator and historian Carter G. Woodson as a lens, Givens reveals an expansive world of African American teachers who cultivated dreams and aspiration in generations of students, despite a world order built on Black subjection. And as he will demonstrate, much of this work took place through discreet, quiet acts of resistance. Givens insists that Black educators’ pedagogical traditions were essential to the Long Black Freedom Struggle and formed the roots of anti-racist teaching in the United States.

Jarvis R. Givens is an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Faculty Affiliate in the department of African & African American Studies at Harvard University. He specializes in the history of education, African American history, and theories of race and power in education. His first book, Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching, was published in 2021 by Harvard University Press, and he is currently building The Black Teacher Archive, an online portal which will house digitized records documenting the more than one-hundred-year history of “Colored Teacher Associations.” Professor Givens’ research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as the William F. Milton Fund. Professor Givens earned his PhD in African American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a native of Compton, California and currently resides in Roxbury, Massachusetts.