The Syllabus as Activist Document


  • Andrea Quaid Bard College


syllabi, social justice, activism


The syllabus as an activist document is an action speaking back to dominant discourse that often ignores or silences the voices collected in the syllabi. Therefore, the syllabus as an activist document – inside and outside of the classroom – highlights subjects that do not make the standard curriculum. Presented to the public as what should be on everyone’s reading list, they foreground marginalized ideas, people and histories as integral to society as a whole.

Author Biography

Andrea Quaid, Bard College

Andrea Quaid’s work focuses on  poetry and poetics, pedagogy, and feminist studies. She is co-editor of Acts + Encounters, a collection of works about experimental writing and community, and Urgent Possibilities, Writings on Feminist Poetics and Emergent Pedagogies. She is series co-founder and editor of Palgrave Studies in Contemporary Women’s Writing. Her work appears in albeitAmerican Book Review, BOMBlog, Entropy, Feminist Spaces Journal, Jacket2, Lana Turner, LIT, Los Angeles Review of Books and Manifold. With Harold Abramowitz, she curates RAD! Residencies at the Poetic Research Bureau. She teaches in the Bard College Language & Thinking Program and in the Critical Studies Department at California Institute of the Arts. She directs Humanities in the City, public programs focused on education equity and the transformational power of interdisciplinary humanities study in classrooms and communities. 


Ahmed, Sara. Living a Feminist Life. Durham: Duke UP, 2017. Print.