Conveying the Racial, Ethnic, and Sexual “Other” in College Classes

By: Linda Fellag   Arlene Caney  

Messages from popular culture constantly bombard society with views of the perfect self vs. the imperfect or ridiculed “other.“ These messages are often mixed with influences of family, friends, religious organizations, media, classroom teachings, laws, and political interpretations. In concert, these strong societal forces enforce the behavior of the dominant group while stigmatizing other behaviors. In light of the current Trump administration, characterized by exclusionary messages, teaching acceptance of “the other” in U.S. college classrooms, whether related to sexuality, race, religion, or ethnicity, becomes a critical means of counteracting growing ultra-conservative influences. The authors illustrate ways to incorporate minority voices into Music and English, disciplines that don’t inherently cover minority topics. The objective: to raise student consciousness and promote acceptance and understanding of racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities, especially among ESL and developmental pre-college students. Students experience a comfortable way of looking at “the other,” analyzing sources for objectivity, and ultimately broadening their opinions about “others” in their own community.

Inclusion and Exclusion, Tolerance, Multiculturalism
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Linda Fellag

Linda Fellag teaches ESL and English at Community College of Philadelphia. She has authored numerous ESL textbooks. Her interests lie in reading and writing pedagogy and computer-assisted language learning.

Assoc. Prof. Arlene Caney

Associate Professor of Music, Music and Humanities, Community College of Philadelphia

My background (Bachelor's, Masters and PhD coursework) was originally in Music History and theory with three graduate courses covering several world music cultures. For the last 20 years I have been interested in a cross-discipline approach to music and the humanities and have studied, mostly through grants, in various countries including, China, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Poland and Egypt. I currently teach full time at Community College of Philadelphia (38 years) in both the Music(world music appreciation)and Humanities areas. I have given over 40 papers at both national and international conferences and am an Area Chair in Academics and College Culture for the National Popular Culture Association (32 years)