American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting 2014: Preliminary Program Available

The preliminary program for the 2014 meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) is now available on the organization’s website.

The ASC annual conference is one of the highlights of the academic year. Even though it was always a significant financial burden to attend as a student (even with partial funding through my department), I always made the effort to attend and to present some original research. It presents unparalleled opportunities for networking, keeping abreast of current research, and catching up with colleagues and friends from all over the world.The conference is often well-attended by international scholars as well as famous (or infamous) and up-and-coming American scholars.

This year, I’m making a point to use my time at ASC to learn more about criminal justice education, specifically at the undergraduate level. In past years, I have been busy presenting my own research and trying to forge connections with scholars doing similar work. This year, I’m presenting part of my dissertation analysis and will try to attend panels relevant to my interests, but I also want to seek out presentations about effective pedagogy and student engagement. ASC is fantastic for its high attendance and its wealth of panels, roundtables, keynote speakers and poster sessions, but it does make for a very overwhelming experience where one can easily feel frustrated about having to choose between so many overlapping sessions!

I’ve started searching through the preliminary program for the types of sessions I’d like to attend this year. Unfortunately, there’s no category for “Criminal Justice Education” or “Higher Learning” or anything descriptive like that, so I’ve done my best to use appropriate search terms and try to uncover sessions relevant to pedagogy and professional development.

ASC 2014 ROUNDTABLE SESSIONS

Learning by Doing: Experiential Learning in Criminal Justice
Wed, Nov 19, 9:30 to 10:50am, Marriott, Pacific J, 4th Floor

“This paper highlights the efforts of colleagues in a criminal justice department to offer experiential learning experiences to undergraduate students. Operating within the framework of a liberal arts curriculum, we provide criminal justice majors with a range of opportunities that fall under the general rubric of “experiential learning,” including: service learning, field trips, research projects, and internships. Our goal is to combine the academic rigors of traditional, class-room based learning with exposure to hands-on, real-world, subject-based knowledge. Each type of experiential learning is discussed in terms of their pedagogical benefits and long-term, post-graduate advantages for students.”

Using Personal Research to Teach/Using the Classroom for Research
Thu, Nov 20, 8:00 to 9:20am, Marriott, Pacific G, 4th Floor

Teaching at a liberal arts institution rarely leaves an excess of time to conduct personal research. Time constraints due to teaching and service duties push professors to be ingenuitive when it comes to satisfying the research criteria of this academic trifecta. This roundtable will discuss ideas on using personal research to exemplify concepts in classes as well as techniques on using existing classes to collect data and research literature. We will discuss ways for the classroom to become reciprocal as it pertains to criminological concepts, qualitative and quantitative methodological techniques, and source collection.

Teaching Abolition: Imagining a World without Prisons as a Means of Resisting the Carceral State
Thu, Nov 20, 9:30 to 10:50am, Marriott, Pacific G, 4th Floor

In California and across the U.S., mass incarceration has reflected the inequities embedded within criminalization/punishment. While there are pressure points for reform, it is challenging to discuss the abolition of prisons as a possibility. Yet, whether teaching on the inside or the outside of the criminal legal processing system, until we can begin to shift our addiction to policing and punishment, we cannot begin building possibilities for community accountability and a world without prisons. Among the participants on this roundtable are researchers and activists who have worked for many years to expose the fault line in our dependence on incarceration and doubt that we can really make it better for the people who are so inscribed within it. Can educators who act both within the polity and as activists within prison construct opportunities for co-constructing with students and others a justice that builds upon our whole selves as both accountable and redeemable? Can we re-imagine fundamental justice that incorporates both a theoretical and authentic emancipation? We will broaden the anti-oppression discussion for improving society that requires rethinking how prisons function. We will share curricula, exercises, and experiences in the classroom and in the prison for consideration of these ideas.

Swimming Up the Mainstream: Developing Teaching Tips on Critical Issues for The Criminologist
Thu, Nov 20, 9:30 to 10:50am, Marriott, Sierra G, 5th Floor

There are many exciting criminological subjects and issues which are primarily addressed by criminoligists who take a more critical perspective to their science. Yet, it is sometimes hard to translate them into teachable subject matter, especially at the undergraduate level. This roundtable will discuss the potential of critical criminology to be more visible in the teaching tips section of The Criminologist.

Teaching about Intimate Partner Abuse
Thu, Nov 20, 11:00am to 12:20pm, Marriott, Pacific G, 4th Floor

The purpose of this roundtable is to discuss a variety of effective methods for addressing intimate partner abuse, both in courses and degree programs that are specifically devoted to them, and in other courses where students may bring up these topics. Topics of discussion, although not limited to, may center on challenges and strategies related to: designing syllabi, course activities, and assessments; preparing lectures; talking with students; fostering a safe learning environment; and moderating classroom discussions.

Engaged and Active Learning in the Criminal Justice Classroom
Thu, Nov 20, 11:00am to 12:20pm, Marriott, Sierra D, 5th Floor

From the Courtroom to the Classroom: The Value of Service Learning to Encourage a Voice of Care in Criminal Justice Students
Making Learning Fun! Actively Engaging Today’s Criminal Justice Students
Utilizing Learning Communities as a Tool for CJ Transfer Students

Teaching Critical Criminology: Directly Engaging Students with Critical Themes
Thu, Nov 20, 12:30 to 1:50pm, Marriott, Pacific G, 4th Floor

This roundtable brings together three professors to share their experiences directly engaging students in critical themes related to terrorism, race and social change. Through a discussion of these unique pedagogical approaches (from classroom exercises to service learning projects), this roundtable endeavors to spark a discussion of the various ways we might better actively engage students in doing critical criminological analysis both inside and outside the classroom.

Teaching Critical Criminology: Helping Students Critique and Challenge Data
Thu, Nov 20, 2:00 to 3:20pm, Marriott, Pacific G, 4th Floor

This roundtable will focus on creative ways instructors can help students critically examine the “data” that often passes for fact or truth in criminal justice. Presenters will share their experiences with exercises and approaches that help students develop critical analysis skills and methods for interrogating common criminal justice “facts.”

Teaching Criminology at the Intersection
Thu, Nov 20, 3:30 to 4:50pm, Marriott, Pacific G, 4th Floor

Teaching about gender, race, social class and sexuality in criminal justice and criminology classrooms can be challenging. Professors may face resistance when they ask students to examine how gender impacts victimization, how race affects interactions with the police, how socioeconomic status shapes experiences in court or how sexuality influences treatment in the criminal justice system. Teaching Criminology at the Intersection is an instructional guide that was recently released as a how-to guide and this roundtable will discuss this book.

Tackling False Impressions and Bias: Teaching the Tough Stuff in Criminal Justice
Thu, Nov 20, 5:00 to 6:20pm, Marriott, Pacific H, 4th Floor

So often in a criminal justice curriculum, we are charged with handling courses and concepts which are both critical to society and yet highly controversial. Students from within and without the major bring to our classes many misperceptions and biases of which we must be aware. Their beliefs and understandings come from their family, school, and life experiences, their absorption of media coverage, and even pedagogy in prior courses. In our field, we must tackle these concepts with sensitivity, and yet challenge our students to open their minds before they enter professions where they will hold great discretion. This panel seeks to discuss approaches to teaching our students, in order to fully, fairly, and ethically educate them.

Literature in the Criminology Class
Fri, Nov 21, 8:00 to 9:20am, Marriott, Pacific D, 4th Floor

A discussion on the integration of literature into the criminology/criminal justice curriculum.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Integrating Teaching with the Real World
Fri, Nov 21, 11:00am to 12:20pm, Marriott, Sierra D, 5th Floor

Panelists will discuss teaching modalities and techniques related to service learning, integrated learning techniques, the best uses of technology in the classroom, distance learning, and activities for large classes.

The Pedagogy of Social Justice: Broadening the Views of Criminal Justice Students
Fri, Nov 21, 3:30 to 4:50pm, Marriott, Sierra D, 5th Floor

This roundtable will discuss pedagogical methods for establishing a sense of social justice in a criminal justice classroom. Areas include teaching restorative justice, reproductive justice, Travon Martin [sic] as a case study, and land use policies, crime and poverty.

Pedagogy at the Intersections of Oppression
Sat, Nov 22, 9:30 to 10:50am, Marriott, Sierra G, 5th Floor

This Roundtable discussion will focus on teaching strategies and tips for those academics that teach race and crime or race, class, gender and crime courses to undergraduate and graduate students. With more focused attention moving teaching academics to the realm of a student learning approach to teaching, leading students into the realities of the impact of race (and intersections of oppression) in the classroom has become a challenging task. Being a person who represents one or more of these intersections while also attempting to lead students into knowledge about these intersections can be even more challenging. Issues surrounding student evaluations, classroom discussion techniques, and providing context for students who are uncomfortable discussing issues of race, are some issues this last category faces. This session will cover teaching tips, strategies, and best practices from scholars in the field who regularly teach courses on race and crime or race, class, gender and crime at both Traditionally White Colleges (TWIs) and Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).

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