Research Seminar: The affective power of counter stories: Race critical pedagogy for thinking and feeling

Dr Samantha Schulz, presenter

Dr Samantha Schulz

Teaching for racial equity is important but challenging work. Despite its importance, such work remains largely optional in Australian schooling. Policy frameworks that reference ‘diversity’ or ‘racial inclusion’ tend to be conceptually limited and satisfied tokenistically. Genuine racial literacy requires confronting our differential investments and complicities in racism as structural violence. To support this work with Australian teachers requires negotiating the discomforts necessary for transformative learning.

This presentation is part of a larger ARC Discovery Project and comprises two parts. Part one includes analysis of the 2019 Australian Football League (AFL) documentary The Final Quarter, along with insights into pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) interpretations of the film (as drawn from a study involving 400 PSTs treated to screenings of the documentary as part of their teacher education program). This portion of the presentation is underpinned by the assertion that racial literacy ‘matters’ in education, yet simply engaging teachers in this work by intellectualising racism and reducing it to an idea is insufficient. Not only does this create safe spaces in racial dialogue that circumvent the discomforts necessary for transformation and intellectual solidarity, it fails to move teachers in ways that affect subjectivity. Put simply, this work must be tested on our pulses.

Part two provides an update which covers:

·         How the work has evolved

·         What is meant by ‘affect’ in race critical orientations to teaching and research

·         Links with the ARC DP (2022-2024), Culturally Responsive Schooling

Biography: Dr. Sam Schulz is a senior sociologist of education committed to educational social justice, and co-Chief Investigator on the newly awarded ARC Discovery Project, Culturally Responsive Schooling. Sam’s research includes race critical theorizing, culturally responsive schooling, gender equity, violent extremism, and decoloniality. Sam views sociology of education as a hopeful site for exploring how entrenched social inequalities have materialized, and for generating policy responses to complex issues for which individualised reforms are insufficient. Sam was reviews editor and then chief editor of Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Journal (2015-17 and 2018-20), and is co-convenor of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Sociology of Education Special Interest Group. She is an Associate Member of the Centre for Research in Educational and Social Inclusion (CRESI) and is a senior lecturer in the School of Education, University of Adelaide.  Dr Samantha Schulz | Researcher Profiles (

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