The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Jessica Baker Kee Receives 2014 James T. Sears Award

Jessica Baker Kee and Alphonso Grant

Congratulations to Jessica Baker Kee, recipient of the 2014 James T. Sears Award from the Curriculum and Pedagogy Group for her paper, “The Haunted Curriculum: Memory, Pedagogy, Trauma.” Jessica is a Ph.D. candidate in Art Education. Kee was presented with the award in November at the 15th annual Curriculum and Pedagogy conference.

In her work, Kee reflects on her experience in the pre- and post-Katrina landscapes as a way to explore what happens when traumatic experiences are marginalized, internalized, and deemed unwelcome in developing teachers’ professional narratives. She questions how these anxieties and failures haunt our shared discourse around curriculum and pedagogy. Through narrative autoethnography, she examines the effects of trauma on teacher identity using Derrida’s concept of hauntology and the spectral presence as a metaphor for the traumatic experience. It provides a case study using the theoretical and historical context of Hurricane Katrina to trace the ruptured identity construction of a novice teacher. Finally, it argues for the practice of spectral pedagogies that challenge the unproblematized, hegemonic discourse of popular professional narratives and allow the specters haunting our curriculum to finally speak.

Jessica completed her B.A. in Art History at Duke University and her M.A.Ed. in Art Education at East Carolina University. She has worked as a public and private school teacher, a federal agent, a curriculum designer, and an educational research consultant. Her narrative ethnographic research explores constructions of identity and trauma in the pedagogical context, examining the impact of institutional education policy on the lived experiences of students of color and their teachers, particularly in relation to the "achievement gap" and the school-to-prison pipeline.

Text courtesy of the Curriculum and Pedagogy Group

Photo caption: Jessica Baker Kee and fellow Art Ed graduate student Alphonso Grant, who received an honorable mention for the James T. Sears Award in 2012