Women and Allies in Action: College Students as 'Diversity Workers' in the Activism Classroom


  • Ina Seethaler Coastal Carolina University




feminist activism, feminist pedagogy, experiential learning


Research on feminist pedagogy has analyzed activism-based teaching practices in introductory courses and special topics courses in Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS). Few studies have focused on courses that entirely center on feminist activism and have students implement weeks-long activism projects. In this article, I investigate how we can transfer an activist consciousness to our students, some of whom might not consider themselves feminists, might not have thought of themselves as activists, have not participated in any form of activism, or might be taking a WGS course only for general education or diversity credit. Using data collected in my “Women and Allies in Action” class via surveys, interviews, and analysis of students’ reflective writing, I assess which challenges hold students back and what motivates them to create and implement complex, creative, and sustainable feminist activism projects. 

Author Biography

Ina Seethaler, Coastal Carolina University

is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Coastal Carolina University. Her research explores how minoritized communities use life writing to contest oppression. Her book Lives Beyond Borders (2021) on immigrant women’s life writing appeared with SUNY Press. In her teaching, she focuses on feminist activism and popular culture. 



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How to Cite

Seethaler, I. (2022). Women and Allies in Action: College Students as ’Diversity Workers’ in the Activism Classroom. Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, 8(2), 67–81. https://doi.org/10.15402/esj.v8i2.70744

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