As an interdisciplinary educator at the intersections of critical race studies, Filipinx/a/o studies, Indigenous studies, cultural theory and sociology, literary studies, digital media and communication studies, and digital humanities, Dr. Ashley Caranto Morford aims to foster learning communities that challenge oppression, centre systemically marginalized perspectives, actively practice ethical and anti-colonial ways of knowing and being, and provide skills to bring these anti-colonial teachings outside the classroom into the broader world. Ashley’s pedagogy is grounded in the firm belief that teaching can be liberatory and transgressive. As Black feminist scholar bell hooks writes in Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, “The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy” (12).
Ashley teaches undergraduate literature, liberal arts, cultural theory and sociology, digital media, and digital humanities courses. Undergraduate courses that she has developed and facilitated include BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Solidarities through Literature, (Re-)Understanding Canada: A Study of Canadian Literature, A Digital Study of Frankenstein: Colonialism, Collaboration, and Computing, and Digital Storytelling for Social Justice. She also teaches the introductory composition classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and approaches these classes with a focus on unpacking ethical considerations of scholarly writing and research.
With Dr. Kush Patel and Arun Jacob, Ashley is a co-creator and co-facilitator of Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed. The Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed collective fosters queer, feminist, and anti-colonial approaches to digital humanities teaching both in and beyond the post-secondary setting. Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed offers workshops, talks, and courses within coalitions in and across the Global North and Global South, which seek to challenge the intersecting injustices of historically white, upper caste, and heteropatriarchal orders.
Ashley facilitates community educational spaces, as well, particularly for settlers of colour. Her community workshops focus on how settlers of colour can be better kin and relations to Black and Indigenous communities within colonially called North America. [SEE AN EXAMPLE WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION]
As part of this community work, Ashley is a co-facilitator of the Usap Tayo pods alongside Jovie Galit, Kaitlin Rizarri, and Karla Villanueva Danan. The Usap Tayo pods are ongoing virtual learning spaces for non-Black and non-Indigenous Filipinx/a/os to collectively confront, contend with, and be accountable to their complicities in settler colonial violences and oppressions, anti-Black racism, and anti-Indigenous racism. The Usap Tayo pods were inspired by Mia Mingus’ piece on pods and pod mapping for the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective.