Laura Margarita Malaver is a third year PhD student in Ethnic Studies. Their research focuses developing a praxis-oriented theory called recovecos (Spanish for nook, hidden turn, and twist) that examines subject's relation and interaction with space (nook) and time (hidden turn), while interrogating and highlighting still-forming projects of performance and culture (twists), grounded in unveiling the felt traces of societal frictions such as racial settler colonialism and capitalism, neoliberalism, white supremacy, and cis-heterosexism considering the theoretical, ethical, and practical challenges and responsibilities with which to resist. Laura was recently awarded a Teaching Excellence Award based on their teaching philosophy and dedication to their students. We asked Laura a few questions to learn more about them as a teacher and get to know them better. Read more below!
What is your favorite part about teaching?
Learning from students and practicing consciousness raising in the classroom and beyond.
Please tell us a little bit about your pedagogical philosophy.
I believe in practicing reflection in the classroom, self-reflection and collective reflection. In doing so, praxis-oriented work becomes central and foundational to my teaching and my students' learning.
Do you have a favorite teaching resource you would like to share with other graduate teachers?
I am informed by bell hooks' Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, and Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
What is a good book you have read recently and why did you enjoy it?
I recently engaged with J. Kehaulani Kauanui's (2018) Paradoxes of Hawaiian Sovereignty: Land, Sex, and the Colonial Politics of State Nationalism. This is a re-envisioning and re-imagining of the status of the Hawaiian Kingdom as well as Hawaiian decolonization, liberation, and self-determination through a feminist and queer of color lens. It is pertinent to understandings of Kanaka Maoli's decolonial praxis, and a reckoning with ongoing colonial dominance.