AAR & SBL 2020

Wabash Center Virtual Events at the 2020 Virtual AAR & SBL Annual Meetings

Wabash Center Virtual Session #1 – Monday, November 30, 4:00 PM- 5:30 PM

“After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging”

A 90 minute online conversation with Dr. Willie James Jennings, moderated by Dr. Nancy Lynne Westfield, with Dr. Craig Barnes, Dr. Daisy L. Machado, Dr. Kwok Pui Lan, and Dr. Shawn Copeland.  

The conversation will consider the implications of Dr. Jennings’ book After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging for teaching and learning in North American college, university, and theological school contexts. The session will begin and end with comments by the author, Dr. Jennings, about his book and its implications for pedagogy in the 21st century. The bulk of the session will involve a conversation among peers, moderated by Dr. Nancy Lynne Westfield, about how the book raises specific questions about contemporary higher education practice and the implications of these questions for the future of higher education, particularly as it relates to theological education.

In the book, Dr. Jennings asserts, “Theological education has always been about formation: first of people, then of communities, then of the world. If we continue to promote whiteness and its related ideas of masculinity and individualism in our educational work, it will remain diseased and thwart our efforts to heal the church and the world. But if theological education aims to form people who can gather others together through border-crossing pluralism and God-drenched communion, we can begin to cultivate the radical belonging that is at the heart of God’s transformative work.” (Eerdmans.com)

Wabash Center Virtual Session #2 – Monday, December 7, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

“Pedagogies of Justice and Care in Liminal Times” 

A 90-minute session for early career faculty teaching in a range of higher educational contexts. Early career faculty courses are often expected to adhere stringently to disciplinary canons and institutional ethos norms regardless of world events, national happenings, or social movements. 

At the same time, early career faculty are often expected to be the nimblest, most adept, most technologically savvy, and most able to adjust to complicated teaching tasks, yet they rarely have more than a little experience with teaching in higher education. In addition, they often find an abundance of expectations related to peer responsibilities like advising, mentoring, teaching, service to the institution through committees, and scholarship. Teaching during uncertain times can make teaching more difficult, even overwhelming. Justice and care for students and faculty in liminal times is often in short supply and finding practices and strategies of incorporating real time goings-on can be daunting. This session will attend to a range of topics and questions related to pedagogies of justice and care for the early career colleague.    


Dr. Nancy Lynne Westfield, The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion


  • Dr. Shehnaz Haqqani, Mercer University – Macon
  • Dr. Christine Hong, Columbia Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Sara Ronis, St. Mary’s University, Texas
  • Dr. Ben Sanders, Eden Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Lisa Thompson, Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Panelists will respond to such questions and topics as:

  • What’s the alternative in social upheaval to pretending all is the same? 
  • What pedagogies of care might be employed in contested spaces and liminal times?
  • How does one attend to student resistance and fear when engaging justice concerns and topics?
  • What strategies of listening can support teaching during upheaval within or beyond the institutional context?
  • How does one prepare one’s self to teach while the world is shifting?
  • What does it mean for an early career scholar to read the institutional politics when the institution is, itself, in crisis?
  • What is the role of educational imagination and design when creating syllabi in uncertain times?

Registration for these programs is through the
AAR & SBL Meetings Registration Website.
Non-Member Registration.

Member Cost: $200
Non-Member Cost: $385

Wabash Center