Associate Professor and Chair of Africana Studies Charles Peterson will oversee and create programming that focuses on teaching and scholarship among Oberlin faculty as the new director of the Gertrude B. Lemle Teaching and Scholarship Center.
With the center’s recent expansion of focus from teaching and learning to teaching and scholarship, Peterson says much of the work in his role will involve sharing the accumulated experience and knowledge of Oberlin’s faculty and staff members, while also inviting guest instructors and scholars from other institutions to share their insights and experiences.
The Lemle teaching center programs are funded by a donation from Robert Lemle ’75 and Roni Kohen-Lemle ’76 on behalf of their family. The center’s mission is to help faculty and staff address the challenges and share the joys of teaching and learning in a residential liberal arts setting. The center sponsors and organizes a variety of programs each semester, including themed workshops and lunchtime discussions.
“My goals are to continue discussions about teaching at Oberlin College in light of the technological challenges over the past year and a half, and to develop a regular way to share insights and achievements in scholarship within our community,” says Peterson, whose new book Beyond Civil Disobedience: Social Nullification and Black Citizenship was released in July 2021.
Peterson says the most important resources the Lemle teaching center can offer are the support for the communities of teachers and scholars at Oberlin, information about access to networks that focus on teaching and scholarship, and in light of the pandemic, a site of communal reconnection. “I believe the impact will be to open up the doors of experience between individuals and units within the college, for the benefit of students, faculty, and the institution.”
He says he looks forward to encouraging faculty who find it a challenge to unlock the seeming disconnect between teaching and scholarship.
“I believe many Oberlin faculty have met this challenge, but I hope that the center can be a place to support those who still see a disconnect between teaching and scholarship and those who would benefit from learning about the resources and perspectives that can connect the two.”
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