Dr. Donna Troka is the Associate Director for Teaching and Pedagogy at the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) and adjunct faculty in the Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University. At the CFDE, she supports faculty in their many roles as teacher, researcher, author, and public intellectual. One of the primary goals of CFDE is to assist faculty at every level of their professional careers, from graduate student to emeritus.
Troka’s teaching focuses broadly on the interaction between identity and power. In her class “Resisting Racism: From the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter” students contextualize and juxtapose the Black Lives Matter Movement with the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s using artifacts from the civil rights movement found in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library.
“The Power of Black Self-Love” was a “side-car” course taught by Dr. Donna Troka and Dr. Dianne Stewart in fall 2016 as part of the Interdisciplinary Exploration and Scholarship (IDEAS) program. It brought together the work of Stewart’s “Black Love” course (Religion 270/African American Studies 285) and Troka’s “Resisting Racism” course (American Studies/Interdisciplinary Studies 385).“Black Love” invited students to explore historical and contemporary notions of love with a particular emphasis on love’s powerful and controversial presence/absence in the lives of black people in the North American context. “Resisting Racism: From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter” juxtaposed the Black Lives Matter movement with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s to investigate how racism in America has (and has not) changed over the last 60 years and to uncover what strategies Black people and their allies have used to work toward liberation. In “The Power of Black Self-Love” we aimed to emphasize and build on the resonances of our two courses. We asked students to consider theories of black love and histories of black social movements, but also to interrogate their contemporary cultural products. With this exhibit, we highlight student projects that aim to demonstrate the ways that black self-love is an act of resistance that has the power to transform our world. To explore the complete projects, go to https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/powerofblackselflove/
In “From Archives to iPads: Investigating the Discourse of Sexuality at Emory,” students uncover how the discourse of sexuality was created by and represented in Emory’s publications (Emory Wheel, Emory Report, and the Emory yearbooks). In her class, “The Dividing Lines: Pit bulls, Identity, and Community” students untangle the journey pit bulls have taken over the last century and ask how we might think differently about pit bulls and the communities from which they come if we inject the popular discourse with a critical consciousness about race, class, gender, and community development.
She is also the co-editor of The Drag King Anthology (Hayworth Press, 2003). Earlier articles include: “‘You Heard My Gun Cock’: Female Agency and Aggression in Contemporary Rap Music” from African American Research Perspectives (Fall 2002) and “Critical Moments: A Dialogue Toward Survival and Transformation,” The Caribbean Review of Gender Studies. Nationally, she attends annual faculty development meetings of POD (The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Diversity.