Dr. Aiesha Turman: Educator, writer, cultural producer, interdisciplinary scholar.
Storytelling for Just Futures
All of Dr. Turman’s work boils down to the notion of storytelling. Whether engaging college students in a seminar, the broader community in a place-based workshop, or as a panel participant at a conference, she is a story teller. The stories we tell ourselves and others are the basis of identity formation and cultural understanding.
As an educator with over 20 years of experience beginning in after school programs, then museums and cultural institutions, and formally as a high school English teacher, then at the college level, Dr. Turman is well-versed in pedagogical practices that support students/participants in recognizing their roles as knowledge bearers and culture keepers.
Connect with Dr. Turman by subscribing to her newsletter, Electric Relaxation.
Several years ago, Dr. Turman had the opportunity to tell part of her and her family story via a Story Corps special project. That story has now been archived and she is delighted to share it here with you.
Dr. Turman’s initial foray into public storytelling occurred a little over 10 years ago when she produced and directed the independent documentary feature The Black Girl project. This led to the decade-long social action project of the same name, which ended in 2019. Here’s an interview with her ahead of the premiere.
We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity, and society cannot trample on the weakest and feeblest of its members without receiving the curse in its own soul.– Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, 1866
While she considers herself a lifelong learner, Dr. Turman holds an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. with a major in Humanities and Culture with certificates in Creative Writing and Women’s and Gender Studies from The Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, OH.
Her dissertation, There’s Always Been an Afrofuture: Black Women’s Literature as Technology of Protest, explores the Black feminist literary genealogy of Afrofuturism and is part of her broader interests in Black pasts as the key to Black Futures.
From founding The Black Girl Project, to coordinating a museum-based academic and cultural arts high school internship program, to chairing the English department at an all-girl college preparatory high school, the leadership positions Dr. Turman has held have been important in terms of praxis.
Dr. Turman’s work spans several modalities: teaching (post secondary and community-based), writing, program and curriculum development. All of her work is rooted in liberatory pedagogical practices that seek to inform and transform.