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Roger Adkins
Executive Director of the Center for Global and Career Education

(they/them/their)

Roger Adkins is a scholar-administrator with a complex profile that includes extensive administrative work and expertise in global learning, ongoing interdisciplinary research and scholarship, and teaching in both domestic and international settings. They are a passionate interculturalist who strives to make global learning accessible for every student, both in on-campus and off-campus settings.

Roger identifies as queer, lives with a disability (not visible), and comes from a working-class background. They were also a first-generation college student. They are passionate about inclusiveness and are very happy to serve as a mentor or advocate for students from diverse backgrounds. They identify as gender nonbinary and use they/them/their pronouns.

Contact Info

E-mail

Programs/Departments

  • Center for Global and Career Education
  • Center for Global Education
  • Center for Career and Community Engagement

Degrees

  • Ph.D., University of Oregon
  • M.A., University of Oregon
  • M.A., University of Oregon
  • B.A., Hiram College

Selected Courses:

  • Epic Masculinities: a course on the epic narrative (in multiple genres and cultural contexts) and its alliances with cultural constructions of masculinity – often a narrowly nationalistic, heteropatriarchal, racialized, and militant masculinity
  • Women Behaving Badly: a course on 'evil' women characters (villains, murderesses, dark goddesses, wicked stepmothers, femmes fatales, etc.) in diverse texts, folktales, and popular culture, with analysis of what constitutes the 'feminine excess'
  • Talking to Monsters: a course on transformations in the notion of 'the monster' in postmodern texts and contexts, with extensive theoretical investigation of 'the Other'
  • Fantasy on the Fringe (off-campus study): a course based in the UK that examines how fantasy literature, the fantastic modality, and folklore provide unique venues for reimagining a more socially just reality
  • Out on the Fringe: Culture, Identity, and Folklore in Scotland (off-campus study): an alternate version of the course listed above that zooms in on Scotland only

Roger is a scholar of queer studies, folklore, and literature, with a recent emphasis on the queer potential of narratives of the fantastic. They are also engaged in scholarship in the pedagogical fields of global learning, career development, and equity/access/inclusion.

Other/specific areas of interest include: postmodernity studies, postcolonial studies, Nordic cultural studies, Sri Lankan studies, fantasy literature, science fiction, disability studies, critical masculinity studies, epic narrative, ethnography, festival studies, graphic narratives, subjectivity and Foucauldian theory, folklore of the supernatural, curriculum globalization, and global competency development.

Current ongoing projects include:

  • Decolonizing and queer approaches to global learning
  • The queer potential of narratives of the fantastic
  • Intersubjectivity as a way of mitigating the Self/Other divide
  • “Toward Decolonizing Education Abroad: Moving Beyond the Self/Other Dichotomy,” co-authored with Bryan Messerly, in Critical Perspectives on Education Abroad: Leveraging the Educational Continuum, ed. Elizabeth Brewer and Anthony C. Ogden, Stylus, 2019
  • "Bed, Bath and Beyond, or: What Is to Be Done About Gender-Binary Accommodations in Study Abroad Programs?" NAFSA Rainbow SIG Newsletter, Fall 2017 issue
  • “Bloomsbury Group.” Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, ed. Jodi O’Brien. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2009
  • Placing Women’s Studies: An Introduction to Women’s Studies, co-edited with Shelly Kowalski, Judith Raiskin, and Kathleen Sullivan. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998 (custom textbook)
  • “Where ‘Sex’ Is Born(e): Intersexed Births and the Social Urgency of Heterosexuality.” Journal of Medical Humanities 20.2 (1999)
  • Association of International Education Administrators
  • Diversity Abroad Network
  • Forum on Education Abroad
  • NAFSA: The Association of International Educators

I am genuinely passionate about the kind of educational experience that Earlham provides. Although I am an alum of Hiram College in Ohio, I had a keen interest in Earlham when I was searching for colleges because I value the kind of powerfully inclusive, egalitarian, self-reflective, contemplative, and socially just pedagogy we employ here. I was drawn back to the College as a professional by the opportunity to make my own contributions, particularly in the areas of career and global education. I believe in what we do here, and I am a champion for students who are ready to challenges boundaries – both their own and those of the current limits of our collective imagination.

I have several times taught a course on folklore, pop culture, the fantasy genre, and social justice. The course has included some combination of sites in England, Wales, and Scotland. Here are some examples of the hands-on and immersive activities from these courses:

  • mining UK museums for evidence of both British colonialism and the various forms of resistance to it;
  • visiting the Warner Brothers Harry Potters Studios Experience in Watford, England, with a critical eye on how it (further) commercializes the novels and films and how the Harry Potter phenomenon culls from British folklore traditions;
  • a tour of east London street art led by a former street artist, followed by a workshop in the creation of street art;
  • staying overnight in a Scottish castle and learning about its history and the family folklore from the current occupants;
  • intensive lessons in the languages of the Celtic Fringe (Welsh, Cornish, Manx, and/or Scots Gaelic) paired with consideration of the experiences of the internally colonized peoples in the UK;
  • touring Blackfriars Kirkyard (cemetery) in Edinburgh, Scotland – it is both the scene of mass grave-robbings that provided cadavers for early university anatomy courses and the site of many graves of people with suspiciously Harry Potter-ish names;
  • visiting Neolithic sites (standing stones, stone circles, cairns, etc.);
  • spending an afternoon of individual contemplation, reflection, writing/sketching, etc. in the ruins of Tintern Abbey in rural Wales; and
  • meeting with members of various immigrant, queer, working-class, and religious minority groups in the UK to learn about their organizations, practices, and the social stigmas they face.

I have also been developing new course concepts for Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, and Romania) and the Canadian Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island).

My own study abroad experience was in Iceland, and it was a hugely transformative part of my education. I never believed it would be possible for me to participate, but there are numerous opportunities and many sources of funding available. I strongly encourage every student to study abroad!

In the course of my work in global learning at the University of Oregon, Cal Poly, and Gustavus Adolphus College, I have also engaged in site visits, faculty/staff seminars, program-development travel, and other related work in these countries: Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tunisia, and Wales.

Immersive travel, local histories and counter-histories, film, cultural diasporas, meditation, hiking and the outdoors, social-justice activism

Antiquing/rare books and documents, tea blending, baking, game nights, children’s literature, typography, fanfic, social media

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