Gryphon Lecture

The Gryphon Lecture is given annually during the spring semester and features a leading scholar in the fields of youth literature, media, and/or culture. Gryphon Lectures are free and open to students and the public. A reception to discuss issues raised, network across departments, and meet with the speaker follows each lecture. Illinois educators are eligible to receive professional development credits for participation. To see a list of of past Gryphon Lectures, please visit this page.

Implementing the TEAACH Act: Using Asian American Children’s Literature as a Tool to Resist America’s Long History of Anti-Asian Violence – Presented by Dr. Sohyun An, Professor of Social Science Education and Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Kennesaw State University. 

Asian immigrants have been racialized as “perpetual foreigners”—an unassimilable “yellow peril”—since their earliest arrival in the United States. This racialization has manifested in discrimination, hate crimes, and state-sanctioned violence during periods of economic, military, and public health crises. This lecture will examine the upsurge of anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic within this context and explore the significance of Illinois’ TEAACH Act (implemented in fall 2022) as a tool in the collective fight to stop anti-Asian violence, especially among youth. Building on scholarship addressing both K-12 history curriculum and Asian American children’s literature, the lecture suggests ways to use books for young people as a pedagogical tool for critical Asian American studies in K-12 schools.

The event will be held in a hybrid format. Register here for the Zoom session.