I’m Tati (short for Tatiana) Ades and am so excited to join the Futures Initiative fellows for the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic year. I have been a long time admirer of the work of the Futures Initiative— I was a student in the Futures Initiative course Afrofuturism: Race and Science Fiction in Spring 2019 and participated in the Race and Its Futures: Teach, Research, Imagine Symposium. In Spring 2020, I supported the Futures Initiative course Intro. to Engaged Teaching & Transformative Learning in the Humanities & Social Sciences. Since compiling the meaningful work to come out of that course, I am using my time as an FI Fellow to complete two digital publications with support of HASTAC and FI. The first, We Eat, authored by Dree-el Simmons, is a collection of student recipes to bring forth and elevate the space of communal and family knowledge within higher education. The second, I Wake Up Counting, is a course manual on student-centered learning with materials from our class including lesson plans, schedules, and student responses. I am so excited to be a part of both of these projects and am looking forward to their publication on Manifold this winter.

Image of students & educators holding sign advocating for an increase in literacy funding for the NY State budget.
Image from Literacy Lifts NY Advocacy Day in Albany 2020. Photo Credit Sughey Natalia Rodriguez.

While we continue to work remotely, finding new ways to build and maintain community is immensely important. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be joining this collaborative lab for teacher-scholars in a variety of fields and disciplines. I am coming from the field of adult literacy education. I work as an academic advisor/case manager at the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s continuing education department where I work with a team to support students in high school equivalency (HSE) and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes on their academic journeys. I am also a Masters student in the Liberal Studies program with a concentration in American studies and an Interactive Technology & Pedagogy Certificate student. As a first generation high school and college graduate working in literacy education, I think a lot about what it means to build “a university worth fighting for” — that is for me a university where adult literacy students, migrant & immigrant students, first generation students, working students, students with children, previously & currently incarcerated students, students with disabilities, and non-traditional & elder students are not only supported but can excel.

I am deeply invested in the transformation of higher education and the Futures Initiative’s mission. Some other venues where my commitments to transformative education manifest are as a board member of the nonprofit WithinReach Foundation, a scholarship for High School Equivalency students enrolled in college, as a volunteer community teacher, and as a new Editorial Collective member for the Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy.

During my MA, my research has traced continuities and possibilities between disability studies, transnational feminisms, queer, and trans of color critique in 20th-century literary and visual culture. By following transnational political-economic circuits and sustained attention to the analytics of racial capitalism, I’ve looked at insurgent articulations, visualizations, and examples of radical, community care and critiques of the biopolitical harm in public health rhetoric and institutions. In other words, I am interested in works of radical thinkers, writers, and artists whose political imaginations experiment and model more sustainable and thrivable futures of care. Other areas of ongoing interest and emergent research include adult literacy education and literacy crisis, community education, critical refugee studies, maker pedagogies, and teaching in corrections. Lastly, I consider myself an active student of transformative justice and PIC abolition and continue to think through how to hold these commitments within higher education.

As a new Futures Initiative Fellow, I am excited to join the community and learn from & with the thoughtful teacher-scholars and staff at the Futures Initiative!

P.S. You can read more about the photo here Literacy Lifts NY Advocacy Day on the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy website here.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309