The Nerds of Color Articles on The Handmaid’s Tale and Hidden Figures

Handmaid's Tale

Shannon and colleague Lori Askeland wrote an analysis of Hulu’s new reboot of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale for The Nerds of Color, in terms of the limits of colorblind casting.

It’s called, “Race, Intersectionality, and the End of the World: The Problem with The Handmaid’s Tale,” and you can read it here.


The article actually made it all the way to Australia, where The Handmaid’s Tale TV program is just now being rolled out, and viewers are obsessively watching it. The national radio program “Books and Art” contacted Shannon to discuss issues of race and erasure on the series. You can listen to their discussion here.

Books and Arts Aussie

The Nerds of Color also published Shannon’s take on the critically-acclaimed, groundbreaking film Hidden Figures, earlier this spring. Click here to read it.

hidden figures2


Blues Vision Workshop July 25-26

blues_header 2017

Blues Vision in the Classroom prepares participants to have meaningful engagement with students through a deeper understanding of African American experiences and the black literary tradition in Minnesota. The two-day workshop takes Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota as the starting point for rigorous discussion and activities that cultivate practical strategies for using texts from the book as catalysts for change and conversation in the classroom. Educators will receive supplementary resources, strengthened relationships with colleagues and authors, clock hours, meals, and a copy of Blues Vision as part of this experience.

Led by local writers and activists Shannon Gibney and Junauda Petrus.

Blues Vision in the Classroom

Date: Tuesday, July 25 – Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Time: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Minnesota Humanities Center
Cost: $110
Intended Audience: Secondary Educators (Grades 6-12)
16 clock hours available upon request
Registration for this event will close on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cancellation policy:

If you are unable to attend the event, you may send a substitute in your place at no cost (it is up to you to make any financial arrangements with your substitute). If this is not possible, you may request a refund.

  • Cancellations received more than 10 days before the event will be refunded less a 20% cancellation fee.
  • Cancellations received between 5 and 10 days before the event will be refunded less a 50% cancellation fee.
  • We are unable to provide refunds for registrations cancelled less than 5 days before the event.

Refunds will be issued within 5 business days of cancellation notice.

Questions: Eden Bart, 651-772-4261,

Customized Workshops

The Minnesota Humanities Center partners with school districts to offer this two-day workshop for groups of 20-40 educators. Fees apply. Please contact Eden Bart, 651-772-4261, for more information.

Writing Creatively About Our Experiences as WOC Academics

woc academics workshop

Women of color and indigenous women professors who write creatively about their experiences in the academy are invited to this FREE two-hour workshop at the Loft Literary Center, to begin to share, plan, and revise work.*

A panel and reading on this topic will be held later this fall, at another location.

Please write, in order to reserve a spot.

A wiki will be created in early August, in order to facilitate the sharing of work.

This activity is made possible by funding from a State Arts Board grant, and the generosity of the Loft Literary Center.

*Graduate students welcome.

Check out the Facebook event page here.

Diversity in KidLit Podcast & Article of the Year Award

I had a lively and enlightening discussion about the issues of equity and representation in KidLit with the brilliant Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen, Bao Phi, and Kathryn Savage on the Loft Literary Center‘s podcast, which was released yesterday.


Listen/download it here.

The journal Teaching English at the Two Year College, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English, has awarded me and my collaborators their 2017 award for article of the year, for “The Risky Business of Engaging Racial Equity in Writing Instruction: A Tragedy in Five Acts.”

This came as quite a shock to all of us, but obviously, a welcome one.


The message we received from the editorial board follows:

“Dear Michael Kuhne, Taiyon J. Coleman, Kathleen DeVore, Renee DeLong, and Shannon Gibney,

“The Two-Year College English Association is pleased to inform you that you have been chosen as the recipients of the 2017 Mark Reynolds Teaching English at the Two Year College Best Article Award.

“Your article, “The Risky Business of Engaging Racial Equity in Writing Instruction: A Tragedy in Five Acts” (TETYC, 2016), addresses issues of central concern to our profession for the benefit of two-year college faculty and TETYC readership.”


Renee DeLong will travel to Portland next month, to accept a plaque and small honorarium at the Conference on College Composition and Communication on behalf of us all.

Valentine’s Day on Reboot

If the traditional celebration of Valentine’s Day makes you as ill as it does me, I urge you to consider stopping by this talk (and we do mean REAL TALK) on “Race and Education”with my Ride or Die BFF Dr. Taiyon Coleman. This is a subject we wrestle with daily, and one we have dedicated our lives to addressing equitably.

It’ll be this coming Tuesday, February 14, 7-9 pm, at Redeemer Lutheran Church ELCA in North Minneapolis.




Then on Thursday, February 16, I’m at Century College in White Bear Lake, with a bunch of my Good Time for the Truth compatriots, reading, engaging in audience discussion, and signing books.

All events that day are also FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.




A Flurry of Fall Events (in Chronological Order)


True to its promise, fall is a whirlwind of events and projects!


The Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture (ASAC) Biennial Conference begins tomorrow, here in Minneapolis. Most panels and events take place at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Downtown Northstar Hotel, and run Thursday, October 27 through  Saturday, October 29.

Click here for the conference program.

As a member of the local conference site committee, I have been busy planning opportunities for those who study the social, artistic, and other effects of adoption to gather and share perspectives and information at this small but mighty conference.


One such opportunity is the “Building Communities, Changing Discourse: New Writing on Adoption,” reading that will be taking place at The Loft Literary Center on Friday, October 28, at 7 pm.

Please check out this flyer, for more events affiliated with the ASAC 2016 Conference that are free and open to the public!



Then, I will be giving a short talk, reading and discussion at St. Kate’s on Tuesday, November 1, 7-8:30 pm, in their library.

“The Powerful Connection between Courage, Art, and Spirituality: Women’s Strategies and Legacies of Resistance, Agitation, and Transformation,” is FREE and open to the public! kate event.png

Details on the event on the St. Kate’s library page website.

Facebook event page here.

Download a flyer shannon-gibney-_17336017_155601794ff62e7303785e563f614ee98e98bee7.


arcc logo.jpg

On Wednesday, November 2, Taiyon Coleman, Alexs Pate and I will be reading from and discussing Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota, at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids.

Blues Vision

The event takes place in the Legacy Room, 12-12:50 pm, and then again at 2-2:50 pm. It is FREE and open to the public.

Download a blues-vision-fall-2016-poster.


Finally (for now, anyway), Madison people please don’t miss my reading at A Room of One’s Own Bookstore with rockstar and fellow adoptee writer and provocateur Rosita Gonzalez!

This reading and discussion is FREE and open to the public, and takes place on Friday, November 4 at 6:30 pm. Get all your info here.

rosita gonzalez

Rosita Gonzalez

Conference, anthology, & reading

Lots of amazing writers will offer sessions at the Minnesota History Center‘s “Writing Your Family Legacy” conference, on October 15.


Shannon will lead a workshop on “Narrative Magic: Embracing or Rejecting the Facts in Order to tell the story,” at 11:30.

For more information, or to register, click here.



Bustle magazine published a great little piece on the new YA anthology of short stories on adoption that Eric Smith is putting together, published by Jolly Fish next fall.

Shannon’s new short story “Salvation,” about a re-homed Haitian adoptee, is featured.



Shannon and fellow transracial adoptee author Rosita Gonzalez have rescheduled a reading and talk on transracial adoption in their work for Friday, November 4, 6:30 pm, at A Room of One’s Own bookstore in Madison.


rosita gonzalez

Rosita Gonzalez


Please stop on by for what is sure to be a lively and engaging evening!