Join date: May 2, 2021

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Hi all! My name is Joey Braccino (he/him) and I currently live in Jersey City, NJ. I’m a high school English teacher and the high school co-coordinator for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the United Nations International School in New York City. I’ve also dabbled in teaching theatre and advising the drama club here at UNIS and will continue doing that next year.

I am thrilled to be joining the Reverence for Words NEH seminar. I’ve done two NEH summer institutes in the past—one on Hannah Arendt and one on the art and literature of the Appalachian mountain region--and learned so much about both the subject of the seminar as well as myself as an educator. This seminar in particular resonated with me given the demographics and international mission of our school in particular, and I have made it part of my mission as an English teacher to diversify the types of stories and storytellers that appear in my classroom. With that in mind, the seminar’s focus on exploring Muslim culture through all sorts of artistic expression lined up perfectly. On a more personal note, I taught Farrokhzad’s poetry this year for the first time and the students L O V E D it, so I’m excited to dive deeper into her work in the seminar!

When not teaching, my time is typically split between two other passions of mine: comics and theatre. I love the comic book medium and all that it entails, and a fun fact about me is that I co-host a weekly podcast called TALKING COMICS (available wherever you get podcasts and at that explores everything related to comic books and nerd culture—superheroes, graphic novels, underground comix, films, television, etc. etc. etc. If anyone wants to chat nerd stuff, I’m down!

In terms of theatre, aside from spending as much of my free time as possible scoring cheap seats to shows, I try to stay as active as possible in community theatre and student theatre productions in and around New Jersey. While I often say I’m “retired” from performing, the CoVid quarantine and shut-down has definitely reawakened that itch to get back on stage or make some theatre!!!

One final fun fact—our seniors opted to do a series of Senior Seminars this May in lieu of in-person exams (due to CoVid), and I pitched and ran one on Asian American Representation in Superhero Comics, a topic near and dear to my heart as my mother is an immigrant from Hong Kong. One of our main topics in the seminar was the character in my banner photo: Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, a Muslim Pakistani-American teen hero from Jersey City!!!

I look forward to meeting everyone during the institute and learning from all of you!!!

Joey Braccino

Joey Braccino

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