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Teaching with TendernessToward an Embodied Practice$
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Becky Thompson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041167

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041167.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Teaching with Tenderness

Becky Thompson

University of Illinois Press

Taking the lead from a statement that the poet and professor June Jordan made—“We are not all that is possible. None of us has ever really experienced justice. None of us has known enough justice”—the book opens with discussion of a pedagogy of tenderness as an embodied way of being that allows us to listen deeply, to consider perspectives that we might have thought outside our own worldviews, and to invite rigorous, engaged work. What might a pedagogy of tenderness require of us and make possible both in and outside of the classroom—in our families, our activist circles, our lives? Such a worldview and approach to living is possible by drawing on the contributions of multiracial feminism, contemplative practices (including yoga, meditation, talking circles, and Indigenous pedagogy), and trauma studies to transform classrooms into places of innovation, risk-taking and alliances building.

Keywords:   Post-oppositional politics, womanism, trauma studies, yoga, meditation, intersectionality, mindfulness, discrimination, social justice, embodiment, political poetry, witnessing

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