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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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To You, I Belong

To You, I Belong

(p.85) 5 To You, I Belong
Teaching with Tenderness

Becky Thompson

University of Illinois Press

“To You, I Belong” examines historical memory as an embodied concept. Teaching asks us to work with memories in our bodies. The memories that we store often defy coherent narratives, require us to patchwork sensation with emotion, an energetic presence with evidence shaken by time. The presence and insistence of historical memory inevitably asks us to make room for fear, grief, betrayal, and ambivalence. Dealing with historical memory isn’t easy—our own or our students’ memories. Working closely with the student life office, counseling services, and other support centers becomes crucial. At the same time, outsourcing emotional work to spaces beyond the classroom runs the risk of separating content from process, the mind from the body. This outsourcing can send a message that a teacher is not up to the task of witnessing student journeys. In the chapter, Thompson shares some examples of when students were willing to share an embodied presence in the classroom and what they teach through their courage.

Keywords:   Historical memory, student services, embodiment, emotions, intimacy, immigration, surgery, trauma studies, ancestors, consciousness, trigger warnings

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