Individual Presentation or Panel Title

Reckoning with Pedagogical Conditions of Spirit-Murder: Toward Composing and Theorizing Critically Reciprocal Pedagogies of Risk, Discomfort and Regard

Abstract

Patricia Williams, through her analysis of accumulated racialized legislative, police, and quotidian platforms of violence and “body murder,” formulates the trenchant term, “spirit-murder,” as a viscerally related structure and social formation. This insightful relation allows spirit-murder to render visible profound features of the social and conceptual logic animating power relations – a logic which I propose has pedagogical bearing. The spirit-murder logic operates as an “assaultive” and “tragic” formation and relation which turns on a “disregard for others whose lives qualitatively depend on our regard,” effects a “system of formalized distortions of thought” and “fear,” and “provides tumorous outlet[s] for feelings elsewhere unexpressed.”

Through this paper I propose and illustrate how such a logic shows up in conditions of pedagogy when teaching texts in ways which attend to knowing and being through processing power relations at the chafe of difference, disparity and distance, and especially palpably so in my experience, at the intersectionality of Blackness, woman-ness and textures of embodiment as a teacher configured in a predominantly White liberal arts institution. By positioning the nexus of pedagogy and reciprocity as a critical imperative, I compose and theorize reciprocities of risk, discomfort and regard as possible pedagogical pathways toward reckoning with spirit-murder. Maxine Greene’s and John Dewey’s representation of the aesthetic-anesthetic relation; Darlene Clarke Hine’s historicization of dissemblance; the practice of dropping down in theatre arts; Robin Bernstein’s racial innocence and knowledge repulsion problematic; and Audre Lorde’s operationalization of risk and bruising; have been particularly meaningful in this project of pedagogical rethinking.

Bernstein, Robin. (2011). Racial innocence: Performing American childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights. New York: New York University Press.

Dewey, John. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Kappa Delta Pi.

Hancock, Markie. (2001). Exclusions & awakenings: The life of Maxine Greene. California: University of California Extension Ctr. for Media & Independent Learning.

Hine, Darlene Clarke. (1989). Rape and the inner lives of Black women in the Middle West: Preliminary Thoughts on the Culture of Dissemblance. Signs 14, (4) 912-920.

Lorde, Audre. (1984). Sister outsider: Essays & speeches. California: The Crossing Press Feminist Press.

Williams, Patricia. (1987). Spirit-Murdering the messenger: The discourse of fingerpointing as the law's response to racism. University of Miami Law Review 42, (127).

Presentation Description

This work engages Patricia Williams’ concept of spirit-murder as a framework for noticing and reading key features of the conditions of pedagogy that show up when teaching texts in ways which attend to epistemological and power relations, especially at differential intersections and embodiments of race. By positioning the nexus of pedagogy and reciprocity as a critical imperative, this work composes and theorizes reciprocities of risk, discomfort and regard as possible pedagogical pathways toward reckoning with spirit-murder. Maxine Greene’s and John Dewey’s representation of the aesthetic-anesthetic relation; Darlene Clarke Hine’s historicization of dissemblance; the practice of dropping down in theatre arts; Robin Bernstein’s racial innocence and knowledge repulsion problematic; and Audre Lorde’s operationalization of risk and bruising; are particularly significant in this project of pedagogical rethinking.

Keywords

Critical theory, Critical pedagogy, Curriculum theory, Educational foundations, Race, Intersectionality, African American studies, Humanities, Arts

Location

Talmadge

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Jun 9th, 9:30 AM Jun 9th, 10:45 AM

Reckoning with Pedagogical Conditions of Spirit-Murder: Toward Composing and Theorizing Critically Reciprocal Pedagogies of Risk, Discomfort and Regard

Talmadge

Patricia Williams, through her analysis of accumulated racialized legislative, police, and quotidian platforms of violence and “body murder,” formulates the trenchant term, “spirit-murder,” as a viscerally related structure and social formation. This insightful relation allows spirit-murder to render visible profound features of the social and conceptual logic animating power relations – a logic which I propose has pedagogical bearing. The spirit-murder logic operates as an “assaultive” and “tragic” formation and relation which turns on a “disregard for others whose lives qualitatively depend on our regard,” effects a “system of formalized distortions of thought” and “fear,” and “provides tumorous outlet[s] for feelings elsewhere unexpressed.”

Through this paper I propose and illustrate how such a logic shows up in conditions of pedagogy when teaching texts in ways which attend to knowing and being through processing power relations at the chafe of difference, disparity and distance, and especially palpably so in my experience, at the intersectionality of Blackness, woman-ness and textures of embodiment as a teacher configured in a predominantly White liberal arts institution. By positioning the nexus of pedagogy and reciprocity as a critical imperative, I compose and theorize reciprocities of risk, discomfort and regard as possible pedagogical pathways toward reckoning with spirit-murder. Maxine Greene’s and John Dewey’s representation of the aesthetic-anesthetic relation; Darlene Clarke Hine’s historicization of dissemblance; the practice of dropping down in theatre arts; Robin Bernstein’s racial innocence and knowledge repulsion problematic; and Audre Lorde’s operationalization of risk and bruising; have been particularly meaningful in this project of pedagogical rethinking.

Bernstein, Robin. (2011). Racial innocence: Performing American childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights. New York: New York University Press.

Dewey, John. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Kappa Delta Pi.

Hancock, Markie. (2001). Exclusions & awakenings: The life of Maxine Greene. California: University of California Extension Ctr. for Media & Independent Learning.

Hine, Darlene Clarke. (1989). Rape and the inner lives of Black women in the Middle West: Preliminary Thoughts on the Culture of Dissemblance. Signs 14, (4) 912-920.

Lorde, Audre. (1984). Sister outsider: Essays & speeches. California: The Crossing Press Feminist Press.

Williams, Patricia. (1987). Spirit-Murdering the messenger: The discourse of fingerpointing as the law's response to racism. University of Miami Law Review 42, (127).