Much of the current work on bodies in schools and classrooms is, appropriately, focused on a critical examination of the docile bodies (Foucault, 1995) of students and the violence inflicted on them. But teachers’ bodies are also subjected to surveillance, management, and control by larger systems of power, and thus get marked, erased, and constructed in precarious and oppressive ways. These systems harness teachers’ bodies to normalizing narratives of individualism, the hetero-patriarchy, white supremacy, and the Cartesian mind/body binary. As a result, teachers are left feeling disembodied, and yet, our teacher bodies—discursively and materially—still “come up” in the classroom, often in unsettling, painful, or surprising ways. Our memories of our teacher bodies become stories that we use to tell ourselves into existence and they continually shape our pedagogies, practices, and relationships with students. In this study, eight beginning women English teachers and I took up a feminist post-structuralist methodology called collective memory work (Haug, 1987, 1999; Davies & Gannon, 2006) to access, analyze, theorize, and challenge our memories of our teacher bodies. Through our analyses of these memories we critically engaged with theories of teaching and learning and identified and (de)constructed narratives of race, gender, sexuality, and age that are reproduced in our classrooms every day. This study reveals how, if teachers are asked to engage in research that is collective, critical, and participatory, we build new pedagogical imaginaries through which we can learn from our own bodies and the bodies of our students.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2016. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Cynthia Lewis. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 299 pages.
These Are Stories About Our Bodies: Collective Memory Work and the Pedagogical Imaginaries of Our Teacher Bodies.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.