A rich and honest conversation about professors' lives and the absurdity of trying to separate the personal from the professional.
These highly personal essays from a range of academic settings explore the palpable moments of discomfort, disempowerment, and/or enlightenment that emerge when we discard the fiction that the teacher has no body. Visible and/or invisible, the body can transform both the teacher's experience and classroom dynamics. When students think the teacher's body is clearly marked by ethnicity, race, disability, size, gender, sexuality, illness, age, pregnancy, class, linguistic and geographic origins, or some combination of these, both the mode and the content of education can change. Other, less visible aspects of a teacher's body, such as depression or a history of sexual assault, can have an equally powerful impact on how we teach and learn. The collection anatomizes these moments of embodied pedagogy as unexpected teaching opportunities and examines their apparent impact on teacher-student educational dynamics of power, authority, desire, friendship, open-mindedness, and resistance.
Diane P. Freedman is Associate Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and the author or editor of several books, including most recently Millay at 100: A Critical Reappraisal. Martha Stoddard Holmes is Assistant Professor of Literature and Writing Studies at California State University at San Marcos and the author of Fictions of Affliction: Physical Disability in Victorian Culture.