Embodied literacies: Learning to first acknowledge and then read the body in education

September 2011
English Teaching: Practice & Critique (University of Waikato);Sep2011, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p72
Academic Journal
American consumerism has historically taught women and girls - and now men and boys - how to live in what I refer to here as bodily-not- enoughness: the idea of not being enough of something in one's body (not thin-enough, pretty-enough, feminine/masculine-enough, white-enough, middle-class-enough, straight-enough, and so on.). The bodily practices we learn in American popular and education culture teach us to keep our bodies under strict surveillance so we can locate these imperfections - both physically and lived - and improve them; they also teach us to read bodies as normal or deficient visual texts, as enough or not enough. In order to unlearn how we read each others' bodies in education and teaching, I suggest here that we first have to acknowledge bodies in education and teaching so we can then have the conversations that will help us read each other's bodies differently.


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