Intense emotions in classrooms are often interpreted unfavorably because of how bodies can disrupt a space that centers the mind. However, bodies can also reflect students’ and educators’ emotional relationships with course material. Through an elucidative reflection on the pedagogical power of racialized emotions, this critical commentary considers the transgressive possibilities of racial empathy as a Black feminist epistemology. As a Black woman graduate student instructor, tensions emerge in classrooms around what it may mean when Black students and I are crying, and white students are not. Intense emotions, or the lack thereof, complicate the politics of power, responsibility, emotional labor, and connection in the classroom. This commentary considers how we reckon with our perception of, relationship to, and failures to see the humanity of others.
"Crying in the Classroom: Teaching (through a lack of) Racial Empathy,"
Feminist Pedagogy: Vol. 4:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/feministpedagogy/vol4/iss1/8