M/othering a Bodied Curriculum: Sleeping with Cake and Other Touchable Encounters

Stephanie Springgay, Debra Freedman


A bodied curriculum attends to the relational, social, and ethical implications of "being-with" other bodies differently and to the different knowledges such bodily encounters produce. It is a practice of being oriented to others, to touch, to reflect, and to dwell with others relationally. In this paper we re-conceptualize m/othering as a bodied curriculum opening up maternity to the in-between of corporeality, materiality, and difference. In doing so, we locate our arguments in the work of contemporary visual artist Diane Borsato, in order to develop the theoretical constructs of "touch" and "being-with." From here, we extend such understandings of relationality to a bodied curriculum and in particular attend to the ethical implications of teaching and learning "with" others. In our third and concluding section, we return to earlier deliberations on mothering as performative and suggest that a (post) reconceptualization of curriculum requires an openness to the un/thought and a process of becoming that is always incomplete.


About the Authors

Stephanie Springgay is an Assistant Professor of Art Education and Women's Studies at Penn State University. Her research and artistic explorations focus on issues of relationality and an ethics of embodiment. Publications include: Curriculum and the Cultural Body, with Debra Freedman and Body Knowledge and Curriculum: Pedagogies of touch in youth and visual culture. Stephanie can be contacted at sss23@psu.edu


Debra Freedman teaches curriculum courses online for Ball State University and The Pennsylvania State University. Her research and teaching interests include curriculum theory, cultural studies, and teacher education. She is co-editor, with Stephanie Springgay, of Curriculum and the Cultural Body, Peter Lang
(2007). Debra can be contacted at dif4@psu.edu

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

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