Sensuous Curriculum

Politics and the Senses in Education

Edited by:
Walter S. Gershon, Kent State University

A volume in the series: Landscapes of Education. Editor(s): William H. Schubert, University of Illinois at Chicago. Ming Fang He, Georgia Southern University.

Published 2019

The sensuous is the human experience, unfolding our everyday experiences and articulating our affects. Without sensory information, we could neither know nor be. This is because we gain information through our senses and interpret that information as perceptions, the sociocultural frames used to analyze that input. This is the case regardless of how a sensorium is constructed, a more limited Western five senses model for example. It is also the case no matter how senses are defined, they ways they are expressed, or the ways in which they are understood to function. Further, because there are often greater differences between members within a particular group than divergences between groups, how one attends to and acts in light of sensory information is always a polyphonic tapestry constructed on the warp of the sociocultural and the weft of individualism. Education, the transfer of information between people, animals, things, and ecologies, is therefore a sensory endeavor.

Sensuous curriculum is one means of describing this deeply layered intersection of educational ways of being and knowing. In many ways inverting how questions of curriculum are often framed, Sensuous Curriculum: Politics and the Senses in Education foregrounds how sensory understandings are forms of educational, relational politics. Bringing the depth and complexity of sensory studies firmly into curriculum and foundational studies of education, contributors to this volume address this educational and political intersection from a wide variety of theoretical and practical perspectives that are always embodied and material. Approached in an academic yet accessible manner, Sensuous Curriculum addresses key questions about what it means to educate and the ideas and ideals render those understandings sensible. This variety, depth, and accessibility combine to make Sensuous Curriculum an important resource for those interested in critical studies of the senses in educational ecologies and holistic education. It is a text as at home in theory and methods doctoral courses as it is in undergraduate courses for preservice teachers and will be of interest to those searching for rich ways to conceptualize education outside of a standards-centric perspective.

Praise for Sensuous Curriculum:
"This collection engages and challenges readers to think more deeply about questions of curriculum in connection to the sensuous in ways not typically considered, existing multi-dimensionally in transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and cross- disciplinary work. This compelling, intellectually stimulating, exhilarating volume is a canonical contribution everyone must study."
Theodorea Regina Berry
Professor and Chair, African American Studies
College of Social Sciences, San Jose State University

"Dr. Gershon’s edited collection, Sensuous Curriculum: Politics and the Senses in Education, makes the case for corrective action. By exploring the sensory as human experience, curriculum, and political, the authors of this volume offer iterations and variations for interrupting the ignor(anc)es of the sensorium in education and the body in making sense."
M. Francyne Huckaby
Associate Dean, TCU School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Professor, Curriculum Studies, TCU College of Education & Center for Public Education

"I thoroughly enjoyed sensing this book. This collection defies the conventional popular trends that sit inside the classic curriculum vinyl on our bookshelves. And in Aokian fashion, Walter Gershon has successfully brought together an ensemble of curriculum scholars who dare us to improvise and replay the possibilities and limitations of educational research as a tantalization of our senses. The research put forth in this collection not only promises to the break barriers of our thinking, but also makes significant contributions to and beyond post-humanism, new materialism, curriculum and affect theory. All serious scholars—artists, teacher educators, teachers, graduate students, community activists—of curriculum studies will want to purchase a copy of this carefully, crafted, curated sensuous collection. Without reservation...put the needle on their record, cause I am one of their biggest fans."
Nicholas Ng-A-Fook
Professor, Director of Teacher Education, Indigenous Teacher Education
Co-Director of the Réseau de Savoir sur l’Equité/Equity Knowledge Network
Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa

Series Foreword: Landscapes of Education, William H. Schubert and Ming Fang He. Introduction: Articulating Sensuous Curricula, Walter S. Gershon. Activate or Evacuate? Roles of a Sensorium in Debates Over Onto- Epistemology, Bernadette Baker. Syncopation, Sensing, and Sense-Making: The Genealogies of Julia Kristeva and Michel Foucault, David Lee Carlson and Joseph D. Sweet. Welcoming What We Cannot Imagine: Sensory Curriculum in Teacher Education, Lee Airton. War of the Half-Breeds: Communities of Color as a Resistant Response to Raced and Racist Education in the Midwest, Boni Wozolek. Blackness, Love, and Sensuousness as Praxis, Valerie Kinloch and Carlotta Penn. The Visceral Curriculum, Avi Lessing. Intersecting Race, Language, and Identity: Toward a Sensuous Curriculum of Investment, Awad Ibrahim. The Ontological Problem of Contemporary U.S. Education: A Nonlinear, Sensuous Critique, Walter S. Gershon. (Un)Boxing the Senses: Curricular Practices of Sensory Ethnography, Kimberly Powell and Sue Uhlig. Sensuous and Artistic Curriculum Towards the Disruption of the Normative, Anniina Suominen. About the Authors.