Dwelling in Revolutionary Intimacies: Performing Mentoring and/as Reflexivity

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Book Chapter

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“What is to be…?” It is such a simple question, its force remains un-multiplied and un-amplified in the panel we are sitting on. Unnoticed, it bounces around, echoing (in) reflexivity. “What is it to be…?” comes unexpectedly out of the mouth of an undergraduate student and digs deep into each of our different personal histories of journeying U.S. academia as, alternately, misfits and perfect fits. We know each other fairly well and still, it is tempting to say, “me too” or even “I stand with you,” repeating current tropes and scripts of social justice activism. But we are silent, pushed to the borderlands of our experiences by a profound sense of misrecognition (Pollock, 2006) that powerfully reminds us that “Empathy is a good thing. But it is not always the right good thing” (Pollock, 2006, p. 90). In this chapter, we theorize an approach toward Critical Communication Mutual Mentoring (Herakova & Congdon, 2018b) that refuses empathetic identification and builds on the performative research practices of “collaborative witnessing” (Ellis & Rawicki, 2013), “friendship as a method” (Ellis & Rawicki, 2013), and “listening for the echoes” (Kress & Frazier-Booth, 2016). This chapter performs dialogic reflexivity as an integral praxis of Critical Communication Mutual Mentoring, informed by Critical Communication Pedagogy (Fassett & Warren, 2007).


Chapter in Mentoring and Communication :Theories and Practices Trebing & Atay (Eds.)

ISBN- 9781433162725