86. Embodying Vulnerability w/ Nat Garcia

Dan invites Nat Garcia-Hammon (pronouns: they/them), a faculty member at Nova Southeastern University to discuss the challenges of teaching in Florida, practicing & embodying vulnerability in the classroom and beyond, the relationship between learning/knowledge creation and full-embodiment, Nat’s journey from Law School to Rhetorician, their Freirean classroom pedagogy, how Doctoral programs can better prepare students for the emotional realities of academic life & work, and so much more!

Nat Garcia-Hammon (pronouns: they/them) is a faculty member at Nova Southeastern University in the Halmos College of Arts and Sciences in the Department of Communication, Media, and the Arts. Their research focuses on embodiment, queerness, gender identity, and legal and extralegal codifications of identity through cultural artifacts. They are particularly interested in how the rhetoric around us is deployed to create, define, and reproduce the identities and ideologies we come to embody. Recently their work has focused on the connection between trauma and education in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges faced by students and faculty alike. Bringing ideas of instructional design, epistemology, and trauma-informed theories is their current area of focus.

People and Texts Mentioned in this Episode

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“I think teaching in Florida in general is probably the most challenging career path right now, especially with our latest developments; policy-wise you the Don’t Say Gay Bill and you have the Stop The Woke Act that’s trying to be passed.”
–Nat Garcia

“Knowledge can be a painful process.” –Nat Garcia

“Having a background in law helps me kind of expose my students to the fact that you will not find humanity in law. Law, essentially, is written to protect aspects that relate to humanity or to dehumanize, and if we’re not aware of that then it continues to serve that function rather than being something meant for liberation.”
–Nat Garcia

“I don’t think it’s enough to teach kids how to see the world in a rhetorical way, they have to be able to produce rhetoric that moves the world.”
–Nat Garcia

“I, alongside a lot of other rhetoricians believe that what we do is learned in embodied ways.”
-Nat Garcia

“Vulnerability plays a huge role in my class.” –Nat Garcia

“I think there’s something to be said about being transparent, that’s vulnerable for an academic to do because we’re supposed to pretend that we know absolutely everything and that we got it under control, but reality is most of us are burnt out at this point. Most of us feel like this is too emotionally taxing to do, [and] so many of us are leaving this profession after so many years of school.”
–Nat Garcia

 “Vulnerability can be probably the most powerful tool to an academic if we embrace the discomfort that comes along with it.”
–Nat Garcia

“You can be great at something, but if it doesn’t fill your cup, that’s not a cup worth drinking.”
–Nat Garcia

“Before you can write about the world, you need to understand how it works.”
–Nat Garcia

This episode was recorded on April 6th, 2022. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. The theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod.

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