Pilgrimages of tenderness:
Embodied pedagogies of peacelearning at Oklahoma memorials
The 10th International Conference of Museums for Peace
Title: Pilgrimages of tenderness: Embodied pedagogies of peacelearning at Oklahoma memorials
Author: Amanda M. Kingston & Lucy E. Bailey, Oklahoma State University
Abstract: In this essay, we explore pilgrimage as a practice of embodied tenderness leading to peacelearning at two sites of profound tragedy: the Oklahoma City National Memorial, site of the 1995 Murrah building bombing, and the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, site of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Building on our work on “pilgrimage as inquiry,” and memorials as sites of peace pedagogy (Bailey & Kingston, 2020), we fold the role of tenderness into our pilgrimage practices to memorials. We draw from Thompson’s (2017) pedagogy of tenderness to consider how memorials serve as embodied places for blending past/present experiences. Historical events intertwine with our present realities to nurture new meanings of justice, such as Black Lives Matter. How do these spaces invite us into another’s memory so we may better bear witness to past events, as well as our own lives (Tamashiro, 2017)? Then, we consider how the practices of “tenderness pilgrimages” offer lessons for peacelearning, or, “aims to foster conditions of learning that enhance inner transformation and social change” (Harris, 2004, p.11). Finally, we ponder the opportunities these memorials and pilgrimages might extend to peacelearning opportunities for students making meaning toward justice.