1st Edition

Mindful Activism Autoethnographies of Social Justice Communication for Campus and Community Transformation

    204 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    204 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection immerses scholars of communication and related disciplines in narratives of and conversations about social-justice-focused activism.

    Through autoethnographic essays, Mindful Activism chronicles the authors’ experiences as activist academics challenging and seeking to remedy injustices on campus and in local and global communities. Those experiences range from engaging in a single activist act to collaborating over many years with oppressed communities and social change groups. Building upon communication activism research and following a liberation-based transformative learning model, the book shows both activism in action and deep reflection on that activism. The authors re-experience activist experiences, draw out lessons, and invite readers to apply those to their own social justice endeavors. Mindful Activism also demonstrates how mindfulness supports activists in deepening their awareness and understanding of themselves, others, and social systems. This orientation increases the likelihood that activists will remain grounded enough to respond to injustice mindfully/effectively.

    The book will enrich courses on activism, social justice, dialogue, narrative inquiry, qualitative methods, autoethnography, and general graduate studies, and will resonate with scholars committed to building a more equitable and just world. 


    Introduction: Birthing the Book—Kathryn Norsworthy, Lisa M. Tillmann, & Steven Schoen

    Chapter 1: Sitting Out "The Star-Spangled Banner"—Lisa M. Tillmann, Kathryn Norsworthy, & Steven Schoen

    Chapter 2: Of All Days: Critical Pedagogy Outside the Classroom—Lisa M. Tillmann, Kathryn Norsworthy, & Steven Schoen

    Chapter 3: Queer Border Crossings—Kathryn Norsworthy, Lisa M. Tillmann, & Steven Schoen

    Chapter 4: Wind and Winding Roads: Friendship Amid Indefinite Confinement—Lisa M. Tillmann, Jeffery Holmgren, Kathryn Norsworthy, & Steven Schoen

    Chapter 5: "Say It Ain’t So": Protecting a Nondiscrimination Policy from Appropriated Diversity—Steven Schoen, Lisa M. Tillmann, & Kathryn Norsworthy

    Conclusion: Mindful Activists Debrief Mindful Activism—Lisa M. Tillmann, Steven Schoen, & Kathryn Norsworthy





    Lisa M. Tillmann is an activist scholar–teacher and social justice documentary filmmaker. At Rollins College, she holds the William R. Kenan Chair of Critical Media and Cultural Studies.Her relationship-centered activism has focused on issues such as LGBTQ+ civil rights, criminal justice reform, economic equity, and reducing gun violence.

    Kathryn Norsworthy is a queer activist, counseling psychologist, and George D. & Harriet W. Cornell Chair of Graduate Studies in Counseling and of Critical Media and Cultural Studies at Rollins College. Since 1997, she has been working in solidarity with and accompanying colleagues in Southeast and South Asia; together they conduct mindfulness-based, trauma informed, feminist-liberation projects, focusing on such issues as violence against women, healing-centered peacebuilding in areas of ethno-political conflict, HIV-AIDS, women’s leadership, LGBTQ+ civil rights, and transnational activism and social change.

    Steven Schoen, Associate Professor of Critical Media and Cultural Studies at Rollins College, is a media scholar focused on the rhetorics of documentary. He came to higher education from work as a video producer/director specializing in production for nonprofit organizations. Steve’s on- and off-campus activism has focused on issues ranging from gun violence to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. 

    "This is an important book for communicating both a vision of hands-on activist pedagogy and for understanding what it feels like to try to live up to the demands of collaborative activism both within and outside the university."

    —Arthur P. Bochner, National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar and Past President

    "This is an excellent text for any scholar who identifies as doing social justice work. Scholars who study identity groups or other groups impacted by social justice work (e.g., LGBTQ+, incarcerated people, refugees, etc.) should indeed read Mindful Activism, as it provides an excellent model for approaching the subject with principles of care, relationality, and the co-construction of knowledge."

    —Courtney D. Tabor, University of Oregon, USA