This paper considers the relationship between education and hospitality in the specific context of moments of incivility in classrooms, with special attention to racial/white resentment. The authors reflect on the extent to which nurturing intellectual candor with interpretive charity (Callan, 2011) can be extended to incivility shaped by white resentment. They contend there is a need to approach hospitality as responsibility (Levinas, 1969, thereby suggesting conditions for student agency. The relationship between the educator as host and giver of hospitality and the students as guests and respondents is discussed (Ruitenberg, 2011b). The paper argues the role of the teacher is key to ensuring those at the receiving end of the perceived attack are able to reclaim hospitality by being given the space and the means to respond to the offense with agency. This paper discusses the need for parameters balancing free speech and teaching moments with restoring agency to the marginalized others. Finally, the study proposes responding to racial resentment requires framing teaching moments within an ethic of responsibility which aims to restore agency for those on the receiving end of racial incivility.


ethics, incivility, teaching



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