Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2022 Issue »

    A Face for My Autobiography

    Lucy Grealy and Embodied Vulnerability

    Andrea Avery
    In this reflective essay, Andrea Avery considers how teaching Lucy Grealy’s 1994 Autobiography of a Face in a memoir class functions to cultivate embodied vulnerability among high school seniors. She discusses her own identity as a disabled/chronically ill teacher and how her positioning of and interaction with Grealy’s text invites her students to “see” her body and to use autobiographical writing to see and claim their own bodies. She reflects on the particular challenges she has faced in pursuit of the goal of liberatory educational practice wherein, as theorized by bell hooks, the empowerment of all people in the space depends on the teacher’s willingness to make herself vulnerable alongside her students.

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    Andrea Avery (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6482-7539) is an educational designer at reDesign, an education design lab and consultancy specializing in learner-centered design, change leadership, and adult development. She has 20 years of experience in secondary and post-secondary teaching, school leadership, and curriculum design. She earned a doctorate from Arizona State University, where she focused on agentic writer identity, behavior, and beliefs in 10th-grade writers. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Research on Leadership Education, Radical Teacher, and The Politics of Women’s Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior, Third Edition (Oxford University Press, 2010).
  2. Fall 2022 Issue


    A Face for My Autobiography
    Lucy Grealy and Embodied Vulnerability
    Andrea Avery

    Book Notes

    The Doctoral Journey as an Emotional, Embodied, Political Experience
    Edited by Rebecca (Bex) Twinley and Gayle Letherby

    Memory in the Mekong
    Edited by Will Brehm and Yuto Kitamura

    Willful Defiance
    Mark R. Warren

    Queer Data
    Kevin Guyan

    All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep
    Andre Henry