In recent attempts to ban the teaching of critical race theory in American schools and universities, students’ feelings have served as a frequent rationale and a subject of debate. Building on rhetoricians’ long-standing interest in emotion and its ties to movement and pedagogy, I track the rhetorical circulation of students’ feelings in and around critical race theory bans. I argue that such tracking helps elucidate the racialized role students’ emotions have played and continue to play in public education, with White students’ feelings positioned as a precious resource that must be protected from the dangerous feelings of others. I also consider how the circulation of students’ feelings can help rhetoricians rethink the distinctions and connections among the traditional branches of rhetoric.

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