Abstract

In 2013, the Westboro Baptist Church announced plans to picket Vassar College. This article recounts the quixotic attempt by student activists and myself to organize an embodied and affective form of counter-protest: a campus-wide act of foot-washing. Students were drawn to foot-washing because it represented an alternative model of knowledge formation based on awakening the affects of interaction and not achieving rational sovereignty. Despite failing, an urgent pedagogical case remains for reimagining ethical relations on campus. In light of the current political climate, the challenges of higher education may well be in engaging feelings that pass along campus affective circuits.

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