Zen, Contemplative Practice, and the Emergence of Black Queer Joy


  • Steven Thurston Oliver Salem State University


contemplative practice, autoethnography, Black queer joy, higher education, Zen


This narrative essay offers an exploration of the ways in which contemplative practice can be part of a strategy for nurturing health, well-being, meaning and joy in our everyday lives as Black contemplatives. Drawing on my experience as a Black queer scholar and college professor, attention is given to the notion of contemplative practice as a way of cultivating our internal emotional, intellectual and spiritual resources from which those of us who teach must draw upon to make our disciplines come alive for ourselves and the students we work with.

Author Biography

Steven Thurston Oliver, Salem State University

Steven Thurston Oliver is an associate professor of secondary and higher education at Salem State University. Steven is sociologist of education whose research is focused on the ways in which contemplative pedagogy can be used as a catalyst in K-12 teacher preparation and higher education programs for cultivating greater capacity among educators to engage across human differences.


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