Suspect of smiles: Struggle, compassion, and running to reclaim the body in urban Baltimore

Bryan Clift

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)


In this article, I perform and discuss two interrelated embodied tensions brought on by my experiences with the people of one urban-based nonprofit organization: my uneasiness with charity and voluntarism, and my conflicted relationship with the practice of running. This is also about the people of Back on My Feet (2010), a nonprofit organization that partners with addiction and homelessness recovery centers to empower those recovering through the practice of running. I detail, in particular, how these tensions problematize the desire to help others, challenge my sense of self, and challenge my own politics, all while trying not to undercut the positive effects of the organization, the people, and its practices. Piecing together stories from my experience, memory, and notes, I write to learn and make known my own hesitancies, hypocrisies, and uncertainties expressed through my body in search of urban social justice and to work toward decolonizing my inquiry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-505
Number of pages10
JournalCultural Studies <-> Critical Methodologies
Issue number5
Early online date9 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Suspect of smiles: Struggle, compassion, and running to reclaim the body in urban Baltimore'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this