Imagining Dewey

Artful Works and Dialogue about Art as Experience


Volume Editors: and
Awarded an Honorable Mention for the 2022 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award

Imagining Dewey features productive (re)interpretations of 21st century experience using the lens of John Dewey’s Art as Experience, through the doubled task of putting an array of international philosophers, educators, and artists-researchers in transactional dialogue and on equal footing in an academic text. This book is a pragmatic attempt to encourage application of aesthetic learning and living, ekphrasic interpretation, critical art, and agonist pluralism.

There are two foci: (a) Deweyan philosophy and educational themes with (b) analysis and examples of how educators, artists, and researchers envision and enact artful meaning making. This structure meets the needs of university and high school audiences, who are accustomed to learning about challenging ideas through multimedia and aesthetic experience.

Contributors are: James M. Albrecht, Adam I. Attwood, John Baldacchino, Carolyn L. Berenato, M. Cristina Di Gregori, Holly Fairbank, Jim Garrison, Amanda Gulla, Bethany Henning, Jessica Heybach, David L. Hildebrand, Ellyn Lyle, Livio Mattarollo, Christy McConnell Moroye, María-Isabel Moreno-Montoro, María Martínez Morales, Stephen M. Noonan, Louise G. Phillips, Scott L. Pratt, Joaquin Roldan, Leopoldo Rueda, Tadd Ruetenik, Leísa Sasso, Bruce Uhrmacher, David Vessey, Ricardo Marín Viadel, Sean Wiebe, Li Xu and Martha Patricia Espíritu Zavalza.

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Patricia L. Maarhuis, PhD, is a researcher, educator, and artist at Washington State University. She has co-authored Parallaxic Praxis: Multimodal Interdisciplinary Pedagogical Research Design (Vernon Press, 2018) and book chapters on art-based inquiry about experiences of violence.

A. G. Rud, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education at Washington State University. Dr. Rud was president of the John Dewey Society 2017–2019 and edited its peer-reviewed international journal, Education and Culture, 2004–2010.
“The ancients posited ‘a quarrel between poetry and philosophy’: yet centuries later, work occasionally arises that throws into dazzling relief the interplay between fact and value, stasis and process, sedimented past and the spark of innovation. With one foot firmly planted in Dewey’s Art as Experience and the other mid-step into our present day, Imagining Dewey mines Deweyan/American pragmatist ideas on creativity, innovation, truth, and flourishing. It provides a refreshing dialogue between threads of fields too often artificially separated, as it connects resources in American, continental, and postmodern traditions with foundational insights and concerns of Plato and Aristotle. As internationally, cultures struggle today to integrate STEM fields with MESH fields (media literacy, ethics, sociology & history), Imagining Dewey provides a tapestry of theories, practices, hyperlinks, illustrations, and case examples highlighting practices of creative innovation that offer direction for both personal development and democratic, sociopolitical growth. Its energy of analysis is akin to mid-20th c. critical social theory critiques of increasingly dominative configurations of media, economics, and power: but in the spirit of early U.S. pragmatism, the essays focus “a pedagogy and politics of possibility” on 21st c. dynamics for new directions and solutions.” – L. Ryan Musgrave, PhD, Rollins College, Florida, USA
Imagining Dewey takes up the philosopher's 1934 text, Art as Experience, and demonstrates its pertinence and thought-provoking power for our day. Maarhuis and Rud have assembled a wide-ranging set of essays that illuminate our aesthetic experience of contemporary artistic and non-artistic works of very different kinds. Their imaginative rediscovery of Dewey's insights and interests in the present will be revitalizing for scholars of aesthetic education.” – René V. Arcilla, PhD, New York University, New York, USA
“Enter this book and fall into Dewey’s promises. Imagining Dewey by Maarhuis and Rud pulls together philosophy, pedagogy, and making to create a dialogic canvas of polyglossia on the aesthetics of unfolding life-learning. This collection bids for a reader response that experiences the art of living fully alive, in the halo of the present flash and flow, awake to the quickening of unity and dissonance of the real, the complexity of beauty, the freedom of harmony, the openness of rhythm. Experience the art of imagining here, cultivate a recovery of the soul. Read this and feel yourself change in the experience. A must-read for all graduate programs.” – Pauline Sameshima, PhD, Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada
“Dewey scholars, arts-based researchers and arts-integrated teachers, progressive educators, and all people who like to view and discuss art will benefit from this vigorous presentation of artworks created and recreated through the aesthetic experience of explorations of the connecting links among artists and their audiences. The text provides multiple inroads to curricular innovation. It is profoundly pluralistic and, therefore, a treatise on the connecting link between the arts and social justice.” – Susan Finley, PhD, Washington State University, Washington, USA
Jim Garrison
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

Patricia L. Maarhuis and A. G. Rud

Part 1: Art Is/Is Not Experience

1. Art as Experience, Experience as Art
M. Cristina Di GreGori, Livio Mattarollo and Leopoldo Rueda
2. Travels through China in the Dewey and Barnes Letters: Arts, education, and politics
Carolyn L. Berenato
3. Art Is (Not) Experience: Engaging Dewey in Reverse
John Baldacchino

Part 2: Performance & Happenings

4. The Aesthetics of Rehearsal
Scott L. Pratt
5. Building Experience: Fiction Account as Narrative Support and Product of Artistic Investigation
Martha Patricia Espíritu Zavalza
6. Collapsing Life and Art
David Vessey
7. The Artworks of Women: Weaving in a Semiotic and Pragmatic Performative Action
María-Isabel Moreno-Montoro

Part 3: Encounters & Relationships

8. Dewey’s Art as Experience: A Guide in an Age of Personal Technology
David L. Hildebrand
9. Images of Injustice: The Problem of Visual Culture in Dewey’s Aesthetics
Jessica A. Heybach
10. Illumination: Teacher Education and the Aesthetic Encounter
Sean Wiebe and Ellyn Lyle

Part 4: Dissonance & Reflection

11. Experiencing Art and Social Science: A Multimodal Poetic Perception of Social Ecological Cohesion
Adam I. Attwood
12. Aesthetic Experiences and Dewey’s Descendants: Poetic Inquiry as a Way of Knowing
Amanda N. Gulla
13. “Art Is More Moral than Moralities”: Deweyan Reflections on Literature in/as Education
James M. Albrecht
14. Father Catich and the Clean-Cut Christs: Re-presenting American Values Then and Now
Tadd Ruetenik

Part 5: Time, Space, & Nature

15. Eco-Aesthetic Experiences: A Deweyan Framework for Ecological Aims in Schools
Christy McConnell Moroye and P. Bruce Uhrmacher
16. Temporality and Spatiality in Artwork: Dewey and Traditional Chinese Painting
Li Xu
17. Articulation from an Aesthetic Environment: Experience of research A/r/tographic
María Martínez Morales
18. Aesthetic Experiences of Making with Paper: The (Artist-Infused) Corner for Under Eight Year Olds
Louise G. Phillips

Part 6: Transformation & The Work of Art

19. Sincerity in the Work of Art
Bethany N. Henning
20. Practicing the New School: Dewey, A/r/tography and the Intrusion of Poetics in Education
Leísa Sasso
21. Arts Based Educational Research and Social Transformation: A Project of Social A/r/tography
Ricardo Marín-Viadel and Joaquin Roldan
22. Imagination, Inquiry, and Voice: A Deweyan Approach to Education in a 21st Century Urban High School
Amanda N. Gulla, Holly Fairbank, and Stephen Noonan

Readership includes those interested in Philosophy of Education, Social Theory & Education, Curriculum Studies, Arts Education/Theory, Cultural Studies, Arts-based and Qualitative Research, and for those interested in high school (AP) subjects English: Language/Composition, Studio Art, Social Studies, and Art History/Theory.
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