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In: Keywords in Radical Philosophy and Education
Chapter 20 Pneumatic
Author: Derek R. Ford
In: Keywords in Radical Philosophy and Education
Volume Editor: Derek R. Ford
While education is an inherently political field and practice, and while the political struggles that radical philosophy takes up necessarily involve education, there remains much to be done at the intersection of education and radical philosophy. That so many intense political struggles today actually center educational processes and institutions makes this gap all the more pressing. Yet in order for this work to be done, we need to begin to establish common frameworks and languages in and with which to move.

Keywords in Radical Philosophy and Education takes up this crucial and urgent task. Dozens of emerging and leading activists, organizers, and scholars assemble a collective body of concepts to interrogate, provoke, and mobilize contemporary political, economic, and social struggles. This wide-ranging edited collection covers key and innovative philosophical and educational themes—from animals, sex, wind, and praxis, to studying, podcasting, debt, and students.

This field-defining work is a necessary resource for all activists and academics interested in exploring the latest conceptual contributions growing out of the intersection of social struggles and the university.

Contributors are: Rebecca Alexander, Barbara Applebaum, David Backer, Jesse Bazzul, Brian Becker, Jesse Benjamin, Matt Bernico, Elijah Blanton, Polina-Theopoula Chrysochou, Clayton Cooprider, Katie Crabtree, Noah De Lissovoy, Sandra Delgado, Dean Dettloff, Zeyad El Nabolsy, Derek R. Ford, Raúl Olmo Fregoso Bailón, Michelle Gautreaux, Salina Gray, Aashish Hemrajani, Caitlin Howlett, Khuram Hussain, Petar Jandrić, Colin Jenkins, Kelsey Dayle John, Lenore Kenny, Tyson E. Lewis, Curry Malott, Peter McLaren, Glenn Rikowski, Marelis Rivera, Alexa Schindel, Steven Singer, Ajit Singh, Nicole Snook, Devyn Springer, Sara Tolbert, Katherine Vroman, Anneliese Waalkes, Chris Widimaier, Savannah Jo Wilcek, David Wolken, Jason Wozniak, and Weili Zhao.
Author: Derek R. Ford

Abstract

This afterword extends some themes developed in the book to present a new understanding of rurality and urbanity, not as things but as ontological processes. It highlights the ways that fixing the rural into an object is detrimental for political reasons. Thus, the chapter continues to make the rural explicit by articulating what we mean by the rural—how we understand the field from within or about which we write—while acknowledging that such an articulation necessarily intervenes in the construction of the rural. It does this by reading Don Mitchell’s critique of culture and Barbara Applebaum’s critique of white privilege pedagogy, showing the political stakes involved in the rural and redefining it as a process of production and reproduction.

In: Educating for Social Justice
Chapter 19 Afterword
Author: Derek R. Ford

Abstract

This afterword extends some themes developed in the book to present a new understanding of rurality and urbanity, not as things but as ontological processes. It highlights the ways that fixing the rural into an object is detrimental for political reasons. Thus, the chapter continues to make the rural explicit by articulating what we mean by the rural—how we understand the field from within or about which we write—while acknowledging that such an articulation necessarily intervenes in the construction of the rural. It does this by reading Don Mitchell’s critique of culture and Barbara Applebaum’s critique of white privilege pedagogy, showing the political stakes involved in the rural and redefining it as a process of production and reproduction.

In: Educating for Social Justice
Chapter 4 Listening
Author: Derek R. Ford

In this chapter, I propose different sonic modes of engaging the distinct voices of the two inhuman educations, the public life and secret life, lexis and phonè. The two main modes, hearing and listening, are differentiated according to the role the subject plays in each. Hearing is about affirming and creating new forms of understanding, while listening reaches beyond understanding and subjects us to the force of sonorous matter itself. Lyotard’s writings on John Cage and Pierre Boulez, who each approach sublime sounds through different tactics, the former through minimalism and the latter through overdetermination. Next, I turn to timbre or the nuance of sounds, or those sonorous elements that are unpredictable and sublime, and which disseize the subject and disable our capacity to identify, understand, and know. To experience the force of timbre, the inhuman education of infancy requires passibility and another form of listening: not listening, upsetting the apparent dichotomy of sonic pedagogy. When not listening, we’re subjected to the force of timbre, or the inaudible and immaterial matter of sound. In the end, I read these forms of listening back through the examples of the ellipses and the list introduced in chapter 2.

In: Inhuman Educations
Chapter 3 Voicing
Author: Derek R. Ford

This chapter returns to the infancy that is without the ability to speak in an effort to open op our understanding of voicing and speaking beyond meaning, representation, dialogue, and deliberation. I turn first to the Italian composer Luciano Berio, which inverts the dominant relationship between music and voice, with the latter present but fragmented and unintelligible. Next I turn to paganism and laughter during the French Revolution, which is not apolitical but instead continually displaces the order and place of politics. Finally, I examine the different voices that Lyotard hears in Freud: lexis (the articulated elements of the voice that signify) and phonè (the infant, affective, and mute elements of the voice that signals only itself). Throughout, I draw out the different ways our understanding, experience, and practice of voicing work according to the different forms of inhuman education.

In: Inhuman Educations
Chapter 5 Sectarian Initiation
Author: Derek R. Ford

In the conclusion, I return again to the difference between thought and knowledge, matter and form, and the beautiful and aesthetic but this time in relation to a common yet undeveloped concept in Lyotard: stupor. Stupor is different from both ignorance and arrogance, and refers to an infancy of subjectivity in which the subject is disseized of the ability to understand. I then relate this to Lyotard’s writing—and appreciation of—political sectarianism, which is always errant and unpredictable while simultaneously still organizing and cohering politics and pedagogy. In the end, I acknowledge that we may ourselves have to drift from Lyotard as we continue our initiation into his thinking.

In: Inhuman Educations
Chapter 1 Reading
Author: Derek R. Ford

Focusing primarily on Lyotard’s dissertation project, which resulted in his book Discourse, Figure, this chapter examines different practices of reading. These each depend on the ways in which we acknowledge, appreciate, and engage with the discursive elements of the text—those concerning articulation, publicness, dialogue, and critique—and figural elements of the text—those that resist, undermine, and are prior to or beyond articulation. Bringing in Nina Berberova’s The Revolt, from which Lyotard takes the notions of the public life, secret life, and the general line between the two, I show how the dominance of discourse chips away at the general line between the public and secret life and, therefore, the figural properties of text. In response, I propose the contrasting practices of developmental reading and childish reading, each of which reinforce distinct inhuman educations. After showing how development reading works to reinforce not only the logic of the system but the racist nature of its contemporary manifestation, it provides some examples of how Lyotard’s writing leads us into childish and secret reading practices.

In: Inhuman Educations
Introduction Lyotard’s Thought as Pedagogy
Author: Derek R. Ford

The introduction begins with one place Lyotard explicitly focused on education, in his introduction to The Inhuman, which serves to introduce the two inhumans mobilized through the book: the inhuman of the system and the inhuman of humanity. The system is organized not around ideals or community but by development, exchange, transparency, and deliberation. The system’s inhumanity emerges from the fact that it disregards or represses the inhumanity of the human, which concerns the infancy of humanity, or the inability to speak. The inhuman education of the system works to develop the child into an adult, whereas the inhuman education of the human finds resonance with that which cannot be, or is beyond, articulation. After a brief biographical sketch of Lyotard, I conclude the chapter with a justification for the book and the approach it takes. Rather than applying Lyotard to education or mining Lyotard’s writings for references to education, the remaining chapters engage Lyotard’s thinking and writing as pedagogical in themselves, and approach them through four educative processes: reading, writing, voicing, and listening.

In: Inhuman Educations