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Jean-François Lyotard, Pedagogy, Thought
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In the first monograph on Lyotard and education, the author approaches Lyotard’s thought as pedagogical in itself. The result is a novel, soft, and accessible study of Lyotard organized around two inhuman educations: that of “the system” and that of “the human.” The former enforces an interminable process of development, dialogue and exchange, while the latter finds its force in the mute, secret, opaque, and inarticulable.

Threading together a range of Lyotard’s work through four pedagogical processes—reading, writing, voicing, and listening—the author insists on the distinct educational logics that can uphold or interrupt different ways of being-together in the world, touching on a range of topics from literacy and aesthetics to time and political-economy. While Inhuman Educations can serve as an introduction to Lyotard’s philosophy, it also constitutes a singular, provocative, and fresh take on his thought.
Chapter 20 Pneumatic
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In: Keywords in Radical Philosophy and Education
In: Keywords in Radical Philosophy and Education
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This article calls for a partisan media literacy. It begins by building on Kellner and Share’s typology of critical media literacy, ending with their own, which Ford labels “radical democratic media literacy.” Yet in our particular age we need more than criticality, we need partisanship. To make this case, the author turns to Russiagate and the repression of independent media and radical activists it’s facilitated.

In: The International Journal of Critical Media Literacy
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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.
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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
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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 2 Writing
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Proposing that Lyotard could be approached as a writer who writes in order to think about writing, this chapter begins by demonstrating that writing, for Lyotard, is a process of thinking or of witnessing thought—or, better, of trying to do both. It does so by focusing on two Lyotardian forms of re-writing which align with the modern and the postmodern. One form of re-writing is after a new “zero point” or beginning, and seeks to clarify errors from past writings under the command of the intellect and understanding. The second form of re-writing is one in which the writing works over the subject and takes on a life of its own. Here the task is not to shore up errors but to let the ineffable infiltrate the writing—and by consequence, the writer. In the end, I advance the list and the ellipses as two forms of re-writing that set thought apart from knowledge.

In: Inhuman Educations
Chapter 1 Reading
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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
Chapter 4 Listening
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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