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Teaching with activists

"The classroom remains the most radical space
of possibility in the academy"

- bell hooks


The pedagogical significance of this research project is in line with the purpose of ‘teaching for social justice’ as conceptualised in feminist pedagogy and de Sousa Santos’ idea of ‘polyphonic university’. Teaching for justice takes the form of ‘engaged pedagogy’ in bell hooks’ work (Teaching to Transgress, Routledge, 1994) and aims at building a vision of justice that should be ‘collectively imagined, collectively guarded and collectively worked out’ in Jacqui Alexander’s words (Pedagogies of Crossing, Duke University Press, 2006, p. 133). De Sousa Santos’ idea of ‘polyphonic university’ where the plurality of voices composing the university are not just cosmetic illustrations but are represented in different conventional and unconventional ways (The End of the Cognitive Empire, Duke University Press, 2018). Engaging with the ‘unconventional’ expertise of activists provides students with a variety of tools to interrogate assumptions and develop new ways to look at the past and present world with insight and originality and reimagine the future.

We will use this space to provide examples of these forms of pedagogical engagement.