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How Ivan the Fool Defeats Civilized Pedagogies

How Ivan the Fool Defeats Civilized Pedagogies

A Guest Seminar on Globalization, Education and Change

12pm, Wednesday 8 February 2012, Room 133, Education Building (3700 McTavish)

with Layla AbdelRahim,  author, educator, Wild Children - Domesticated Dreams: 
Civilization and the Birth of Education

At the very root of the anthropogenic world we have marred with divisions by class, race, gender, species, and other isms lies the ontology of humanism deeply cemented in consumerism or the idea that everything exists in a hierarchy of “food chain”. Conceptualizing inter-species relationships in these terms ascribes a consumerist purpose for all of existence and provides the foundation for civilized epistemology and, by extension, is the cause for pedagogies of domestication, where the behaviour, dreams, and self-knowledge of human resources as well as other animals has to be appropriated and modified to fit the civilized labour and consumption order. Appropriation of wilderness, dreams, and lives requires an epistemology that refuses to know the other’s suffering and to feel the other’s pain. However, heroes such as Ivan the Fool from Russian folk tales, oblivious to the domesticated purpose, antagonistic to all forms of oppression and labour, and dependent on empathic and intricate relationships of cooperation with the wild point to different, unDarwinian and uncivilized ways of knowing.

Drawing from her research for her forthcoming book (Fernwood Publishing) entitled: Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education, Dr AbdelRahim will discuss the importance of the anti-civilized hero in exploring the possibilities of overcoming the very ontology of education as rooted in the civilized need to separate the knower from the unknower, the possessor from the dispossessed or more accurately from the possessed, the person from the non-person, the male from the female, among endless other ways of othering and domesticating.

Born into an academic, multilingual, multicultural, and multinational family, Layla AbdelRahim began her journey through disciplines, cultures, and the world from the day she was born. She has reported on war, interviewed rebels, military commanders, and politicians while working with war refugees in north east Africa, has conducted anthropological research on medical practices, law, and parenting cultures in Europe, and has studied at top universities of the world: Bryn Mawr College in PA, Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris, Stockholm University, finally obtaining her Ph.D. from the University of Montreal. Her fields of expertise range from arts, through social sciences, to hard science all of which converge into her critical perspective on civilized practices, domestication, and education.

All are welcome to attend this brownbag lunch seminar.

Organized by Aziz Choudry, Assistant Professor, International Education, Department of Integrated Studies in Education. Phone: 514 3982253/Email: aziz.choudry@mcgill.ca


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