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Title: Resistance and production in the ruins of pedagogy and student writing
Author: Henderson, J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 5445
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis is an examination of the (im)possibility of the critical in pedagogy and student writing. More specifically, using Foucault’s concept of governance, and his genealogical problematization of power/knowledge which animates and constrains the present, it interrogates normative understandings of ‘the critical’ as a criterion against which practice and language are evaluated in the academy. A poststructuralist, materialist approach to understanding academic work and its subjects is developed and employed in exploring the ‘ruins’ of pedagogy and student writing, where the metaphor of ‘ruins’ refers to ‘the crumbling edifice of Enlightenment values’ (Maclure 2011:997). Foucault’s methods and sensitivities, and Derrida’s understanding of the ‘event’ of writing, are conjointly put to work to problematise the operations of power in the governance, administration and legitimation of hegemonic understandings of ‘the critical’ in higher education. Deploying as analytical notions and tools Foucault’s understanding of power as multiple forces of resistance and consent, or as an immanence in our doings which operates in minute, micro-physical heterogeneous ways, this thesis scrutinizes the ways the present of critical pedagogical practice, and undergraduate student writing in the field of intercultural communication, is produced and conditioned from within. The ineluctable oscillation between resistance and consent in such presents puts into question the post- possibility of ‘the critical’, here understood as ‘the right to difference, variation and metamorphosis’ (Derrida 2006:87) within the ‘matrix of calculabilities’ in the university (Ball & Olmedo 2012:103). This question is put into context in relation to the wider field of pedagogical and student writing practices. Using close reading of student assessment texts, contingent ‘micro-practices of resistance’ are considered for ways they fleetingly keep openness in play, and proposed as one tentative way forward for a post-critical praxis of literacy pedagogy and writing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available