Re-blogged: Critical pedagogies?

Image from and h/t The Disorder of Things

Re-blogged from The Disorder of Things.

Here’s something interesting:

“It would be strange for anyone to graduate from an IR programme not knowing what ‘Realism’ is (or not knowing the difference between a Carr and a Waltz, or a neo-conservative and a neo-classical). But understanding the state of the discipline isn’t the same thing as foregrounding its self-mythologies. We know, for example, that our current teaching doesn’t reflect the actual distribution of perspectives (recall that 16% of IR scholars call themselves Realists, but 37% of survey respondents use more than a quarter of their introductory courses teaching it). Let us have compulsory courses in the intellectual history of IR, but not a iterated call-and-response in which the critical always comes second. Perhaps this is a generational difference, perhaps one founded on the privilege of never being made to always progress through the ‘American Science’ in any any given argument. Either way, I want to suggest that we stop thinking of teaching as the job of conveying the same sense of embattlement against a Mainstream that frames critical IR’s story of itself. And, in the process, move from unapologetic to militant. To haunt the corridors and panels of that same Mainstream and demand explanations of why there is no empire in their course outlines.”

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2 thoughts on “Re-blogged: Critical pedagogies?

  1. Kate Zen says:

    Thanks for reblogging this post, and for your comments on my blog. I appreciate your interest.

    I agree that critical theory within the social sciences sometimes sets its own ceilings by posing as the outsider to the mainstream, rather than taking bolder steps to “force its inclusion” in the curriculum, in whatever way that can be imagined.

    However, the mainstream usually reacts by incorporating select parts of the critique in its practice. A concrete example: Marxist/anti-imperialist critiques of globalization/development have been partially incorporated into mainstream anthropology, and even development economics; and through these disciplines, the ideas have made some impact on public policy through changes in funding language by grant-making organizations and human rights institutions. There are various waves of trendy buzzwords that come in and out, and critical theorists actually play a role in shaping these.

    What do you think of the book “The History of Human Rights” by Micheline Ishay? I read that a few years ago – I think a notable account of the history of human rights, which does not take for granted its status as some universal teleological trajectory in social justice, which you should take a look at, is Samuel Moyn’s “The Last Utopia.” Quite an interesting thesis!

  2. rodsjournal says:

    Hi Kate, thanks for your comment. I must confess I’m rather deficient in this area, so most of it is new-ish to me. That said though, I won’t be surprised if some anthropologist-academics, as well as people in the development NGO areas that I know are aware of this. Certainly, something to continually track and be aware of.

    I haven’t finished Ishay’s book…it’s still on my links sidebar 🙂 I know what you mean about the book’s theme of a trajectory; I’ve read a couple of reviews of it since I started on it, and am seeing it for myself as I go through it now. No, I haven’t read Samuel Moyn’s book, but now that you’ve pointed it out and I’ve checked it out online, I’m going to get it…eventually!

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