Critical Pedagogies in the Neoliberal University: Expanding the feminist field in the 21st-century art school

Session Convenors:

Marsha Meskimmon, Loughborough University

Hilary Robinson
, Loughborough University

Session Abstract:

Critiques of the neoliberal University are ubiquitous. Research is instrumentalised towards the production of quantifiable outcomes for the economy. Academic learning environments are evaluated for effective delivery of enterprising, if uncritical, citizens, into the global marketplace. Student fees and debt form a virtuous loop with employability agendas. To deliver its objectives, the corporate University speeds up performance demands upon permanent and precarious faculty colleagues.

Feminisms have long intervened in economies of knowledge production, asking critical questions concerning authority, inclusivity, and the role of education in empowerment and political change. What feminist pedagogies can we develop and maintain in the neoliberal corporate University? How can feminist reflexivity, creativity and aesthetics counter the anaesthetising effects of education-as-commodity for ‘student-consumers’? Can we develop responsible, responsive, critically affirmative knowledge projects though learning and teaching? How can we foster collaboration, connection, inter- and cross-disciplinary feminist creativity and thought in the academy? How can feminist pedagogies function within neoliberal universities while also offering spaces for critique? How does money work in feminist-friendly ‘alternative art schools’ – who can afford to study, and who cleans the toilets? What are the pre-figurative or alternative practices? How can the ‘long march through the institutions’ (Dutschke, c.1970) function as transformative experience rather than as co-option or assimilation? If ‘the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house’ (Lorde, 1979) how can we undo, while remaking, pedagogies, and not fail ourselves as students and as academics? Is it sometimes OK to ‘go slow’?

We welcome proposals that critique, theorise, propose, and strategise towards environments that enact inclusive feminist pedagogies.

To offer a paper
Please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenors, details above.

Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because it will appear online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 5 November 2018

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