This experimental lecture series will provide the terrain for emergent inter-disciplinary research on the topic of 21st century education in relation to non-pedagogy, that is, pedagogy attuned towards that which is seemingly unthinkable given today’s (so-called) Anthropocenic context and the advancement of AI technologies, machine ‘learning’ and other forms of non-human/inhuman sense-making.
The pedagogical significance of this lecture series is two-fold: The first point is to recognize that in the era of the Anthropocene, both understandings and material conditions of the ‘human’ are undergoing modification and change. The question of the ‘human’ is being decentred by, on the one hand, the non-human — the agential role of animals, organisms and anorganic elemental forces — and, on the other hand, the role of automation, artificial intelligence, algorithms, and ‘Big Data’, or what we call here the inhuman. This results in a re-distributed notion of subjectivity along an assemblage that the neologism ahuman represents.
The second point of pedagogical significance is that in today’s world any research problematic is itself interdisciplinary. The disciplinary collapse of art, media, science, technology, and design is but one example. But, the coming together of art, philosophy and science is another. In short, this series wagers that now, more than ever, we need educational forms that attend to both this disciplinary dissolve and the conceptual/material transformation of the ‘human,’ what we propose here as a non-pedagogy.
A non-pedagogy works towards an ‘outside’ thought – or that which current educational paradigms are unable to think – so as to mutate, bifurcate and dilate pedagogical possibilities. In this way, a non-pedagogy has the potential to reconfigure education; not just curricular design, not just educational research, and not just disciplines or institutions such as schools, but instead, if taken seriously, a non-pedagogy might produce a tectonic shift adequate to the challenges of the Anthropocene by re-launching the question of human subjectivity that has undergirded virtually all educational thought in the West.
Bringing together a diverse array of thinkers attuned to (non)pedagogical questions that take seriously the changing ecological, political, social, economic and aesthetic milieu within which education is situated today, this lecture series aims to offer a launch pad from which yet unthought pedagogical trajectories might take off.
The University of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.