Intersectionality As Critical Pedagogy: Some Issues and Challenges

Friday, 20 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Sirma BILGE, Universite de Montreal, Canada
How is intersectionality embedded in actual pedagogical practices? Building on a review of scientific literature as well as an on-going (SSHRC-funded) research project on minority knowledges and neoliberal academy, this paper provides an overview of classroom initiatives that put intersectionality into action for critical education and frames some of the main issues and challenges for the praxis of intersectionality as a critical pedagogy in a context of the increasing neoliberalising of higher education along with the diversity work within it.

The theoretical framework relies on the neoliberal governmentality which addresses neoliberalism as an educational project that aims to transform society to its own image of market relations and expands itself by successfully absorbing and neutralising its own critiques, among others counter-hegemonic knowledge projects and producers. Building on a substantial literature tackling the neoliberal extension of economic logic beyond the borders of the economic sphere to irrigate all parts of life, wherein all aspects of social conduct are reconfigured along economic lines and a person’s relation to all their activities and even to themselves is to be given “the ethos and structure of the enterprise form” (Rose 1999: 138, 141), the paper focuses on the actual pedagogic practices that sustain, accomplish or counter the incorporation of intersectionality (as an initially racial justice and social justice oriented academic formation) into the operations of neoliberalism. A specific focus is given to the ways in which teaching intersectionality can hinder, albeit unintentionally, the antiracist education.