Monster Pedagogy: A failing approach to teaching and learning in the university

Theories of Affect and Concepts in Generic Skills Education_website_September 2017

I am so excited to have a chapter in this excellent publication Theories of Affect and Concepts in Generic Skills Education: Adventurous Encounters, edited by Edyta Just and Wera Grahn! (Did I choose the above schreenshot from the publisher’s website because I’m the first contributor mentioned? Yes. Yes I did.)

The chapter is called Monster Pedagogy: A failing approach to teaching and learning in the university and is written together with the ever sharp and insightful Erika Kvistad and Sara Orning. So, if monsters and body horror is your thing, maybe you’d like a bit of it in your pedagogy, too?

In that case, you can get the book here.

From ‘Monster Pedagogy: A failing approach to teaching and learning in the university’:

 

In this text, we approach the processes of teaching and learning in the university through what we call monster pedagogy: the idea that learning is always a monster, a failing experiment, unpredictable, gappy, stitched together from disparate parts. The figure of the monster will (to make another hopeful guess, this time in the form of a thesis statement) help us think about unpredictability, failure and vulnerability in university teaching, but also allow us to uncover the vulnerabilities present in our own academic practices.

With the concept of a monster pedagogy, we are not trying to present a new or ideal pedagogy so much as a way to engage with teaching and learning as a collaborative, unruly, subjective, and relational process — and to bring its unseen aspects into the light (if not the steady light of understanding, then at least a flicker of lightning). We aim to do this by engaging with the monster as something that is not an exteriority, something that is not about closure and self-sufficiency, but instead a question of daily failures and vulnerability.

 

 

 

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Tomrum

ForsideForestil dig, at du både falder og hænger stille i tomrummet. Der findes intet andet end dig og mørket og intet, der er alt, og alt, der er intet …

Forestil dig nu en stemme, der siger: ’lad være at besøge tomrummet.’[1] Forestil dig, at du drejer dig uden at vide, om du vender opad eller nedad, sidelæns eller ret, for intet af det giver mening her. Forestil dig, at du ser en mand klædt i en hvid taekwondo-dragt. Han sidder på en enhjørning med regnbuemanke, og de vender begge på hovedet herude (eller også er det dig, der gør), og han siger til dig –

nej, lad os tage det senere.

Jeg har skrevet om tomrum, Chuck Tingle, Welcome to Night Vale og det frie fald i KULTURO.

Du kan købe udgivelsen her. Den handler om frygt.

Åben

[1] Chuck Tingle, 2017: tweet. Link: https://twitter.com/ChuckTingle/status/834490954778226688 Egen oversættelse. I mine oversættelser af Tingles tekster har jeg forsøgt at beholde de slå- og stavefejl, der er karakteristiske for hans stil.

 

 

In the Company of Ghosts: Hauntology, Ethics, Digital Monsters

In the Company of Ghosts

Abstract:

This thesis explores French philosopher Jacques Derrida’s ’hauntology’ through the lens of digital monsters and feminist theory.

Hauntology – a pun on ‘ontology’ and ‘haunting’ – offers an ethics based on responsibility towards that which cannot be said to fully exist, yet has an effect on our everyday lives nonetheless. Like the figure of the ghost, such undecidable existences are neither absent nor present, here nor gone, of the past or the future. In other words: they haunt.

By engaging with hauntology through contemporary stories of digital monsters – such as The Curious Case of Smile.jpg, Welcome to Night Vale and Mushroom Land TV – the thesis discusses how such troubling hauntings might be imagined, and what it means to think an ethics based on responsibility towards the undecidable. In this way, the thesis brings together hauntology and digital media, arguing that thinking with and through the figure of the ghost as well as the digital monster may lead to different and critical ways of imagining both the world and ethics.

In short, drawing upon feminist theory and creative writing, the thesis maps out a relational ethics of hauntings and internet story-telling.

 

Keywords:

Hauntology, monster, ghost, spectralities, Monster Studies, feminist theory, ethics, digital media, internet, Welcome to Night Vale, Mushroom Land TV, creepypasta

 

2016. Linköping University, The Tema Institute, The Department of Gender Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Read the book here.

 

Missing Links and Non/Human Queerings: an Introduction

With Marietta Radomska.

 

In recent years, questions regarding the ontological status of the human have been raised with renewed interest and imagination within various fields of critical thought. In the face of biotechnological findings and increasingly advanced technologies that connect as well as disturb settled boundaries, whether geographical or bodily, not to mention philosophical questionings of traditional western humanism, the boundaries of the human subject have been contested. The human body, traditionally imagined as closed and autonomous, has been opened up to a world of forces and agencies that are strange, other and often deeply disturbing when viewed from an anthropocentric standpoint.

Rather than close down anxieties concerning such boundary transgressions and ontological uncertainties, scholars – not least within areas such as feminist, posthumanist and queer theory – have argued that here lie possibilities as well as an ethical urgency to rethink the human subject, its world(s) and its others. Indeed, what might it mean to view the world from positions that do not take the pure and autonomous human form as its starting point? And what ethical considerations does such a viewpoint demand of us?

 

In: Somatechnics, volume 5, number 2, 2015.

Read the full article here.

“Come, so that I may Chase you Away!” On Ghost Hunts and Posthuman Ethics

 

Abstract:

 

‘Creepypastas’ are short horror stories that circulate online, spreading through the act of copying and pasting, and often threatening to ‘curse’ the reader in the process. In this article I explore what it might mean to strike up companionship with and show responsibility towards that which is considered non-existent yet, as in the case of creepypasta and its monsters, hauntingly present nonetheless. I do so through the framework of Jacques Derrida’s ‘hauntology’ as well as Donna Haraway’s work on responsibility as a question of how to respond to the response of the non/human other. The question I would like to ask is this: how might one respond to the response of the non/human other, if the non/human other is considered to not exist?

 

In: Somatechnics. Volume 4, issue 1, page 39-52, 2014.

Read the article here.