Venturing from home: writing (and teaching) as creative-relational inquiry for alternative educational futures

Anne Pirrie*, Nini Fang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

This article explores the ecology of contemporary higher education by foregrounding the ethical relation between its authors. The article expresses their commitment to throwing off familiar academic conventions in order to promote human flourishing in a sector that has been colonized by new managerialism and the associated mechanisms of “performance management,” surveillance, and exclusion. The authors write into the emblems of the naajavaarsuk (the ivory gull) and isumataq (the Inuit storyteller). They explore collaborative writing as an ethical, relational practice whilst exposing the lived problematics that have become the “new normal” in the contemporary academy, for instance, the fetishization of “student satisfaction.” The latter has gained traction in the UK in recent years, and in extreme cases can call forth acts of ethical violence that induce deep and long-lasting effects. Their account is visceral rather than abstract, rooted in lived experience and in theory. The authors conclude that the precondition for human flourishing in conditions of constraint is neither all-out resistance nor quietist acceptance of the status quo. It is to open up a space for education that inheres in our relation to the other, and quietly to resist being defined and limited by practices of monitoring and surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Review of Qualitative Research
Early online date28 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Creative-relational inquiry
  • Higher education
  • Performativity
  • Relational ethics

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