Is it possible to create a space where these two species of knowledge can meet and mingle? (Pedersen, 2010: 241).
I found this question to be crucial when considering educability of the posthuman. What Pedersen meant in her article was the boundary work between animal and education studies but it could be extended to whole disciplines in the way Pickering (2005) did in his essay where he suggested that natural and social sciences transcend each other by forming assemblages with ‘inner unity’ and around ‘evolving dialectic’. I think that a similar project can be undertaken in regard to different subjectivities, namely writers/editors and readers, as exemplified by the Liquid Reader Project from the University of London, my nomination for a posthuman(-esque) pedagogy task. Even though it does not lead explicitly to human/machinic hybridisation, the project, inspired by Gary Hall’s and Clare Birchall’s Liquid Book Project aspires to explore liquidity, promote boundary work, foster open access and technological innovation and so questions the human project understood as ‘one-way, closed form of knowledge transfer in university education that is encompassed by the static, photocopiable ‘course reading pack’ – typically designed by course leaders and handed out to students’ (from the project description).
The blurb from the dedicated website spells out exactly the origin and the rationale of the project.
[This project] engages media students in a dynamic process of devising instead a fluid, open-access, online ‘reader’, whose content and form are being negotiated, updated and altered by students themselves, under the guidance of the course leader. Using the freely available media platforms (online archives, educational wikis, YouTube, Blogger), students are able to both link to the already available textual and audio-visual material (essays, books, video clips) and upload their own documents and designs. They are thus actively involved in producing a ‘liquid reader’ – a customisable learning tool which involves them in curriculum design. Via an involvement with the Open Humanities Press, and its Culture Machine Liquid Books Series, the project promotes the socially significant ‘open scholarship’ and ‘open learning’ under the open access agenda.
According to the project description, the aim is to decentre the author by making everybody an editor/author, which can be seen as an attempt to liquidise the boundaries between the two subjectivities, thus enabling them to meet and mingle, producing various entanglements.
There is a wealth of additional questions and issues raised alongside, for example in regard to the process of remixing, repurposing, limitability of the ‘book’ , attribution, citation and intellectual property.
There are two accompanying tasks here.