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Posthuman week 11

While trying to crack posthuman pedagogy, the ideas put forward by Gough (2004) struck me as potentially good guidelines. Toward the end of his paper, he criticises the Cyborg Manifesto, which, in his opinion, although firmly grounded in situated knowledge, cyborg ontology and border pedagogy lacks the art, the humour and the paradox of Deleuze’s rhizome. Could this be a yardstick helpful in distinguishing between various types of posthuman, posthumanesque and cryptoposthuman pedagogic tasks? Certainly the incorporation of the technological does not make a learning event a posthuman one (Neil’s post). Even the dedication to blurring and liquidising might not suffice.

Gough asks an important question about posthuman pedagogy and  gives an example of Mayakovsky’s Cyberantics as narrative and textual strategy which might help us in the rhizomantically becoming-cyborg configuration. The chosen audience for the story were kids because of their ‘sense of wonder and curiosity’ which transcends limitations posed by too often dichotomous academic structures.

At the same time, I came across Dave Cormier’s blog with a series of posts tagged ‘Rhizome’. Dave has been pondering on rhizomatic learning for some time now. In one of his posts, he writes a compelling letter to his 5-year-old son, explaining what rhizomatic learning is. Through a moving story involving a bunch of theropods and other ancient creatures, Dave points out how the learning can be stifled if the lines of flights are cut off before they form. If there is no black and white (Angus et al, 2001), why ask questions about ‘right’ and ‘false’ dinosaurs? Instead, following Dave’s advice, it would be better to ask ‘How would I feel if a piece of silicon was naturally part of me? What if my best friend was a robot? How would my life differ?’ Such questions propel the conversation and as Dave says ‘the stories will never end’.


~ by Ania Rolińska on December 10, 2011 . Tagged: , ,

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