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Post-identitarian postgraduate pedagogy - Deleuzian mediation and resistance to 'measuring up'

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Elizabeth J Done
  • Mike Murphy
  • Helen L Knowler
Original languageEnglish
JournalPower and Education
Issue number2
DatePublished - 2014


‘Measuring up’ in postgraduate education implies correctness, correspondence and conformity to institutional and governmental imperatives. Following Deleuze, such imperatives are conceptualized in this paper as neoliberal striation of educational space. Two corollaries of the marketization of higher education and neoliberal instrumentalism are fearful compliance and a lexicon in which truth or freedom has no place. The authors explore the affective dimension of learning which neoliberal educational discourse renders invisible. Deleuze, like Foucault, defines truth as unhiddenness or the making visible of things that would otherwise remain hidden. Deleuzian truth-telling is the production of a problem that must be recognized as such and mediation is an essential feature of praxis as resistance. The authors explain the role of mediators using examples drawn from their own academic and teaching practices. Going beyond critique is an important theme of this paper. The authors problematize a recent implicit suggestion that teacher educators disregard fearful compliance and instead prioritize the conceptualization of the joy in learning in the present. A later characterization of good academic research, as research which shows us that we are freer than we think we are, is endorsed as it mediates transgression of neopositivist orthodoxies. Mediation implies a field of sub-personal intensities in which, following Foucault, being oneself no longer makes sense or, following Deleuze, subjectivity is paradoxically both collective and individual.


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