Trickster Pedagogy and Praxis
February 12-14; Tues 7pm to Thurs 1pm
Every culture has a rich tradition of tricksters, clowns, fools, jesters, and more. They have survived in stories and traditions that preserve an ancient form of teaching that uses riddling, storytelling, and playfulness to teach by misdirection. Not exactly a secret knowledge, yet trickster pedagogy lies largely ignored or overlooked by dominant as well as alternative forms of education. This workshop explores some of the history of these practices, shares some trickster practices through storytelling, drawing, and riddling, and includes some of the theory that frames many of these practices, to allow educators and activists to strengthen their practice for social change.
If People Counted: Popular Economics Workshop and Curriculum Development
February 15-17; Fri 7pm to Sun 1pm
Popular economics challenges dominant and common notions of what economics is all about. The Catalyst Centre offers numerous popular economics activities that increase economic literacy, debunk dominant notions, and envision more just and equitable processes for sharing wealth, caring for each other and preserving the planet. This workshop highlights the Catalyst Centre’s approach to popular economics, and offers effective techniques and skills. Especially useful for educators and activists of all stripes who wish to develop popular economics curricula, or incorporate these activities into their educational work.
A Modest Manifesto for Today's Organic Intellectual
A Paper Presentation at the Association of American Geographers Annual Conference (April 15-19, 2008)
Popular economics is a heterogenous field of activism and scholarship that simultaneously contests dominant notions of economics, pedagogy and community organizing as well as the subjectivities of the participating scholars and activists. Connecting a diversity of theoretical and practical challenges to dominant economics including economic literacy, community economic development, participatory budgeting, progressive economics, community economies and more, popular economics is committed to resisting oppression. The success of popular economics relies, in part, on the creation of new forms of pedagogy and new practices of ethical self-transformation - new economies need new subjectivities. These new subjectivities are already being shaped, invented and experimented with in numerous sites including a variety of academic disciplines, civil society organizations, voluntary community organizing and municipal administrations. The Catalyst Centre, a Toronto-based popular education worker co-op, has developed an approach to popular economics education that could serve as a model that combines strategic and tactical thinking and collective action. This paper describes this approach, and articulates a notion of praxis that necessarily includes the role of ethical self-transformation or resubjectivation as discussed in J.K. Gibson-Graham's work. For the scholar-activist this new subjectivity can be seen as an application of the notion of organic intellectual, first theorized by Antonio Gramsci.