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Practice What You Teach: Facilitating Anarchism In and Out of the Classroom



Abstract:  In recent years, human geographers have criticized the increasing corporatization, commodification, and objectification of knowledge production, and have looked to critical pedagogical frameworks that seek to counteract these forces. Anarchism, as a body of theories and practices, has a long history of engagement with radical pedagogical experimentation. Anarchism and geography have much to contribute to one another: anarchism, through its support for creative, non-coercive, practical learning spaces, and geography, for its critical examination of the spaces of education. In this paper, I evaluate the prospects for anarchist-geographic pedagogies theoretically, as well as through my own experiences teaching and learning about anarchism over the past decade in a liberal arts, higher education US environment. I argue for a combined critical anarchist-geographic pedagogical approach that appreciates the challenges of building alternative learning models within existing neoliberalizing institutions, provides the necessary tools for finding uniquely situated opportunities for educational change, and emplaces a grounded, liberating, student-led critical pedagogy.