At the end of today’s workshop, Kumashiro gave us two questions to answer:
- What additional lenses [for leading for social justice] arise from your own research?
- How might this apply to leadership?
In the conversation, he often referred to Elizabeth Ellsworth’s book, Teaching Positions, which you can find on Amazon for over $100 since it’s out of print, but you can download from her site for free. He spoke about how she used the frameworks from film studies to examine curriculum, and it got me thinking about what frameworks I can draw from literary analysis, particularly poetic analysis, theories that foster generative writing, critical pedagogy, conceptions of agency, and postmodernism in writing that might illuminate the work of leading with social justice as purpose. What might it be to speak about parafiction, a new word that I learned after my reading at the Museum of the African Diaspora yesterday as part of a partnership between the MOAD and Cave Canem (particularly in writing in response to The Ease of Fiction exhibition of 4 African artists living in the United States? How might parafiction as a concept, the creation of a fiction in which to live, a layering on top of reality, which is distinct from and in relation to reality (with the interrogations of the metanarrative of the real), be used as a way to look at leadership? Going on that tack, one might say that leadership from a social justice stance always involves the creation of a parafiction, “an experiment in truth“. In leading with a social justice centering, who determines what the “truth” of social justice is? How do we complicate the definition of social justice and how it appears within leadership? What are the narratives and counternarratives within this exploration? How does one create space for the complexities and multiplicities to exist while not becoming paralyzed in analysis and thought exploration? How does one identify power, power, and disrupt hegemonic power in favor of a distributive and collective defining and journey mapping in pursuit of justice through action? What does leadership look like at this intersection? What is the discourse of leadership for social justice? How is discourse modified to address an audience? How does one enrich the experience with explorations of the comparison through metaphor, thereby also crafting a mental parafiction through the use of imagery? I find myself intoxicated by questions that draw from the disparate frameworks.
All of these questions seem like they would be fruitful essays in and of themselves.
I find myself also thinking of framing my sabbatical, too, in this idea of this collective and individual experiment in truth, in the speculative, dream-building space … but I am loathe to stand in so heady and distant a space in the writing of future projects. I know my audience is far different in that case. While I am enchanted by dancing with words, I recognize that some are more angular in their approaches to meaning and the perceived clarity of meaning. I always interrogate the multiple meanings that can arise from even the position of a word on one line or another and so I emphasixe that there is perceived clarity when, in my opinion, the reality is far more complex.
When I go into these literary spaces, though, I begin to feel as if I must be unsettling in my visioning. I know that my peers may draw from queer theory, Critical Race Theory, intersectionality, feminist theory, womanist theory, etc. My vision is always myriad and a cornucopia of influences … but that was we were called to do.
#twt, #26of52, #52essays2017