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Post-Indignation Pedagogy and Socially Engaged Buddhism - Robert Hattam

Visiting scholar from the University of South Australia Robert Hattam presents "Post-Indignation Pedagogy and Socially Engaged Buddhism."
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
220 Teacher Education Building
1025 West Johnson Street
Madison WI 53706

If we problematize the too easy justification of indignation/anger as an emotional resource in political and pedagogical work we open up a space to think past the too-easy naturalizing and normalizing of anger as a political emotion in social and educational theory. From that space, this presentation maps the broad contours of a post-indignation pedagogy as a frame for rethinking antiracist and dialogic pedagogy.

In the first part of the paper, we offer a genealogy of anger in conflict communities; in particular, the emotionally saturated discourses of anger in Australia. In the second move, the paper draws on socially engaged Buddhism for reframings of anger. The reframe proposed interrogates two extremes, resignation to anger and resignation from anger, and proposes a ‘middle way’ between these two. Thirdly, in rejecting these two extremes, the paper speculates on the possibilities of the contemplative turn, and friendship, conviviality and hospitality as resources for rethinking critical pedagogy.


Robert Hattam is an Associate Professor in the School of Education, Associate Head of School Research, Director of the Centre for Research in Education and leader of the Pedagogies for Justice research group at the University of South Australia.

His research focuses on teachers’ work, educational leadership, critical and reconciliation pedagogies, refugees, and school reform. His research program includes:

  • school based studies that engage with teachers as they attempt to redesign pedagogical practices in response to their own existential classroom challenges and provocations for more justice;
  • cultural studies in hopeful sites of public pedagogy of new social movements and especially socially-engaged Buddhism and ‘reconciliation’ broadly defined; and
  • philosophical investigations into friendship, forgiveness, hospitality and conviviality. 

Hattam has published in a range of international journals including Sociology, Pedagogy, Culture and Society, British Journal of Sociology of Education, British Educational Research Journal, Social Identities, Critical Studies in Education, and Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. He has been involved in book projects with others that include: Schooling for a Fair Go, Teachers' Work in a Globalizing Economy, Dropping Out, Drifting Off, Being Excluded: Becoming Somebody Without School, Connecting Lives and Learning, and Pedagogies for Reconciliation. He also has published a book titled Awakening-Struggle: Towards a Buddhist Critical Theory.

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