Refusal and disowning knowledge: re-thinking disengagement in higher education

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    86 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This paper addresses both ‘student engagement’ in contemporary universities, and student ‘disengagement’–where the latter is often seen as a failure of performance, or absence of will. In a bold move, the paper asks whether students should be engaged in their university education, and whether there is value in forms of disengagement. It finds an original way in which student disengagement can be understood by drawing on the writings of Stanley Cavell–on the philosophical appeal to what we say, our search for criteria, and on ideas of acknowledgement and avoidance in his work on Shakespearian tragedy. It shows what is at stake in our attunement with, and dissent from, criteria, and how such dissent can be educative. The paper considers the film ‘Stella Dallas’, in which Stella’s aversion to, her disengagement from, her culture’s criteria, is not a passive withdrawal, but rather the finding of voice, her education as a grownup. The paper concludes that disengagement, understood as aversion, dissent and refusal of voice, is not to be seen always as a lack of action or of care, but as the opposite: the active voicing of what we will, or will not, consent to in our education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-115
    Number of pages11
    JournalEthics and Education
    Volume12
    Issue number1
    Early online date20 Jan 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2017

    Keywords

    • Cavell
    • Engagement
    • consent
    • criteria
    • disengagement
    • dissent
    • voice

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Refusal and disowning knowledge: re-thinking disengagement in higher education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Profiles

    No photo of AMANDA FULFORD

    Professor AMANDA FULFORD

    Person: Academic

    Cite this