How might we make critical theory accessible and applicable to community college students?
Education in critical theory provides many benefits: it models the critical interpretation of complicated social problems, and imagines how we might solve them. But, critical theory can sometimes be difficult to interpret and appreciate as it often demands substantial historical and cultural knowledge. In response, we designed the Remaking Critical Theory process which synthesizes the seminar format with innovation mangement and studio practices to facilitate transformative, creative engagement with critical theory.ProcessCurationZinesReflections
The Remaking Critical Theory Process
Curate critical theory readings that engage community interests and represent community diversity.Identify audiences and opportunities for intervention. Make a list of potential topics and issues. Identify longlist of relevant theoretical works. Consult with collaborators. Curate reading list.
Congregate in a seminar format to make interpretations.Ask questions. Share, improv, and riff interpretations. Relate insights to everday life. Appreciate insights. Theorize how to apply insights.
Co-create metaphors to deepen concept coherence.Identify theoretical concepts. Diverge to create conceptual metaphors and analogies in multiple modes. Force conceptual connections with abstract and minimalist forms. Improv, riff, edit.
Deepen insights through creative, practice-based exploration.Introduce zines and representative models. Workshop zine making basics. Emphasize value emerges from the intrinsic goodness of the process not the quality or impact of the product. Create rapid prototype zines that express insights and interpretations in creative ways. Identify and further develop promising ideas. Share, critique, edit.
Dissemination zines to celebrate community and creativity. Publish zines. Share broadly. Create experiences. Invite interpretations. Appreciate and champion creativity.
Reflect upon experience to formalize insights. Congregate. Co-create responses to the following prompts: what went well? what might we have done differently? what brought us joy? what risks did we take? what will we remember and value about the experience five years from now? what did we learn? how and when will we apply these learnings?