To teach is not to transfer knowledge but to create the possibilities for the production or construction of knowledge. ~ Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom
Drawing on the idea that Habermas’ public sphere is an as yet unachieved ideal, scholars such as Nancy Fraser and Michael Warner have argued for the need to recognize alternative or parallel publics. Amid discourses regarding the value of the humanities, this session takes for granted that digital tools and platforms may be combined with engaged civic pedagogy to facilitate counterpublic formation for marginalized populations, activist organizations, and community outreach.
Each of these papers presents a project which argues, in one form or another, that a different type of pedagogical experience is produced by involving students in “making” and “doing” things which engage social spaces beyond the walls of the classroom or the time allotment for the class. This is an experience which not only enhances the students’ learning but seeks to actively engage the public, re-imagining the space academia might inhabit in 21st century education and civic discourse.