Approach 4 Beside/s

Beside/s*: a few definitions that inform my vision

  • Next to, in proximity to, in relation to others
    In addition to, another perspective, another direction
  • Outside of oneself (but not fully outside of oneself), torn from self/bound to others/undone by others/implicated in lives of others
  • Overwhelmed with emotion: grief, passion, anger, fear, panic
  • Result of extreme event, causing person to realize vulnerability/precariousness
  • A space of uncertainty and unknowingness
  • A space of (potentially) productive failure
  • A counterpublic space of radical intervention that produces material possibilities for subversion/resistance
  • A space of community, a “we” that is fashioned through “undoneness,” refusals to fully identify, and inability to fit
  • Tactics for survival, strategies for imagining new worlds/ways of being
  • To identify with and against
  • To suspend or avoid judgment, not about what is good or bad, but what is “useful” or valuable
  • Not a “good subject” or a “bad subject” but a subject who doesn’t fully identify (good) or fully reject (bad), but reworks
  • At the limits
  • Another direction: using codes differently, reworking them, creating possibilities that have been impossible, imaging worlds that have been unimaginable

*Inspired by the following sources:

  1. Butler, Judith. “Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy”
  2. Chávez, Karma R. “Spatializing Gender Performativity: Ecstasy and Possibilites for Livable Life in the Tragic Case of Victoria Arrellano”
  3. Foucault, Michel. “What is Enlightenment?”
  4. Muñoz, Jose Esteban. Disidentifications

Beside/s: For the past four years, I’ve experimented with ways to live beside/s. A life beside/s the academy. That’s the tagline for my unDisciplined site. And that online space, along with my TROUBLE and STORY blogs, are where I’m doing most of my experiments with living beside/s as an undisciplined troublemaking feminist educator. How? So far, I’m using my spaces to undiscipline myself, to stay in trouble, to make visible and accessible my process of feeling the force of my questions, and to archive my teaching materials: All of my past syllabi, course assignments, and some lectures are posted on my undisciplined site. Processing notes, analyses of texts, reading lists, and critical reflections are posted too.

Beside/s: I’m Staking a Claim to a beside/s space where I can imagine and practice new ways of being an educator. Where I can imagine other answers besides Success!, Status!, Earning an degree to get a job that makes tons of Money!, to the question: What is an education for? Where I can continue feeling the force and living the questions that my undisciplined thinking and troublemaking and trouble staying create. And where I can dream up, and maybe experiment with developing courses that I’d teach if the university was less expensive, more experimental, embraced trouble, and was more resistant and transformative.

Return to: Approach 4