Re-enchanting the world through place-based pedagogies
As part of the Grassroot Movements and Pedagogies of Hope panel during the 'Beyond Alternatives: Decentering Knowledge in Asia' workshop hosted by the Shaping Asia Network, Academic Director of Humanities Across Borders (HAB) Aarti Kawlra will present 'Re-enchanting the world through place-based pedagogies.'
'Beyond Alternatives: Decentering Knowledge in Asia' addresses current debates on the tensions between critical and decolonial pedagogies as allied yet diversely positioned attempts to produce ‘alternative’ knowledge. It also attempts to engage with these appraisals critically in relation to the broader concerns revolving around knowledge production and circulation, and its accompanying discourses, practices, and cultures. The proliferation of such initiatives and interventions in learning within the region has a target of personal and large-scale transformation within different key domains of life: from issues of economic, environmental, and social justice, from structural inequality 2 to local empowerment, pedagogic resistance, or religious reformation movements. What does ‘alternative’ mean, to whom, and in what temporal and situational context? What are the limits and dilemmas of alternative discourses that can be problematized? How can we extend knowledge production, circulation, and learning in the name of ‘good’ social science? More recently, scholars have engaged in making sense of and theorizing processes of ‘silencing’ (Alatas, 2018) as a method and how they have been institutionalized in academic settings through publications, research, and teaching.
'Re-enchanting the world through place-based pedagogies' addresses the dichotomy between the massive expansion of information & communication technologies as an avenue for the youth to be globally connected, and the growing struggles of isolation and disconnection from their own origins that they face as a result of it. Can locally grounded, globally-connected, critical pedagogies counter the crisis among youth caught between the grip of ubiquitous internet technologies on the one hand, and climate emergencies on the other?
This presentation reflects on some explorations in place-based pedagogies in vastly diverse contexts. As part of this, Aarti will share her experiences in conceiving and implementing a high school project in Chennai, South India; writing a text-book chapter for India’s open university for distance learning; co-designing and teaching a graduate school in Chiang Mai, Thailand; and another one in Leiden, The Netherlands. The aims will be i) to discuss the potential for learning-in-context as a collaborative endeavor and an exercise in meaning-making; and ii) to direct our attention toward educators (and students) working in conditions of political instability, cultural fragility, and deeply entrenched social inequities, both in the Global South and the North.
For more information on the workshop, please go to the Universität Bielefeld events page:
For information about the Shaping Asia network, go to