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30 April 2021
More than/ Other than/ Nothing but Human: Pop Culture and Curriculum, Assemble!
Pop Culture is suffused with stories and characters that both reflect and defy the limits of humanity. From supers and ultras to artificial and mechanized, or to alien and beyond reach, humans persistently include that which is, at least at some level, outside themselves in the stories we tell. Arguably, the qualitative jump in digital cinematic technologies in the last decades have added a level of “realism” to these stories by making them aesthetically indistinguishable from what we sense in our everyday lives. Multimedia corporate empires have brought together cosmovisions from comics, movies, television, books, and radio to create entire universes that push us to consider that which is more than/ other than/ nothing but human in ways that require deep intellectual and affective engagements.
Clearly, the production and circulation of these critical imaginaries --which are in some regards novel, yet always connected to specific histories-- is not evenly distributed, with flows of capital norming and attempting to set limits on the potentialities of these re-imaginings of the human and its other. Yet, the flow of ideas from these creators/producers is consumed in such a way that subverts the boundaries of (corporate/policed/brokered) popular culture, defying categorization as sub- or counter- or foreign, with direct impact on the cultural lexicon.
We find much of the educational writing on contemporary Pop Culture and the representations of the more than/ other than/ nothing but human therein to have historically focused on using cultural artifacts as ways to engage students and teach the established content in ways that are more “relevant” (see e.g. Bentley, 2013; De-Souza & Radell, 2011; Hagood et al., 2010). While there are notable exceptions to this tendency (see e.g. Friedrich, 2018; Huddleston, 2019), we recognize a need to move beyond utilitarian views of Pop Culture and of education writ large, and into views that contribute to a much more complex understanding of the ways in which re-presentations of the more than/ other than/ nothing but human in Pop Culture participate in the shaping of subjectivities, world views, agencies beyond the human, and pedagogic ecologies.
This special issue of JCP will be the first to engage in the specific connections between the pop culture productions of the more than/ other than/ nothing but human, and the field of curriculum studies, interrogating the production of particular subjectivities and knowledges, posing questions about the educability of those on the outside of humanity, and how our imaginings of structures, institutions, and configurations beyond what seems possible may inform the work and thinking we are currently engaged in. This edited volume seeks to attract scholars who mobilize a multiplicity of theoretical frameworks and aesthetic horizons, including but not limited to post-humanism, afrofuturisms, speculative fictions, cyborg studies, and decolonial studies. Contributions may include, for example, engagements with posthumanist ideas in pop culture, curricular conversations among anticolonial pop culture texts that question the limits of the living/undead, or explorations of pedagogies that are other than human.
JCP has been a home for experimental scholarship since its founding, and this special issue will make use of that tradition to push the field of curriculum studies to consider some of the implications of questions such as:
- How could the curriculum imagined for those who are more than/other than human inform our complicated conversations about power, mortality, love, knowledge?
- What kinds of subjectivities are produced through, alongside, and against the consumption of multiverses populated by more than/other than/nothing but humans?
- How and what do superhumans, aliens, cyborgs, artificial deities, and other imaginations of the more than/other than/nothing but human in contemporary pop culture teach and learn?
- How are certain knowledges generated and circulated by these pop culture productions challenging, reinscribing, and/or reinventing contemporary ideological systems beyond the reach of formal curricula?
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Please submit your proposal for the special issue (abstract of 300-500 words) to Prof. Friedrich at [email protected] If your proposal is accepted for review, you will be invited to submit a full paper to be uploaded to ScholarOne by selecting the Special issue: "More than/ Other than/ Nothing but Human: Pop Culture and Curriculum, Assemble!"
- June 30, 2020: Deadline for submitting proposals for the special issue (300-500 word abstracts)
- November 30, 2020: Deadline for full submissions to the special issue (Max. 6500 words)
- January 30, 2021: First round of blind reviews completed
- February 28, 2021: Deadline for revised submissions
- March 30, 2021: Second round of reviews completed
- April 30, 2021: Final submissions due
We expect publication date for this Special Issue to be Fall, 2021.
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