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Tag Archives: Tara Fenwick



SRHE Digital University Network

Friday 2 March 2012

9.30 – 12.30 followed by lunch


Digital Disaggregation:  Assessing the Uncanny Posthuman

Dr Sian Bayne, School of Education, University of Edinburgh

To learn and teach across multiple digital spaces can be to experience uncertainty, disorientation and fragmentation in both generative and disturbing ways. This presentation will draw on notions of the uncanny and of the posthuman in theorising the ‘strangeness’ of these new modes of being in education. In particular, it will discuss the ways in which assessment practices in online learning can explicitly engage with disaggregation, spectrality and posthuman pedagogy, as critical moves in re-thinking teaching, learning and assessment for the digital mode.

Dr Bayne’s research focuses on the impact of the digital on higher education, museum education and lifelong learning. Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, she has held awards from the British Academy, the Higher Education Academy, the AHRC and the Royal Society of Edinburgh for a range of projects concerned with the ways in which technological change prompts us to re-think what education is and can be. Dr Bayne is a member of the University of Edinburgh Digital Cultures and Education research group (, Programme Co-Director of the University of Edinburgh MSc in E-learning (, and Associate Dean (digital scholarship) for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Edinburgh (


Education as Sociomaterial Practices – Posthuman Frontiers for Educational Technology

Professor Tara Fenwick, School of Education, University of Stirling
The materiality of everyday interaction is too often ignored, dismissed, or isolated in educational research. Objects and technologies are often assumed to be separate and distinct from human desire and action, in ways that lead to other unhelpful distinctions between virtual and real, designers and users, and knowledge and action. In this presentation I argue for a different configuration, showing how the social and material not only are entangled in assemblages of the human and nonhuman, but also constitute the practices and knowings that comprise education. Sociomaterial analyses trace how and why particular practices and knowledges in educational processes become naturalized or stabilised, what is holding them together, what is excluded and what inequities are created. Capacities for action are more-than-human, they are relational, distributed, and enacted through particular dynamic assemblages. This is a posthuman, not anti-human approach – a sociomaterial sensibility opens radical new questions and imaginative possibilities for education and educational technology.
Professor Fenwick has written extensively about theories of learning and gender in relation to work practices and education, most recently focusing on what some call ‘socio-material’ theories, particularly actor-network theory and complexity sciences. Her book Learning Through Experience: Troubling Assumptions and Intersecting Questions (Krieger, 2003) was granted the 2004 Cyril Houle Award of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education for Outstanding Contribution to Adult Education Literature. Recent large projects funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council include (1) an examination of older professionals’ informal learning and its relation to aging and generational issues; (2) a study exploring knowledge networks and practices of ‘portfolio’ workers (independent and mobile professionals who work with multiple employers and organizations simultaneously); and (3) a participatory research project studying social responsibility learning among small business owners, including professional firms. Her current project with Canadian colleagues Kathryn Church, Elizabeth Lange, Taylor Webb is comparing knowledge-creation practices of nurses, social workers and teachers in changing organizations, using an activity theory framework.


Event booking details

To reserve a place at this seminar please register at:

Or telephone +44 (0) 207 4472525.  SRHE events are open to all and free to SRHE members as part of their membership package. The delegate fee for non-members is £25 [full time students £20]. Non-members wishing to join the Society may do so at the time of registration and the delegate fee will be waived. Please note that places must be booked in advance and that a £25 for non-attendance will be charged if a place has been reserved but no notice of cancellation/non-attendance has been given in advance.


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Francois Smit, SRHE Event Manager


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‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: (recording) and (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: (recording) and (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

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‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski:

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Work, work, work




Steelworker’s Hall
25 Cecil Street, Toronto
Monday, May 10, 2010
6:00 pm
Cost: $25/person
Contact Marya at 647.702.7914 or



May 13-16
York University, Toronto

The conference will take place against the backdrop of a profound destabilization of global capitalism alongside significant challenges for labour and social movements. Imperialist wars abound and culture has been drawn into the service of empire. Robust theorizations and critical innovations are needed.

Read more:



Guatemala: Human Rights Through Education
A talk with Guillermo Chen, Director of the New Hope Foundation

Thursday, May 13
12:30 – 2:00 pm
252 Bloor Street West
CIDE Room (7-105)

Since 1998, the New Hope Foundation has been providing education opportunities to Maya youth whose families were directly affected by the genocide of the 1980’s. In 2003, the focus changed from providing scholarships for public high schools to providing its own form of high school education.  The Foundation focuses on Maya cultural strengthening, human rights, critical thinking, and grassroots community development. The program is based on a popular education curriculum currently being adapted to also reflect local Maya knowledge.

To  RSVP or schedule a one-on-one meeting with Guillermo, contact Olimpia Boido at:



Report by participants in the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth

May 7 2010
Steelworkers Hall Toronto
25 Cecil Street (east of Spadina, south of College)

Principal speakers:

– Robert Lovelace, a leader of Ardoch Algonquin First Nation
– Ben Powless, Mohawk from Six Nations in Ontario, member of the Indigenous Environmental Network.
– Kimia Ghomeshi, Campaign Director, Canadian Youth Climate Coalition
– Danny Beaton: 2010 recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (NAAA) for Environment and Natural Resources
– Delegation from Toronto Bolivia Solidarity

More than 15,000 social-movement and government representatives have confirmed attendance in Cochabamba to plan building a people’s movement to save the planet and us all. Join us on May 7 to learn of and be part of this initiative.


– Messages from supporters and sponsors
– Bolivian dance troupe and First Nations indigenous drumming.
– Bolivian food and beverages

Donation $5 or pay what you can.

More info:



On May 17 and 18, the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction is hosting a Provincial Leadership Assembly with representatives from across Ontario to mark the first anniversary of the Poverty Reduction Act and to plan our next steps to tackle poverty in Ontario.

We will be taking stock of progress on and challenges to poverty reduction, learning from the successes of local poverty reduction initiatives, and identifying our short and long term priorities – including for the upcoming municipal and provincial elections.

If you’re involved in poverty reduction work in your community, we hope you will join us to contribute to the next phase in 25 in 5’s work!

Please send us an e-mail at: if you would like more information or are interested in attending the Leadership Forum.




An expert advisory panel has been appointed to conduct a comprehensive review of Ontario’s occupational health and safety system.

The panel will report back to the Minister of Labour in Fall 2010 with recommendations and options for operational, policy and structural improvements to the province’s workplace safety system.

For more details visit:



According to data filed under the U.S. Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, the number of union officials and staff earning high salaries has exploded in recent years. Those earning more than $100,000 a year tripled between 2000 and 2008, the latest year with complete data, and the number earning more than $150,000 also tripled. Union salaries are out of step with most members’ pay, and they siphon scarce resources away from new organizing.

Read more:



We shouldn’t rely on paperwork to back up someone’s qualifications. Here is how some people are developing a new, radical approach to education.

Read more:



The Harper government’s economic policy, as enunciated in the Throne Speech and the Budget, is properly described by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty as “stay the course” or business-as-usual (that is, what business wants business gets). That is, we are offered more of the same old neo-liberalism and globalization with wealth for the few and austerity for the many — with only a brief panic-stricken Keynesian moment — that got us into the messes we’re in.

Read more:



From the heroic class struggles of late nineteenth century America, to an environmentally toxic, tyrannical, all too possible near future, here are some readings likely to stimulate your dissidence.

Unsurprisingly, the fiasco of the climate change summit in Copenhagen led me to Margaret Atwood’s latest eco-disaster novel “Year of the Flood” (McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, 2009, 431 pages). Not a watery deluge, but a dry killer tide of disease (like an H1N1 on steroids) wipes out most of humanity.

The first great U.S. mass radicalization against deadly work conditions and miserable exploitation produced a generation of proletarian rebels. “Eugene V. Debs, A Biography”, by Ray Ginger (Collier Books, New York, N.Y., 1962, 543 pages), is the story of the leading voice and most resilient symbol of that late 19th century generation.

“The Sweetest Dream – Love, Lies, & Assassination – A Novel of the Thirties”, by Lillian Pollak, (iUniverse, Inc., New York, 2009, 370) is a charming account of the friendship of two young women who were part of the next wave of rebellion. For those yearning to know what it was like to be active participants on the radical left in Manhattan during the Great Depression, this story of the conflicting relations between the young Trotskyists and Stalinists of the time is the ticket.

The fourth book in this short survey transports us to the post-WW2 capitalist boom. “Marxism in Our Time”, by Isaac Deutscher (Ramparts Press, San Francisco, 1973, 312 pages) is an anthology of speeches, articles and interviews that document one remarkable person’s struggle to keep revolutionary theory alive and potent in a period of working class political retreat.

Read more:



Learning climate and work group skills in care work
Kristina Westerberg, Esther Hauer
Journal of Workplace Learning, Volume 21, Issue 8


Engaging the city: Civic participation and teaching urban history
Amy L. Howard
Journal of Urban History 2010;36 42-55


A cross-cultural examination of student volunteering: Is it all about résumé building?
Femida Handy, Lesley Hustinx, Ram A. Canaan, and Chulhee Kang
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly


Book review: Labor and the environmental movement, Brian Obach (MIT 2004)
Richard Leitch
Review of Radical Political Economics 2010;42 115-117


Re-thinking the “thing”: Sociomaterial approaches to understanding and researching learning in work
Tara Fenwick
Journal of Workplace Learning, Volume 12, Issue ½


The apprenticeship framework in England: A new beginning or a continuing sham? 
Michaela Brockmann; Linda Clarke; Christopher Winch
Journal of Education and Work, Volume 23, Issue 2



The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education.

For more information about CSEW, visit:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

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Wavering on Ether: