Encountering the cosmos; negotiating conflicting worlds through learning and engagement

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Zahra Hussain

Abstract

Interventions by the state or development organizations in post-disaster landscapes or through infrastructural development have long been criticized for their incongruity in project design and implementation which tend to ignore the local cultural, political and social landscapes. This paper discusses an educational program called Laajverd Visiting School that attempts to question the simplistic and linear frameworks (often one-size-fits-all) adopted by intervention projects which usually disregard local context resulting in half-baked, ill-equipped projects. Inspired from Isabelle Stengers’ cosmopolitics, as means of constructing a common world, the Laajverd Visiting School program engages with multiple actors which are equally part of composing landscapes that we sought to explore. This paper is positioned to highlight the interconnections between teaching, learning and research (Harland, 2016). It unpacks experiential learning (Hooks, 1994; Shor, 1992; Wink, 2005) as means of attending to the more-than-human worlds. Specifically, it explores pedagogies of experiential learning; of being immersed in the field and remaining open to its terrains, hurdles, surprises and discomfort. It highlights methodologies employed in the field to allow learners/participants to explore multiple ways of approaching and understanding these landscapes; the threats and challenges they face, and how communities continue to live in constrained environments.


 


Keywords: Landscapes, Disasters, Worlds, Cosmopolitics, Open inquiry, Mapping

How to cite this article:
Hussain, Z. 2020. Encountering the cosmos; negotiating conflicting worlds through learning and engagement. -Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South. 4(2): 180-196. https://doi.org/10.36615/sotls.v4i2.127.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/