The author reviews the 2021 production of James Baldwin’s play, The Amen Corner, as directed by Whitney White at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. After situating the experience of engaging with Baldwin’s art through a constructivist approach to art-based education and learning design, the piece turns to considering the impact of various interpretive materials and the director’s artistic vision in the production. White’s decision to include an epigraph in the production leaves a notable impact, particularly in conversation with Baldwin’s essays, “Why I Stopped Hating Shakespeare” and “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity.”
reaching out, discovery and recalibration. Such constructivist assumptions regarding human learning have long operated as place-holders for the arrival of machine-thinking. 12 Running parallel with early computer programming, by the 1980s constructivism was also appearing in the form of progressive pro-poor international development. Michael Edwards (1987) , for example, in his celebrated piece, The Irrelevance of Development Studies , rehearses the late-modern antagonism towards professional knowledge using the post-humanist premise that the
the complex interplay of factors affecting European foreign policy. This framework is based on a synthesis of elements of social constructivism, the new institutionalism and neo-classical realism. Foreign policy, it has been argued, ‘is the result of a complex interplay of stimuli from the external environment and domestic-level cognitive, institutional and political variables’ (Checkel 1993 : 297). The analytical framework
briefly introduce the main features and assumptions of discourse analysis within the general field of social constructivism, and present the main implications of discourse analysis for concrete empirical research. I end by describing the main dimensions of discourse analysis using the categories of Milliken (1999) : representation , policy practice and play of practice . In the second part of the chapter I highlight the use
of elements into designs that may serve different purposes, that Feenberg finds the radical potential in constructivism. As discussed in Chapter 1 , constructivist studies of social shaping identify the social processes that constitute new technologies in development. Viewed through the lens of critical theory, constructivist studies display the reality of technology as a social process as against its conventional appearance as a realm of reified facts that embody and corroborate established ways of doing things. The idea of the technical code, which works
This is the first monograph devoted to the work of one of the foremost contemporary advocates of critical theory, Andrew Feenberg. It focuses on Feenberg’s central concept, technical politics, and explores his suggestion that democratising technology design is key to a strategic understanding of the process of civilisational change. In this way, it presents Feenberg’s intervention as the necessary bridge between various species of critical constructivism and wider visions of the kind of change that are urgently needed to move human society onto a more sustainable footing. The book describes the development of Feenberg’s thought out of the tradition of Marx and Marcuse, and presents critical analyses of his main ideas: the theory of formal bias, technology’s ambivalence, progressive rationalisation, and the theory of primary and secondary instrumentalisation. Technical politics identifies a limitation of Feenberg’s work associated with his attachment to critique, as the opposite pole to a negative kind of rationality (instrumentalism). It concludes by offering a utopian corrective to the theory that can provide a fuller account of the process of willed technological transformation and of the author’s own idea of a technologically authorised socialism.
The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.
This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.
identified positive political potential in a new generation of young technologists, who he thought might be inclined to design technics for a better civilisation ( 1964 : 227–229). This idea is an important launching-off point for Feenberg’s theory. To develop this notion further, Feenberg engages with a third branch of scholarship, namely the constructivism associated with science and technology studies (STS), which came to prominence in the academy in the 1980s. Work in this school focused on the underdetermined character of technological artefacts, especially in their
Feenberg draws on the insights of social constructivism to argue that the design of technologies is a contentious, disputed and thoroughly political process. Technologies come heavily inscribed with symbolic meanings, including, in capitalist society, the message that they are authoritative and determinate. One of Feenberg’s innovations has been to show how these social inscriptions not only construct technology in line with the conceptions of specific social groups but, at the same time, tie artefacts into wider social networks ( 2010 : 76). Enlarging the
This book examines the relationship between environmental justice and citizen science, focusing on enduring issues and new challenges in a post-truth age. Debates over science, facts, and values have always been pivotal within environmental justice struggles. For decades, environmental justice activists have campaigned against the misuses of science, while at the same time engaging in community-led citizen science. However, post-truth politics has threatened science itself. This book makes the case for the importance of science, knowledge, and data that are produced by and for ordinary people living with environmental risks and hazards. The international, interdisciplinary contributions range from grassroots environmental justice struggles in American hog country and contaminated indigenous communities, to local environmental controversies in Spain and China, to questions about “knowledge justice,” citizenship, participation, and data in citizen science surrounding toxicity. The book features inspiring studies of community-based participatory environmental health and justice research; different ways of sensing, witnessing, and interpreting environmental injustice; political strategies for seeking environmental justice; and ways of expanding the concepts and forms of engagement of citizen science around the world. While the book will be of critical interest to specialists in social and environmental sciences, it will also be accessible to graduate and postgraduate audiences. More broadly, the book will appeal to members of the public interested in social justice issues, as well as community members who are thinking about participating in citizen science and activism. Toxic Truths includes distinguished contributing authors in the field of environmental justice, alongside cutting-edge research from emerging scholars and community activists.