SEAE Seminar Series: November 2021. Deictic Pedagogy, Affect, and Interrogative Force, with Dr Nathan Snaza

Deictic Pedagogy, Affect, and Interrogative Force - click here to view the recording.

Dr Nathan Snaza, Director, Bridge to Success Program; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Advisory Board Member; School of Arts and Sciences, University of Richmond, Virginia US.


In this talk I will elaborate an approach to pedagogy that draws on affect theory—in both senses of affect as emotion and pre-personal relational force—in order to propose that classroom engagement can be structured by two questions. The first, “Why this?,” which I find in Toril Moi’s writings about the method wars in literary criticism, pushes us to attend to deictic specificity: this is always singular, intimate, within reach. And it summons us to think about how what is here represents one possible configuration of world, spurring imaginative explorations of what could have been here as part of the class discussion. The second question comes from Sara Ahmed’s queer phenomenology: how does this thing arrive? This moves first through Marxist critiques of commodity fetishism, seeing “things” not as isolated entities emergent from labour and circulation. Ahmed’s account crucially pushes through Marxian anthropocentrism, though, seeing labour and relationality as more-than-human. Combined, these two questions enable education at any level—from early childhood through advanced graduate study—to attend closely to what is here and how it arrives, ultimately leading toward a conception of education (and agency) as always dispersed, where intimacies unfold across strange scales of time and space. We will consider, in conversation, how this pedagogy necessarily swerves into ecological attention.


Nathan Snaza teaches English literature, gender studies, and educational foundations at the University of Richmond (USA), where he also coordinates the Humanities. He is the author of Animate Literacies: Literature, Affect, and the Politics of Humanism (Duke UP, 2019) as well as many articles in journals such as Curriculum Inquiry, Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies, Feminist Studies, Feminist Formations, Social Text, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, and Journal of Curriculum Studies.

The Sustainability, Environment, the Arts and Education (SEAE) Research Cluster is globally recognised for enacting profound change in/through transdisciplinary environmental and Arts education research that disrupts and generates new ways of being and becoming, which provokes dynamic responses to critical local-global calamities.

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Date and time

From: 10:00 AM Thursday, November 11, 2021 Thursday, November 11, 2021 9:00 AM - QLD time To: 11:00 AM Thursday, November 11, 2021 Thursday, November 11, 2021 10:00 AM - QLD time