SEAE Seminar Series: Sept 2020. Scholar Activism: Radical Praxis in Support of Democracy in Dangerous Times, with Associate Professor Johnny Lupinacci

Scholar Activism: Radical Praxis in Support of Democracy in Dangerous Times - click here to view recording

Presenter: Johnny Lupinacci, Associate Professor of Cultural Studies & Social Thought in Education, College of Education, Washington State University


In this presentation, Lupinacci asserts that all research is political and given the global challenges for social and environmental justice educators and researchers, he will discuss the importance of scholar-activism in education research in relationship to diversity, creative democracy, and sustainability. Drawing from an ecocritical framework in education influenced by anarchism, ecofeminisms, critical animal studies, and abolitionist teaching he explicitly emphasizes a need for scholar-activist research—and teaching—that exposes human supremacy’s connection with the hierarchized rationalizing and justifying racism, sexism, ableism, and classism as cultural rather than given by nature. The stakes are high and the capacity of the planet for sustaining life and doing so with respect to cultural and biological diversity depends upon future generations learning to live in creatively, democratically, and at peace with the diverse ecosystems within which they reside. More than just a critique of anthropocentrism and a discussion to better understand scholar-activism and radical praxis; he will invite participants to have a conversation about the very real threats, dangers, and need for scholar-activism to be thoughtful, respectful, and in solidarity with a myriad of ways folks build communities and together recognize, resist, and reconstitute not only education but also how together (including our more-than-human cohabitants) creatively reclaim democracies in favour of multispecies inclusion, equity, and justice.


John Lupinacci is an Associate Professor at Washington State University. He conducts research and teaches in the Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education (CSSTE) program using an approach that advocates for the development of scholar-activist educators. His ecocritical work in education is interdisciplinary and draws from critical social theory through anarchist philosophy, critical animal studies, ecofeminist philosophy and ecojustice education while recognizing that many of these Western frameworks are entangled with colonial cultures and thus ought not take precedence over—or appropriate—diverse indigenous knowledges. Drawing heavily from critical conceptions of environmental education and abolitionist teaching, Dr. Lupinacci’s research focuses on how people—specifically educators, educational leaders, and educational researchers—learn to both identify and examine destructive habits of Western industrial human culture and how those habits are taught and learned in schools. His experiences as a high school teacher, an outdoor environmental educator, and a community activist-artist-scholar all contribute to his research, teaching, and development of interdisciplinary research projects open to the impossibilities of unexpected spaces within education and educational research. He is co-author of the book EcoJustice Education (Routledge), co-editor of a scholar-activist zine Major Threat, co-host of talk radio show Bust-ED Pencils, and is on the editorial boards for Educational Studies, Critical Education, and Journal for Critical Media Literacy. He was recently recognized by the Washington Education Research Association (WERA) with the Research Award in 2018.

Time for Q and A will follow.

Date and time

From: 10:30 AM Wednesday, September 30, 2020 To: 11:30 AM Wednesday, September 30, 2020