• Tue 25 04 2017 •
Reading Group Populism and Critical Education

  1. session, 25 4 2017

“(...) in the dismissal of populism far more is involved than the relegation of a peripheral set of phenomena to the margins of social explanation. What is involved in such a disdainful rejection is, I think, the dismissal of politics tout court, and the assertion that the management of community is the concern of an administrative power whose source of legitimacy is a proper knowledge of what a ‘good’ community is.” Ernesto Laclau, On Populist Reason, p. X (Preface).

The first part of the second meeting of the reading group is dedicated to Ernesto Laclau’s unique concept of populism in which populism is viewed as a positive, emancipatory force, an essence of politics that fosters the “democratization of democracy” by disclosing the demands excluded from public discourse. In the second part, we explore the relation between populism and the critical education and discuss the role of emancipatory pedagogics in supporting the decolonization of thinking and doing that leads to more democratic politics.

The meeting is moderated by the Academy’s curator Aneta Rostkowska and Aurora Rodonò, coordinator of the project Arts Education in Transition at Cologne University.


Ernesto Laclau: On Populist Reason, London/New York: Verso 2005, Chapter 4 (“The ‘People’ and the Discursive Production of Emptiness”), pp. 67–128.

Paulo Freire: Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York/London: Coontinuum 2005 (portug. original: 1968), Chapter 1, pp. 43–69.

bell hooks: Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, New York/London: Routledge 2003, Teach 3 & 4, pp. 25–49.