Journal Article — “Take This Class If You Like to Be Brainwashed”: Walking the Knife’s Edge Between Education and Indoctrination — by Chris Bobel

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Abstract

This article presents a case study or, perhaps more accurately, a pedagogical memoir that interrogates life inside my classroom as yet another site of transformation, a place where inner works become public acts. This story illustrates Anzaldúa’s seven stages of conocimiento collapsed into four moments. Through an examination of “data” derived from my students’ (anonymous) reflections on interacting with course material during the 15 -week term of my introductory Women’s Studies class, I demonstrate the process of conocimiento, the complex series of awakenings, reckonings and integrations that build the foundation of social justice. I end by noting that what Anzaldúa calls Spiritual Activism suspends the learner in a constant state of nepantla brought to a borderland where realities live in constant tension. Indoctrination, as a disengagement from the self, as a surrender of thought and a denial of one’s truth is antithetical to this work, to this state of being. As educators, we must affirm our commitment to welcoming the ruptures and exploring the depths of our shared transformations.

Recommended Citation

Bobel، Chris. 2006. ““Take This Class If You Like to Be Brainwashed”: Walking the Knife’s Edge Between Education and Indoctrination.” Pp. 359-364 in Re-Membering Anzaldúa: Human Rights, Borderlands, and the Poetics of Applied Social Theory: Engaging with Gloria Anzaldua in Self and Global Transformations (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume IV, Special Issue, 2006.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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