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On not wanting it to count: reading together as resistance

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Reading groups can be spaces of resistance, both from the competitive performances of some classroom seminars and from the calculative fields of neoliberalizing departments and universities. As graduate students, we offer this intervention as a consideration of the bodily politics of academic reproductions. In discussing the embodiment of textual practices in seminar and in reading groups, we point to monologue, ‘trashing’ criticism, and obscurity as practices habituated in the classroom seminar. We discuss how reading groups contest ‘proper’ knowledges, while enabling a multiplicity of textual, bodily practices. Finally, we consider how certain reading practices potentially de-stabilise neo-liberal subject formation in the academy. We discuss why we do not want reading groups to count, as a strategy for resisting accounting and accountable regimes in our departments and universities.

Keywords: North America; bodily politics; radical pedagogy; reading group; seminar; textual practice

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2, Canada, Email: 2: Department of Geography, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2009


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