Towards a Hip Hop Pedagogy of Discomfort
Keywords:critical pedagogy, dialogue, hip hop education, hip hop pedagogy, pedagogy of discomfort
In this article, we offer philosophical reflections on our participation in a hip hop network and seminar series, UK HipHopEd, where British hip hop artists, activists and educators meet to deliberate over the politics of their work. We analyse this dialogic cultural space with reference to Megan Boler’s notion of a “pedagogy of discomfort”. We argue that the productive tension of the seminars owes much to the diversity of the participants. We discuss how these participants, despite a common interest in hip hop, may have to bridge epistemological and ontological divides in order to understand and accept each other. We examine how dialogue can founder on intransigence and dogmatism when discomfort becomes too difficult to tolerate. We conclude that these reflexive encounters can, however, cultivate a willingness to “stay with” discomfort. This, we insist, opens up new educational and activist horizons within and beyond UK HipHopEd, which are alive to transformative encounters.
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