(In defense of) pedagogies of obscenity

Jennifer R. Wolgemuth, Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, Timothy Barko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Despite best efforts to the contrary, obscenity oozes out from under the rugs of “polite” schooling and “tidy” society. In this post-qualitative inquiry, the authors pursue questions in defense of pedagogies of obscenity. In what ways do educators fail to educate when they eschew obscenity, understand shame and disgust as opposite to curiosity, and seek to teach in safe and sanitized classrooms? How might obscenity be educative? Drawing on their classroom experiences, the authors engage Žižek and Gallop in an analysis of (potentially) offensive classroom practices and events. They conclude that (Žižek and Gallop’s) obscenity might enable scholars and educators to generate critical classroom spaces that travel a delicate line between offense, discomfort, and learning. The authors suggest that there is much to defend in a pedagogy of obscenity, and that the value of obscenity may be learning to live and work more critically with(in) and against the perversions of education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-38
Number of pages16
JournalPower and Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Teaching
  • critical theory
  • ethics
  • obscenity
  • post-qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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