13 Pages

PEDAGOGY Critical interventions: the meaning of praxis


Against the backdrop of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” in March 2003, I started this chapter on critical pedagogy for A Boal Companion. As the editors prepare the volume to go to press, more than a year and a half later, the US occupation of Iraq continues and the sense of horror invoked by “Shock and Awe” has deepened, as scenes of barbarism-US torture of Iraqi prisoners and terrorist beheadings-multiply. Meanwhile, at home, the Patriot Act, detentions and deportations of South Asian-and Arab-Americans, and a presidential race shaping up to be yet another case of the lesser of two evils, constitute the domestic flip side of a new chapter of interimperialist rivalry.1 And so we have endless war abroad and increasing repression at home. It is this scenario that informs my account of critical pedagogy’s value for educators, performers, artists, and activists, and to which I will return after a review of its origins and aims.