chapter  5
15 Pages

Post-Threat Pedagogies

A Micro-Materialist Phantomatic Feeling within Classrooms in Post-Terrorist Times
WithShiva Zarabadi

In this chapter, I explore the affective, embodied, and embedded capacities that threaten, and how terrorism cuts into pedagogical environments and practices. The threat of terrorism as the new affective partner of schooling spaces and experiences has emerged in the UK with two major events: the flight of three British-Muslim schoolgirls to Syria to marry Jihadi fighters in February 2015 and the enforcement of Prevent policy as a compulsory anti-radicalization duty for all schools, nurseries, and higher education institutions in July 2015. What I call post-threat pedagogies and post-terrorist times in this chapter refer to the understanding of threat as a new capacity or, along with Mbembe (2018), a “racist affect” that charges, intensifies, moves, and hooks learning, teaching, and identity formations. Drawing upon new materialist and posthumanist understandings, “post” in post-threat and post-terrorist neologism does not imply a chronological and linear temporality as after or the end of threat or terrorism, rather the many layers of humans and more-than-humans with and beyond threat and terrorism and the affective entanglements and capacities that it allows. Borrowing from Massumi (2015) in that the autonomy of affect is in its uncertainty and vagueness, which provides the “margin of maneuverability” (Massumi, 2015, p. 2) to materialize the affective intensities of threat, I propose an analogy between affect and phantom. I use the metaphor of phantom to speculate what the threat of terrorism does to pedagogical spaces and the ways in which it phantomatically affects and cuts across spaces, times, bodies, memories, feelings, and desires and agentically elicits new and different “boundary-drawing practices” (Barad, 2007, p. 140).