Encountering the Self, Other and Third: Researching the Crossroads of Art Pedagogy, Levinasian Ethics and Disability Studies

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

Abstract

This doctoral thesis explores art pedagogical dimensions of dialogue and encountering with the Other. The Other is understood as radically ‘Other’ and therefore always strange. Consequently, other’s otherness has nothing to do with person’s abilities or characteristics. The ethical face-to-face encounter between two people is extended to discuss pedagogical ideals, justice, public and the political realm in the light of Emmanuel Levinas’s notion of the Third. The study relies on Martin Buber’s and Levinas’s ethical philosophy. The central notion of ‘being-aside’ is developed throughout the thesis in the light of Jean-Luc Nancy’s thinking. The thesis challenges art educational constructivist-cognitive notions of learning and becoming educated, and, consequently, the pedagogical notions and boundaries are challenged. Pedagogy is claimed to be a balance between ambitious ethical goals, that are passivity, asymmetry, responsibility, openness and vulnerability in front of the Other and counter transference affects and defences that inevitably influence behaviour. The pedagogical affects, the educational pre-notions and their regulations in an art educational situation, are discussed theoretically and presented visually via a video production. The thesis explores an artistic and art-educational project grounded in the collaborative art practice of a person with autism and an art pedagogue. Often, working with people with disabilities is understood as something different or ‘special’, as ‘special education’, and therefore rather exclusive and separate from other pedagogical situations. In this thesis, the knowledge formed as a result of encounters between two people is informative for other pedagogical situations. In addition, the collaborative efforts in community-[arts-]based projects are problematised using Nancy’s critical thoughts on community. The research material consists of video recordings from two years of collaborative work. The use of visual research method generated a more complex and versatile interpretation of the collaborative art practice.
Translated title of the contributionEncountering the Self, Other and Third: Researching the Crossroads of Art Pedagogy, Levinasian Ethics and Disability Studies
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Varto, Juha, Supervisor
  • Suominen, Anniina, Advisor
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-952-60-5122-2
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-5123-9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Keywords

  • disability studies
  • autism
  • Levinas
  • Buber
  • art pedagogy

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