Educational Injustices among Margins and Centers

Theorizing Critical Futures in Education

by Phillip Boda (Volume editor)
©2024 Textbook X, 142 Pages
Series: Counterpoints, Volume 546


Since the first English translation of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970), critical breakthroughs in education have been diffcult to establish and flourish. In turn, dismantling and rebuilding these systems are not a destination, but a dialectical practice negotiated across time and space to continually challenge the hegemony that aims to increase the vulnerability of those already at risk of violence. But just as these ideologies have invaded so many of our social environments, we must disrupt these systems with our own counter-narration to expose the contradictions that sustain epistemological obedience and education that limits the possibilities for further change in society. In this book, I am honored to bring together unresolved cases as scholars strive to overthrow oppressive hegemonies that place the individual above the communal good if favor of profit-based machinations. Ultimately, this edited book seeks to challenge the dichotomy between what we mean by individual and community in educational practice and research to illustrate how scholars can create more nuanced and relational ways of understanding justice, paving the way for hitherto unknown critical research in education, grounded in new visions of the future for schools exploring the radical possibility of ‘what if.’
"In this beautifully curated edited collection, scholars-activists-thinkers-dreamers share research, stories, and personal journeys of education and beyond. Engaging thoughtfully and generatively with complex topics such as migration, disability, racism, feminism, Blackness, settler-colonialism, relationality, memory, and imperialism, authors in this volume offer diverse lines of flight from oppressive and marginalizing structures, toward creative and liberatory possibilities for healing, teaching, learning, and being/becoming. Their powerful contributions together form a critical imaginary that will undoubtedly inspire educators, researchers, and activists alike."
—Sara Tolbert, Te Whare Wananga University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand
"The creative energy and dazzling insights generated throughout the chapters of this book mark a new critical/liminal portal for educators that provide multiple entryways through which to navigate the politics of identity (as opposed to identity politics) and to grasp the biopolitical embeddedness of the carceral settler state in our everyday psyche while at the same time providing innovative ways to effect its diminution—and eventual disappearance—without resorting to compulsory use of the master’s tools. This is an important and formidable work of scholarship, poetry and self-reflection animated by the power of the collective. A must-read book."
—Peter McLaren, Distinguished Professor in Critical Studies, Co-Director and International Ambassador for Global Ethics and Social Justice, The Paulo Freire Democratic Project, Chapman University

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication Page
  • About the editor
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • List of Illustrations and Tables
  • Introduction (Phillip A. Boda)
  • 1. Wondering in the Dark (Monét Cooper)
  • 2. Honoring Homeplace: Centering Youth and Community Scholars as Co-constructors of Curriculum and Research (Miranda Goosby, Valentina Gamboa-Turner, and Erica R. Dávila)
  • 3. Engaging a Radical Poetics of Healing by Design: On Poiesis, Disobedience, and the Pursuit of Liberated Selves (Phillip A. Boda)
  • 4. Becoming LBS: Exploring Ambitions and Tensions in (De)constructing a Humanizing Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Program (Laurie Inman and Jen Stacy)
  • 5. Belonging Despite Borders: An Autoethnographic Response to U.S. Imperialism, Migration, and Identity (Van Anh Tran and M. Yianella Blanco)
  • 6. Fractional Crystallization as a Metaphor for a Palimpsest of Colonization (Meghan Zarnetske)
  • 7. Neither Here Nor There: Graduate Students Navigating the Complexities of Motherscholarship During COVID-19 (Maureen W. Nicol and Abby C. Emerson)
  • 8. Inextricably Bound: Racialized Blackness and (Il)literacy in the United States’ Imaginary (CoCo Massengale)
  • 9. How Can I Teach Antiracism in My All-White Classroom? A Call to White Teachers (Julia Kingsdale, Scout Cohen-Pope, and Cynthia Benally)
  • 10. “But Look at My Sign!” We Cried: And Other Types of White Performance That Will Never Dismantle the House (Scott D. Farver)
  • 11. The Crip Futures of Academic Madness: Education, Schooling, and the Struggle Against Sanism (Sam Shelton)
  • 12. The Hegemony in the Room (Phillip A. Boda)


Phillip A. Boda

Our living depends on our ability to conceptualize alternatives … Colonialization made of us the colonized—participants in daily rituals of power where we, in strict sado-masochistic fashion, find pleasure in ways of being and thinking, ways of looking at the world that reinforce and maintain our positions as the dominated … [and, in return for this obedience,] one of the deepest expressions of our internalization of the colonizer’s mentality has been self-censorship.

hooks, 1990, pp. 149, 155, 157, bolding added

As the eminent bell hooks explains above, Living as a historically marginalized person in the world is both an act of resistance, as well as comes with a haunting of the colonial artifacts left over as the Western white European nations slaughtered, razed, and pillaged the lands of all people around the world, but most impactfully, Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples. To “conceptualize alternatives,” then, is the act of resistance when colonized peoples around the world (re)cognize and bear witness to the cultural hegemony that has been used for centuries in ways that can only be described as oppressive, tortuous, and downright murderous. And even then, as we witness this hegemony push forward ways of knowing and being that are in direct opposition to how peoples of the world have come to know themselves and their environment, we find institutions, such as schools in the West, where cultural domination and hegemony used to support repressive and ideological state apparatuses like the military and prison industrial complexes, there continue purposeful designs to uphold whiteness, heterosexism, ableism, and imperialism. They thereby become necessary factors used to exploit those peoples that have been historically marginalized even further, such as Trans Queer Black and Brown Disabled Peoples, where the goal is to strip them of their Lives-Hopes-Dreams, replacing their Futures with pathways and patterns of knowing that lead to contributing more power for the global capitalist project of Modernity where humans are valued for what they can produce, sell, and/or buy.

In turn, this volume is, first and foremost, a coalition-building work of love—radical, self-empowering Love (hooks, 2001). Moreover, given that “the primary responsibility for defining one’s own reality lies with the people who live that reality” (Collins, 1991, p. 34), this volume sought out proposals that deconstruct structures and subjectivities, doing so by honoring authorship with and for those whose lived realities are discussed, authentically valuing and interweaving their experiences—who, then, “write all the things they should have been able to read,” paraphrasing Collins (1991). Such workings, thus, also reconstructed new narratives of transformative futures that may not have answers right now. Following in the tradition of critical pedagogy, walkways of change that go together with rituals of questioning (conocimiento; Anzaldúa, 1987), and the charge for all educators with the “preparation of critical political subjects” (Giroux, 1993, p. 376), work that pushed the boundaries of what we have defined as equity, social justice, and liberation in schools and schooling were elicited. The submissions that were accepted, revised based on the Editorial Board’s feedback (listed below), and included here constitute radical departures from what we have previously assumed are the margins and centers.


X, 142
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2023 (December)
Education Justice Critical Studies Colonialism Intersectionality Schooling Hegemony Narrative Poetry Positionality Critical Race Theory Educational Injustices among Margins and Centers Theorizing Critical Futures in Education Phillip A. Boda
New York, Berlin, Bruxelles, Chennai, Lausanne, Oxford, 2024. X, 142 pp., 2 b/w ill., 1 b/w table

Biographical notes

Phillip Boda (Volume editor)

Phillip A. Boda received his Ph.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. His work focuses on justice-centered praxes leveraging Cultural and Disability Studies to center subaltern voices. He uses Educational Technology designed specifically for urban education contexts to disobey traditional grammars of what constitutes socially-just research.


Title: Educational Injustices among Margins and Centers