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Becoming Activist

Critical Literacy and Youth Organizing

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Elizabeth Bishop

Becoming Activist is a revolutionary study of youth human rights activism and literacy learning. The book follows five urban youth organizers from the Drop Knowledge Project in New York City. Intentionally polyvocal, the voices of the five youth are featured prominently to highlight the shifting articulation of their activist identities in relation to social and economic justice. Becoming Activist explores critical literacy pedagogy beyond the confines of formal education. While it has been historically theorized within English classrooms, much existing research points to the limitations of conducting critical literacy in schools. In search of a space where critical literacy can be more fully realized, this book positions urban youth organizing as an alternative context for powerful community-based learning. A valuable read for educators, researchers, and young organizers, Becoming Activist offers insight into conducting literacy work to promote positive youth and community development. Ultimately, the idea of «becoming» is key to understanding and supporting youth activists as they grow to exercise their political power for positive social change.
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Embodying Theory

Epistemology, Aesthetics and Resistance

Elizabeth Bishop and Tamsen Wojtanowski

Embodying Theory: Epistemology, Aesthetics and Resistance takes a deep dive into representational spaces of social science theory and research, positioning post-structuralist frameworks as potent tools in ongoing fights against injustice and inequity. In this interactive text, the reader takes a discursive tour through theoretical and imagistic landscapes that offer options for liberated existence and expression from repression and moralism. By foregrounding the "double articulation" of what is articulated through language and what is shown through visual material, Embodying Theory furthers an argument that there are numerous ways to embody, interpret and interact with meaning across cultural, materialist and populist platforms, to strategically create counter-narratives in the service of building peaceable, inclusive, sustainable and joyful futures.

Embodying Theory offers a series of writings and images to make theory walk, recasting major post-structural and deconstructive thought in order to explore spheres of action in the educational, the sociopolitical, the ethical, the aesthetic and the academic. This is an explicitly politicized approach to text creation, understood as both building theory and practice, to collaboratively design a textual experiment. This book reconceptualizes the text as an anti-moralistic response, as a non-violent battleground visually and textually. Embodying Theory uses the form of the book to demonstrate the always possible, to break open words and images. Through an interplay of light and language, the text foregrounds an affirmative stance against the nihilistic and the cynical. Embodying Theory interacts with core notions of "becoming" as key to understanding processes of subjects constructing their present and future.