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The Critical Graduate Experience

An Ethics of Higher Education Responsibilities


Charlotte Achieng-Evensen, Janae Dimick, Ndindi Kitonga, Maryann Krikorian, Kevin Stockbridge and Barry Kanpol

The Critical Graduate Experience is a collection of scholarly reflections on the possibilities of a new vision for critical studies. It is a remarkable book that provides daring analyses from the vantage of the graduate student experience. Drawing from individual knowledge and research, the authors invite you to re-imagine education for justice. Barry Kanpol opens the work with a brilliant meditation on joy and cynicism in university classrooms and educational theory. The book continues to unfold as an open and honest conversation with doctoral students and recent graduates concerning the ethics of higher education. In a true critical approach, each chapter problematizes a new facet of academic assumptions and practices as they touch the lives of students. The authors explore the ethical implications of acknowledging student spirituality and expanding the role of critical education studies. The book concludes with a transparent self-critique on the process and ethics of graduate students writing for publication. This is a wonderful text, guiding students and professors as they enter into dialogue on the ethics of an authentic critical education studies. Classes on practical ethics, educational spirituality, student voice, collaborative publishing, and critical pedagogy could benefit from the insights offered here. Daring to believe that student experience and knowledge have a place in the world of academic publishing, this book is both a prophetic proclamation of and humble invitation to a new future in the field.
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Chapter Five: The Animot in the Classroom: A Revisioning of Educational Graduate Programs



The Animot IN THE Classroom: A Revisioning OF Educational Graduate Programs


Tattooed along the underside of my forearm is a long line of Sanskrit text. It is a mantra, a prayer really, and is translated into English as the following: “May all beings everywhere be peaceful and free.” This is a mantra I have repeated during meditation, yoga, and worship. It is a reminder to myself to remain steadfast on the long path toward nonhuman and human liberation. It is a plea to the perhaps deaf ears of the universe that connects us. It is a fervent wish that I yearn to see come to fruition.

For many, the term “beings” may conjure up images of humans to readers’ minds. However, I use this word as a recognition of all sentient beings who inhabit this world—humans and nonhuman animals alike. Admittedly, utilizing the term “nonhuman animals” is a bit awkward. It does not appeal to the eye nor slip off the tongue easily. However, it is important for my discussion here. Social constructions are rooted in language. If we continue to use the terms “humans” and “animals,” then we subconsciously support a human versus animal binary—a socially constructed dualism because, in reality, humans are animals.

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