Fabulation as a Pedagogical Possibility: Working towards a Politics of Affirmation

Frans Kruger, Adré Le Roux


The wave of student-led protests that have taken place across the South African higher education landscape over the last two years provides us, as teacher educators, with the opportune time to reflect on how our pedagogical practices relate to larger societal transformative imperatives. We engage with the relationship between pedagogical practices and social transformation by attending to questions concerning identity, intersubjectivity, and group relations. We argue that conventional pedagogical practices that work towards social justice are entangled with and regulated by identity politics, and that such a position equates these pedagogical practices with a politics of negation and ressentiment. By drawing on Deleuze’s interpretation of the concept of fabulation and Deleuze and Guattari’s argument that desire is a positive social force that enables experimentation to occur, we re-imagine the idea of a pedagogy as a politics of affirmation. Such politics, we argue, makes possible the constitution of new social collectivities that are able to escape the gravitational pull of identity politics and ressentiment. We posit that, in the midst of student protests, this is an important first step in generating the conditions to experiment with the creation of a different, more socially just future.


social justice education; desire; desiring-production; identity politics; subjected group; group-subject; a people to come; pedagogy

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