Sanctioned Ignorance: Deconstructing Historiography

InOtherWorlds“In Selected Subaltern Studies (1985) Spivak writes ‘it is correctly suggested that the sophisticated vocabulary of much contemporary historiography successfully shields this cognitive failure and that this success-in-failure, this sanctioned ignorance, is inseparable from colonial domination.’ Ignorance is therefore rationalised, and by such means sanctioned. Spivak’s charge of sanctioned ignorance is most often directed at the Western study of the ‘third-world,’ ‘oriental’ or ‘subaltern,’ a gaze filtered through a selective lens.”

“The charge of ‘sanctioned ignorance’ is not merely the suggestion of an omission, an angle on analysis as yet unexplored by chance. It gives agency to the omitter. Indeed, to the collective academy. It is a purposeful silencing through the dismissing of a particular context as being irrelevant. This is not necessarily an issue of individual malice but an institutionalized way of thinking about the world which operates to foreclose particular types of analysis or considerations from entering into the debate.”

SOURCE: Mayblin, Lucy. “Sanctioned Ignorance.” Global Social Theory.

Critical Pedagogy-Paulo Freire

“As an alternative educational approach, Freire proposed that oppressed peoples need to become critically conscious, which is, in his view, the first step towards liberation and social change. According to Freire, becoming aware of the conditions of one’s oppression conscientises oppressed peoples and, in turn, catalyses transformative actions.”

painel-paulo-freire“Critical pedagogy is not a method, rather it opens a space for students to act and assert themselves as agents, question their assumptions, develop an appreciation for history and critically interrogate the idea that education is a value-neutral enterprise.”

SOURCE: Cooper, Adam. “FREIRE, Paulo.” Global Social Theory.