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Deleuze and the narrative forms of educational otherness


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Cole, DR 2008 , 'Deleuze and the narrative forms of educational otherness', in I Semetsky (ed.), Nomadic Education:variations on a theme by Deleuze and Guattari , Educational Futures:Rethinking theory and practice (18) , Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 17-34.

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I pull my copy of Metrophage out of its battered pink paper folder. It is suitably
badly printed, and the black and white stripes of the dysfunctional roller have left
interference patterns running from the right to the left that distract the eye and
make discernment of the faint courier words difficult and time consuming. I
randomly separate the pages and start reading:
"He stood and Nimble Virtue tossed a packet of Mad Love at his feet. It came
to rest by the toe of his boot, where the water was icing up over a flaking
patch of dried blood. Welding marks, like narrow scars of slag. The
slaughterhouse had been grafted together from a stack of old Sea Train cargo
containers. A cryogenic pump hummed at the far end of the place, like a
beating heart, pushing liquid oxygen through the network of pipes that crisscrossed
the walls and floor. From the ceiling, dull steel hooks held shapeless
slabs of discoloured meat. Jonny looked at the slunk merchant.
Kadrey (1995, part 3, p. 1)."

When we read this passage, what is the tenor of the voice that we might deploy
through the use of the third person narrative? In the examination of educational
narrative forms, whether through qualitative research or self-evaluation exercises,
one might discern many voices that could crowd one’s analytical frame. The
problem for education is straightforward, and has been neatly summarised by Inna
Semetsky (2004) when she said, “[A] new non-representational language of
expression, exemplified in what Deleuze (1994b) called a performative or
modulating aspect, is being created by means of the language structure going
through the process of its own becoming-other and undergoing a series of
transformations giving birth to a new, as though foreign and unfamiliar, other
language,” (p. 316). This is happening as I speak or as you read these words
through the immense structures and processes of the education systems of the
industrialised West. Metrophage was born of these structures and now sits
innocently in my office or on the internet or in the computer files of high school students studying for examinations to go to respectable colleges. The problem can
be broken down into two parts that I shall explore throughout this chapter:
1. What are the languages of otherness that can be produced through the
action of educational processing?
2. How can we use this otherness to set off new directions of educational
practice and how does the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze relate to these

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Cole, DR
Publisher: Sense Publishers
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