Thursday, 29 July 2010

Preliminary reading lists

This is a list of preliminary readings which may be helpful to those about to do the course, those thinking about doing the course in future years and those thinking about the issues raised on the course. Many of the texts listed here are available free online; unfortunately some are only available from within university libraries. Book-length titles are only rarely online, but can be ordered cheaply from the ABEbooks network of second-hand bookshops at this address. Remember also that public libraries can order books for you which are available in other libraries.

One particularly good way of preparing might be to go to the Activist Fleadh in Kilbarrack, north Dublin (August 14th and 15th) - details here. This will be very mixed in terms of the different movements and backgrounds that participants are coming from, and will touch on a wide range of issues covered in the course.

Boring bit: Please note that this is not a complete list of modules for the MA CEESA, for which students may also take elective modules from other MAs. Listing an elective module here is not a commitment to deliver this particular module in 2010 – 2011, which is in part dependent on appointments that are still being made.

Critical pedagogy in adult and community education (core)

Much of the relevant material is not available electronically, but two good websites are Critical pedagogy on the web and The encyclopedia of informal education.


Equality, social justice and sustainable development (core)

Here are some equality-based readings for those interested in reading over the summer. I’ve tried to select a range of easily accessible writings, but I’m influenced by my own background, so many of these readings originate from an education perspective):

  • Lynch, Kathleen (2010) ‘From a Neo-Liberal to an Egalitarian State: Imagining a Different Future’, 2010 TASC Annual Lecture. Available here
  • Noddings, N. (2005) 'Caring in education', The encyclopedia of informal education. Available here
  • Nussbaum, M. and A. Sen (1993) The Quality of Life. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Preview available here
  • Feeley, Maggie (2007) ‘Redefining Literacy from an Egalitarian Perspective’ in The Adult Learner 2007 AONTAS: Dublin. Available here
  • Freire, Paulo (1993) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum Books.
  • Freire, Paulo (1994) Pedagogy of Hope. New York: Continuum Books.
  • Wilkinson, R. and K. Pickett 2010 The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone [links and web presentations available under resources tabs on bottom left side of this page

Power, politics and praxis (core)

A lot of relevant material may not be available online. Some selections which are include:

Some of the selections below may be available online; others are sufficiently "classic" to be found in public libraries etc.

  • C. Wright Mills, The power elite
  • Steven Lukes, Power: a radical view
  • E.P. Thompson, introduction to The Making of the English Working Class
  • Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man, ch. 1
  • Michel Foucault, The Essential Works of Foucault, 1954-1984: Power
  • Starhawk, Truth or Dare: Encounters with power, authority and mystery, ch. 1
  • Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch, ch. 1
  • Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought, ch. 12
  • Murray Bookchin, Post-Scarcity Anarchism or Toward an Ecological Society, ch. 1
  • George Lakey, Powerful Peacemaking: A Strategy for a Living Revolution (1987 edition), ch. 2
  • John Holloway, Change the World Without Taking Power, ch. 3
  • Uri Gordon, Anarchy Alive!, ch. 3

[LD, LC]

Critical media and cultural pedagogy in communities (elective)

Some readings on participative media, arts and culture which will hopefully give you a flavour of the thinking that we’ll be exploring in this optional module. We’d like much of the work in this module to be a collaborative co-creation between staff and students, so it’s been hard to choose readings. Instead, I’ve just selected some readings that inspired us in the design of the course:

  • AONTAS special issue on arts available here
  • Fenton, N 2009 ‘Has the Internet changed how NGOs work with established media? Not enough’, Special Report: NGOs and the News on The Nieman Journalism Lab, Harvard University. Available here
  • Meade, R. (2008) "Mayday, Mayday! Newspaper framing anti-globalizers!: A critical analysis of the Irish Independent's anticipatory coverage of the `Day of the Welcomes' demonstrations", Journalism Vol. 9, Number 3
  • Pickard, V. W. (2006) ‘Assessing the Radical Democracy of Indymedia: Discursive, Technical, and Institutional Constructions’ in Critical Studies in Media Communication Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 19-/38 Available here
  • Phillips, A. (2004) ‘Care, Values and an Uncaring Media‘ in Social Policy & Society 3:4, 439–446. Available here
    [Note: this article may not be available to you at the moment, but will be available once you’re registered with the library. I’ve put it on the list as it was the article that inspired us at the outset when we began designing this course.

Sustainable organising (elective)

This is a good intro to the question of why sustainable organising is problematic:

  • Jen Plyler, "How to keep on keeping on". Upping the anti 3 (2006): 123 – 124, online here

For people who've already thought about this issue I've written a more systematic overview, with a lengthy bibliography:

  • Laurence Cox, "Hearts with one purpose alone? Thinking personal sustainability in social movements". Emotion, space and society 2 (2009): 52 – 61, online here

The following is a remarkable collection, focussing particularly on experiences at a very "sharp end":

  • Jane Barry and Jelena Dordevic, What's the use of revolution if we can't dance? Boulder: Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, online here

The following outstanding manual draws particularly on majority world experiences:

  • Marina Bernal et al., Self-care and self-defence for feminist activists. New Delhi: Artemisia / Elige / Crea, online here

Participatory action research in social movement practice (elective)

It's hard to prepare far in advance for this unless you're already familiar with the practice of social research (and with social movements, obviously): basically, you can have much more productive conversations about something after you've done it once and can see what different issues it throws up.

Having said that, you may get some initial inspiration from

  • the Action Research Ireland blog here

I've written, or co-written two pieces which activists and social movement researchers have told me they've found useful:

  • Colin Barker and Laurence Cox, "What have the Romans ever done for us? Activist and academic forms of movement theorising". In Colin Barker and Mike Tyldesley (eds.), Eighth international conference on Alternative Futures and Popular Protest conference. Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University (2002), online here
  • Laurence Cox, "Gramsci, movements and method: the politics of activist research". In Colin Barker and Mike Tyldesley (eds.), Fourth international conference on Alternative Futures and Popular Protest conference. Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University (1998), online here

Finally, the first issue of the journal Interface: a journal for and about social movements was dedicated to how social movements produce knowledge. In particular, the article by Mayo Fuster Morell on different kinds of movement research, Fergal Finnegan's review on knowledge production in the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Budd Hall's article on learning in environmental social movements and the editorial may be worth reading.


Courses we don't yet have reading suggestions for (sorry!)

  • Praxis and community participation (core)

  • The market, the state and social movements (elective)

  • Utopian literature and popular empowerment (elective)

  • Feminist theory and practice (elective)