Experimental Community Education of the Twin Cities: Tools for Struggles Within, Against, and Beyond the University

37 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 21 Apr 2011

See all articles by Eli Meyerhoff

Eli Meyerhoff

University of Minnesota

David Boehnke

Experimental College of the Twin Cities

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper examines a project, Experimental Community Education of the Twin Cities (EXCO), which seeks to transform the dominant education system while creating an alternative. From our perspectives as both organizers of the project and critical analysts of it, we describe how EXCO emerged from struggles within, against, and beyond universities, how it operates, and how it compares with its historical and contemporary influences, which include experimental colleges, anarchist free skools, and popular education. To overcome its predecessors’ limitations, EXCO attempts to prefigure a model of liberating, mutually supportive, community-led education while, simultaneously, realizing those values on a wider scale through transforming the dominant institutions, resisting their mechanisms of co-optation, and re-appropriating their resources. Recognizing the tensions involved in walking these multiple paths, we offer some theoretical guidance for understanding what EXCO seeks to accomplish. We highlight the importance of affective relationships for enabling communities of resistance to self-organize, while recognizing the obstacles to forming cross-community relationship that arise from relations of oppression, along lines of race, class, language, and education. We draw from anarchist, autonomist, and other critical theories to offer strategies for overcoming these relational oppressions and working through these tensions in practice.

Keywords: free school, anarchism, popular education, commons, minor politics, undercommons, relational oppression, university politics

Suggested Citation

Meyerhoff, Eli and Boehnke, David, Experimental Community Education of the Twin Cities: Tools for Struggles Within, Against, and Beyond the University (February 1, 2011). Western Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1766644

Eli Meyerhoff (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

David Boehnke

Experimental College of the Twin Cities ( email )

Minneapolis, MN
United States

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