School of Education

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Image of Dalene Swanson

Dalene Swanson

Professor of Education and Director, Postgraduate Research, Faculty of Social Sciences



My commitments and activism are to glocal social, ecological and intersectional justice, and to anti-oppressive and democratic pedagogies and praxis. My research contributions are to critical global citizenship (education) and sustainability; critical mathematics education, and mathematics and science (education) in socio-political context; indigeneity, especially Ubuntu as a Southern African onto-epistemology; and critical and post-critical artsbased methodologies and practices, especially critical rhizomatic narrative, a research methodology, with its 'moments of articulation', which I developed. It is also the conceptual insights gained from transdisciplinary, intersectional and global/local relations between these foci that I am concerned with as a commitment toward justice-oriented praxis. In this respect, I also draw on the arts and indigeneity by way of decolonising dominant mathematical and scientistic discourses and oppressive social structures and practices.

My research and engagement commit strongly to efforts to decolonise 'conventional' research methodologies and praxes, as well as oppressive social structures, discourses and practices. My research and teaching address a range of intersectional violences such as that of race, class, ability, gender, poverty, disadvantage, and other social difference discourses and constructions, as well as contest dominant global imaginaries such as colonialist and modernist structures and governmentalities.

In this respect, amongst other foci, I think through the practices and effects of science and mathematics in socio-political, ecological and cultural context. As PI on the UKRI GCRF Water and Fire project, I am concerned with the relationship between socio-ecological stresses, such as climate change-induced disasters and the political consequences to those living in conditions of deep precarity. I am committed to decolonial, indigenous and ethical engagement with those residents living in informality and experiencing the effects of socio-ecological and political oppressions. As an overarching theme and commitment to my work, I think with decolonial and Southern theories and with/through the arts, indigeneity and alternative ethico-onto-epistemologies.

Having been influenced by reconceptualist curriculum and critical artsbased perspectives in Canada, I see curriculum as complicated conversation, as critical creative engagement and entryways, and as life journey. My life's work - through research, teaching, and engagement with others - strongly seeks to open up possibilities, through alternative ways of being and knowing, of more radically hopeful futures. I have had the privilege of being able to live and work in some of the most beautiful places of Southern Africa, North America, the Middle East, and Europe, and feel deeply honoured to have taught with, learned with, researched with, worked with, and engaged with some of the finest people imaginable in all of these contexts. My life's work is therefore dedicated to all those with whom I have been honoured to experience being-with in 'humble togetherness', and to the possibilities of and efforts toward a better world.

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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