Hello! I’m Sarah Shelton, a writer, teacher, and scholar living in Arlington, TX. Here you’ll find information about the different aspects of my work and this website.
PH Praxis (Digital Project)
A digital archive and resource hub for posthumanist pedagogy and research into teaching during the COVID-19 event. From the site:
This website is a cybernetic extension of two human researchers: Sarah Shelton and Miriam Rowntree. The function of this extension is to be a repository for posthuman praxis, both its theory and its implementation. Contributors vary from social media agents to other human researchers to the classrooms, desks, and blackboards that shape such pedagogical research. In engaging with various media, we (the humans and the technology) provide a platform for teaching narratives to shift and for posthuman praxis to become a more integral part of our pedagogical identities.
My research partner and I are currently:
- Curating and annotating a bibliography of sources to help others discover and create their own posthumanist praxis.
- Documenting our own pedagogical narratives of teaching during the COVID-19 event.
- Conducting interviews with colleagues about how the coronavirus has challenged their own understandings of education and their pedagogy.
Posthumanist Pedagogy and Composition
- An article on using Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy to help us speculate on a more posthumanist education and on teaching Oryx and Crake during the semester of the coronavirus.
- A sound project and article using data from the dissertation
- Continued postings on the blog about the materiality of the classroom, reading, writing, and teaching.
- A book project resituating my overall argument in socially just pedagogy, indigenous, and un-methodology conversations, specifically addressing how the posthumanist pedagogy I use recalibrates student understandings of and relationships to both reading and writing, and discussing issues of scalability when using these tools as an adjunct instead of a GTA
- Developing a methodology for collecting and intra-acting with data on the stories classroom furniture and design tell us about bodies, particularly fat ones, and how the arguments these stories/objects make about who is welcome in the classroom/at the university intra-act with student learning
Successfully defended August 22, 2018
Diffracting fiction and the case studies of two sophomore-level literature courses through feminist posthumanisms (particularly agential realism, material feminism, feminist poststructuralist inquiry, and post-qualitative inquiry), I argue that college professors can, immediately and locally, materialize different possibilities for our students’ knowing-in-being than the ones a traditional humanist education system imposes on us. A form of teaching↔as↔inquiry through pedagogical documentation and diffraction, “teaching elsewhere” uses curation↔calibration as an apparatus that both proliferates (diffracts) the posthumanist possibilities in a classroom and also holds us responsible for and accountable to each unique, unrepeatable classroom we teach-with. Through curating—texts, objects, people, places, concepts, experiences, activities, artifacts, etc.—with the classroom (from the whole phenomenon) instead of pre-planning everything ourselves, we can calibrate for more posthumanist possibilities (i.e. those that take into account the contribution of all actants in the meaning a classroom makes together). We curate to calibrate and calibrate through curation; they are inseparable and require intentional and sustained observation to notice the dynamic flows of agency throughout all actants—human and nonhuman alike—in the classroom-as-phenomenon. Not a particular curriculum or pedagogy, teaching elsewhere is, more critically, about a teacher’s deliberate shift in thinking about the classroom (from inert imposition to agential phenomenon) and about the posthumanist praxis she develops to deliver any curriculum. In changing how she views both the classroom and how it produces meaning—not as simply an epistemological concern (human interaction) but as an onto-epistemological doing (the world’s intra-action)—she can create the opportunity (elsewhere) for students to learn as they live: entangled with the world in a continual and emergent becoming-with.
On the blog, I share and publish words from all the areas of my life, both creative and scholarly. If, as I argue, writing and reading are onto-epistemological acts–ways of knowing-in-being–then I plan to be here as much as possible. As a teacher who believes that pedagogy, research, and theory are all inextricably entangled with our larger lives, I also share posts/stories about teaching. Part of a productive posthuman pedagogy–which I am continually working on–is the sharing of successes and failures with applying posthuman frameworks, strategies, and theories to the everyday classroom.
Since I let all my interests and work mix on the blog, use the following category tags to see posts just about pedagogy or my academic work:
- Agential Realism
- Pedagogical Documentation
- Scholarly Musings
- Writing Is
- Writing Through All the Things