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Open Access Publications from the University of California

PsychoGeography as Teaching Tool: Troubled Travels Through an Experimental First-Year Seminar

  • Author(s): Stehle, Maria
  • et al.

This article is a critical reflection on the effectiveness of an experimental teaching tool for the college classroom. In an experimental seminar, students are asked to wander around—across campus, in the city of the college, in their respective hometowns, and in shopping malls. By describing and theorizing their own experiences in “travelogues” students draw attention to highly political and often contentious issues, i.e., questions of class, social position, gender, race, agency, and the body. This article critically analyzes the successes and limits of such a project. Drawing on bell hooks’ theories, it suggests a pedagogy of space that demands that the teacher and the student confront, transgress, and transform the psychogeographies that structure, confuse, and complicate our lives.

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