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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Disruptive Dialogue Project: Crafting Critical Space in Higher Education


The Disruptive Dialogue Project (DDP) is a dialogic network of education scholars committed to fostering conversations that trouble normative practices of critical qualitative scholarship, pedagogy, and methodology, within an interstice of the contemporary educational inquiry landscape. In this essay, we describe the origins of the DDP as well as present a conceptual framework of the Project based on four spatial understandings of our disruptive activity (i.e., the DDP space as energy, alternative, critique, and possibility). Building on this conceptual model, we provide an overview two specific strategies / spaces the DDP intentionally cultivates as means of transformation and resilience – “disruptive” academic conference symposia and bi-weekly DDP teleconferences –and discuss the role these activities play in the development of our critical colleagueship. Our intent in sharing the DDP narrative is not to promote imitation of our project, but rather to encourage other critical scholars to create, seek out, produce and pull apart interstices of their own; spaces that disrupt the hegemonic narratives of educational research and faculty life.

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