Bringing back Boomer: A Call to Critical Arms

Andrew Miller

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    How might a tertiary English teacher use Garth Boomer's ideas on 'teaching against the grain' to challenge the rules and assumptions that dominate the Academic Language and Learning (ALL) industry in the university sector today? How might such a teacher use Boomer's ideas to enact 'emancipatory pedagogies' (or something like them) in an otherwise conservative landscape? In this paper I endeavour to imagine an alternative teaching identity and an alternative pedagogy by re-reading and re-appropriating some of Boomer's ideas of the late 1980s and applying them, selectively, to a twenty-first century context. To challenge the status quo, Boomer advocates a revolution in 'explicitness' and 'honesty' - even 'perversity' and 'courage' - to call education at all levels as it is. This paper responds to Boomer's call to critical arms and critical perversity by imagining as a means to enacting. After all, as Boomer (1988) suggests, 'Making out is a forerunner to making changes' (p. 69). And who better to start this habit-shattering praxis than Boomer himself.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)84-94
    Number of pages11
    JournalEnglish in Australia
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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