Combating Racialized and Gendered Ignorance: Theorizing a Transactional Pedagogy of Friendship
Gillman, Laura J.
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The article explores the problem of epistemological ignorance. Drawing on the literature of feminist epistemology, in particular the epistemologies of ignorance, it theorizes white ignorance and male ignorance and how it is possible to gain consciousness about one's ignorance, as well as how to be responsible for what one does not know. The article explores ignorance as unconscious habits that inform our mental schemas, our social interactions, and our physicality. It identifies and analyzes these habits of ignorance, drawing on our experiences as team teachers (one a philosophy professor, and the other a professor of women's studies and literary studies) who co-taught an interdisciplinary doctoral seminar in feminist epistemology. It describes and illustrates the pedagogical and scholarly processes that led us to view epistemology as a practice of inquiry that combats ignorance by demanding an inclusive partnership across traditional and counterhegemonic approaches to knowledge. The article claims that a transactional pedagogy of friendship makes possible the disruption and rehabituation of epistemic habits of ignorance, moving inquirers in the direction of more inclusive, reliable, and responsible knowledge.