Philosophy and Global Affairs

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2022

Sayan Dey
Pages 15-40

Pedagogy of Performative Silence

Usually, during any form of communication in an institutional classroom and beyond, the phenomenon of “silence” is regarded as a form of epistemological and ontological absence. To elaborate further, the act of remaining silent is usually equated with incapability and nothingness. The authenticity and relevance of building and sharing knowledge with one another are mostly judged on the basis of one’s capability to verbally express. But silence as a form of communication and knowledge dissemination has been an integral part of several native indigenous communities across the planet. It was with the emergence of European colonization, that such silent systems of knowledge production were disbanded as mysterious and invalid. The exercise of disbanding the phenomenon of silence continues to take place through the colonial/modern vocal-centric pedagogical practices in the contemporary era. With respect to these arguments, this essay attempts to explore the possible ways through which silence, along with vocal pedagogical practices, can be performed in an intersectional manner as a habitual pedagogical practice in educational institutions today. To justify the possibilities contextually, the author shares pedagogical instances mostly from India. This essay is the third part of the three-part pedagogy series. The other two essays are “Pedagogy of the Stupid” and “Pedagogy of Common Sense.”