Pedagogies of Refusal: What it Means to (Un)teach a Student Like Me

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How to Cite

Rodríguez, Y. (2019). Pedagogies of Refusal: What it Means to (Un)teach a Student Like Me. Radical Teacher, 115, 5–12.


This analysis addresses the need to develop an ethos of decolonial refusal in Composition Studies and the academy in general, arguing that refusal is a livening rhetorical strategy of survival that challenges colonial futurity (Tuck and Yang), is generative and generous (McGranahan), and opens liminal space (Anzaldua, García-Peña, Lugones) for existing in predominantly white institutions — not at the margins nor centers but at the places of transformative possibility and deep relationality (Ahmed, Bilge and Collins). Focusing on refusal as performative, rhetorical, and undisciplined(Pough, Durham), and following in the lineage of Black and Third World feminist and Critical Race theories on narratives as political tools, I share a constellation of experiences from organizing spaces to graduate education to forward a multi-modal pedagogy of refusal in composition. More specifically, I share this piece, which bridges academic critique, with counternarratives, mini-diálogos, and art prints to signal to the composing practices that are possible and necessary in our shared classroom.


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