Pedagogical Experiments in an Anthropology for Liberation

  • Lorena Gibson


This piece began as a series of conversations with colleagues about the joys and frustrations I experienced in my endeavours to practice commoning in a new course, ‘Anthropology for Liberation.’ In it, I reflect on my efforts to place pedagogical practices of commoning and decolonising anthropology – critically examining and making space for different ways of learning, knowing, and being – at the centre of our classroom agenda. I go on to discuss how working to untangle the knot of colonialism with my students has been simultaneously the most challenging and the most rewarding aspect of teaching this course. I also examine some of the tensions involved in creating an educational common that encourages dialogue and critique yet sits within a university system built on inherently unequal power relations between lecturer and student. Finally, I reflect on some of the reasons why I was not entirely successful in creating an anthropological community that commons.


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How to Cite
GIBSON, Lorena. Pedagogical Experiments in an Anthropology for Liberation. Commoning Ethnography, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, p. 94-106, dec. 2017. ISSN 2537-9879. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 04 dec. 2020. doi:
Special Section: Debating the Commons in Aotearoa