Pedagogie del quotidiano ed il nuovo archivio: Un’esplorazione di pratiche, oggetti e linguaggio nella ‘guerra al terrore’

Pedagogies of the everyday and the New Archive: Exploring practices, objects and language in the "War on Terror"

By Gabriella Maestrini

Gabriella Maestrini (MEd in ALGC) is a third year PhD student in the Department of Educational Studies at UBC.  In her PhD work, she focuses on humour in stand-up comedy as an onto-epistemology where knowing the world through humour emanates from being in the world differently. This presupposes stand-up comedians as tricksters, social commentators, transgressors and storytellers who in this role invite us to consider the world otherwise and who use this way of being to speak the unspoken, specifically the unspeakable of coloniality. Humour used by marginalized comedians can be used to return the gaze, to interrupt, disrupt and to transform.

Pedagogies of the everyday and the New Archive: Exploring practices, objects and language in the "War on Terror"


February 2016

In this article, I explore how the events of 9/11 have influenced everyday practices, objects and language creating a new archive. The new archive refers to particular ways of memorializing 9/11 that are simultaneously global/universal and local/personal, drawing on the spectacularity of the event and the specific range of sense­making they permit. The new archive encapsulates 9/11 as an ahistorical depoliticized event, that is rendered linear via an emotive narrative relying on a cause-­effect relationship (Amoore, 2007; Simpson, 2006; Zehfuss, 2010). I argue that the simultaneous universalization/personalization of 9/11 is also made possible via the new archive which extends beyond  the official memorization practices sanctioned, authorized and initiated by state agencies.

Practices, objects and language reposited in this new archive through pedagogies of the everyday is based on a wide reading of pedagogy rooted in public pedagogy that sees everyday-practices-as-public pedagogy and expressions of popular culture as significant productions of meaning (Sefton-Greene, 2014). These pedagogies then include mundane encounters and everyday interactions with people, expressions and memories to provide public learning moments. Practiced outside of formal learning spaces, these pedagogies may be public/private/shared/global and in their visual form (photographs) mainly circulated through social media.

The everyday holds particular interest because the “study of mundane life demands a necessary concreteness and specificity alongside an awareness of the increasing globalization of everyday practices” (Moran, 2005, p. ix) while Freire (1994) argues that the everyday allows to engage in the “knowledge of living experience.”

Specifically, we access these pedagogies through interlinked examples of everyday practices, objects and language that create the new archive. Practices of memorialization reposited in the new archive include for example the creation/circulation of memes and tattoos. Objects include stamps and cutlery that from their mundane use have come to carry traces and hauntings of 9/11. Lastly, an examination of widely used expressions such as “war on terror” and the circulation of jokes shows that even these still carry the spectres of the event and with it the fear of forgetting.

“Knock, knock?

Who’s there?


9/11 who?

I thought you wouldn’t forget?!”

In conclusion, we see that “the everyday [with its pedagogies] presents a destabilising force” (de Certeau, 1984) that creates openings for new forms of pedagogy, epistemology and memory.