Mirah Sand

Date of Award


First Advisor

Asma Abbas

Second Advisor

Wendy Shifrin


This thesis seeks to locate the philosophical underpinnings of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Through a navigation of Freire’s very specific hope and faith in humanity, I will work to illuminate the ways in which Freire’s pedagogy is not as inclusive as he believes it to be, and can actually foreclose the fostering of solidarity and community. By working with other thinkers like Judith Butler and Simone Weil, I provide alternative notions of solidarity and ways of being among others. By providing personal reflections from my time studying abroad in Khon Kaen, Thailand, as well as my experience teaching English in a Freirian classroom during the summer of 2011, I hope to show some of the confusing and contradictory feelings that can arise during the building of community. I hope to open up Freirian pedagogy in order to more honestly locate the radical educator, and find what is required of her to be present to the experiences of others.

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