Toward Relational Onto-Epistemologies in the College Classroom and Beyond

Francisco A. Medina, The Graduate Center CUNY; Marjorine Henriquez-Castillo, Department Lehman College CUNY; Kushya Sugarman, The Graduate Center CUNY; Mariatere Tapias, The Graduate Center CUNY

In this roundtable, we reimagine a different relationship to knowledge production in the college classroom. We bring together decolonial and abolitionist perspectives to interrupt the reproduction of onto-epistemic colonialism and erasure (Wynter, 2003) in STEM+ Art education, which tends to present disciplinary knowledge as finite and universal. We are concerned with the maintenance of take-for-granted canons through scholasticism and the “rules” of science (Stetsenko, 2022; 2023). Thus, we turn attention to the uncertainty and openendedness of knowledge through reframing it as a communal/collective practice in the classroom that can not only open up what counts as knowledge, research, and pedagogy, but imagine new possibilities/worlds. Together, our papers explore: (1) how (mis)understandings in the classroom can be a site of new disciplinary knowledge, (2) how promoting strengths-based pedagogy and fostering collaborative learning approaches can decenter colonial forms of knowledge production, (3) how unraveling silences and epistemic erasure disrupts dominant conceptual frameworks of scientific inquiry, and (4) the interruption of educational enclosures through developing and enacting new pedagogies alongside diverse novice teachers.