• David Backer deposited Interpellation, Counterinterpellation, and Education in the group Group logo of PhilosophyPhilosophy on Humanities Commons 9 months, 4 weeks ago

    In a recent essay in Rethinking Marxism, as part of a special issue on the legacy of Louis Althusser’s thinking,
    Tyson E. Lewis takes up Althusser’s thinking on schooling, trade unionism, and seminars to delimit the concepts of
    interpellation, counterinterpellation, and disinterpellation respectively. While Lewis’s work is a crucial first step for
    understanding the little-known contours of Althusserian pedagogical theory, he does not elaborate key theoretical
    work done on the concept of counterinterpellation, namely that of the Marxist philosopher of language JeanJacques
    Lercecle. Engaging with Lecercle’s work deepens Lewis’s novel argument around the newly-coined term
    disinterpellation, which he distinguishes as fundamentally educational, as opposed to interpellation and
    counterinterpellation, which he calls forms of political activism. If one considers Lecercle’s derivation of the
    concept, Lewis’s characterization of disinterpellation as educational and counterinterpellation as political activism
    changes somewhat, and broaches fundamental questions for Marxist educational theory. In this essay – which is a
    comment on Lewis’s important step towards Althusserian pedagogical theory – I will present Lecercle’s account of
    counterinterpellation, setting this concept within the larger context of Althusserian philosophy. I then respond to the
    equivalence Lewis draws between counterinterpellation and interpellation to advocate disinterpellation as a model
    for Marxist educational theory and practice, a move which poses two important questions for critical educational
    theory in the Marxist tradition: Is there a forceless force within what both Gramsci and Althusser called balance of
    forces of the political terrain, and must education be that forceless force? I show these questions and their
    implications have important theoretical consequences for Marxist educational theory and practice in general, and
    the specific theory and practice Lewis advocates