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Educational Philosophy and Theory

ISSN: 0013-1857 (Print) 1469-5812 (Online) Journal homepage:

Wild and small

Charles Tocci

To cite this article: Charles Tocci (2018) Wild and small, Educational Philosophy and Theory,
50:14, 1312-1313, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2018.1459491

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Published online: 25 Nov 2018.

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2018, VOL. 50, NO. 14, 1312–1313

Wild and small
Charles Tocci 
School of Education, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Postmodernism isn’t dead. It has been captured, trained, and, quite frightfully, made useful in the
hands of politicians, entertainers, and those cavorting at the intersection of politics and entertainment.
In reference to ‘climate change,’ Latour warned that ‘dangerous extremists are using the very same
argument of social construction to destroy hard won evidence that could save our lives’ (Latour, 2004,
p. 227). But now, postmodernism is a breed of political talk employed constantly and copiously; even the
most thoroughly evidenced and argued positions are batted aside as ‘fake news’ or ‘hoaxes’ produced
by ‘failing’ and self-interested ‘losers.’
If postmodernism has been so thoroughly domesticated, then to ask what comes after is to seek
what presently roams free through the world and across books, paintings, blogs, articles, social media
feeds, daydreams, and message boards. What ideas exceed instrumental use and are, for the moment,
a teeming multitude of experimental possibilities? We must reckon that there has always been much,
much more going on than any image of thought (Deleuze & Guattari, 1996) could collect and render.
The present is no different. Perhaps the Internet’s deluges of information have attuned us to this humility
in ways optimistic (e.g. Wikipedia), wary (e.g. social media ‘bots’), and horrifying (e.g. ISIS recruitment
videos). These are the unexpected herds that trample on internet business models of open-ended,
self-deforming control. This is reason for skeptical hope. There are more creatures bounding across the
integrated real-digital landscape than we can perceive, let alone name.
The work ahead for educational philosophers is twofold. The first is to seek out, ruminate on, and
help cultivate ‘new weapons’ (Deleuze, 1992) with which to resist the present. These new possibilities
will be wild and small. They will be minor (Deleuze & Guattari, 1986) in the sense of illuminating some
specific, particular place in time without the pretense of arch-theorizing. Instead, our new weapons
will be produced by students, scholars, and lay folks alike as we traverse the material and digital worlds
attempting to do differently. These loving experiments launch concepts into the world, which make
empirical ripples to be observed: new pronouns, hashtag movements, memes, ‘occupy’ protests, and
so on. The process of creation, experimentation, and consideration of these minor weapons make this
an educational issue.
Simultaneously, we must reimagine a professional ethics that does not exploit, inflate, or instrumen-
talize the product or the producer. Our wellspring is knowing that the symbolized always overruns the
symbol; our tenuous, partial grasps of other’s work will require self-effacement and commitment to
collaboration. It will place a premium on cultivating spaces that are inviting, hierarchically dynamic,
bound by mutual accountability so that possibilities are posed, run, and assessed as events in and
of themselves. These are minor philosophies (Deleuze & Guattari, 1986) populating the landscape,
reimaging and remaking small corners. A broken and tamed postmodernism provides us the chance,
again, to explore this world.

CONTACT  Charles Tocci
© 2018 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia

Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.

Notes on contributor
Charles Tocci is an assistant professor for education at Loyola University Chicago. His research interest includes practical
change as well as dynamics between violence and nonviolence in education.

Charles Tocci

Deleuze, G. (1992). Postscript on the societies of control. October, 59, 3–7.
Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1986). Kafka: Towards a minor literature. (D. Polan, Trans.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota
Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1996). What is philosophy? (H. Tomlinson, Trans.). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Latour, B. (2004). Why has critique run out of steam? From matters of fact to matters of concern Critical Inquiry, 30, 225–248.