Learning to survive the 'Shopocalypse': Reverend billy's anti-consumption 'pedagogy of the unknown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper explores the 'social movement learning' operating within one site of critical public pedagogy and, specifically, examines how the anti-consumption activist group Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping encourages transitional spaces of learning through a 'pedagogy of the unknown.' Bill Talen, a.k.a. 'Reverend Billy', is an anti-consumption activist who utilizes performance art as a form of critical public pedagogy. Through an analysis of his performances gathered from numerous sources including video, audio interviews and written scripts, this paper discusses how Reverend Billy's work operates as a form of critical public pedagogy. This paper posits that Reverend Billy: (1) deliberately tries to avoid categorizing himself, so he remains a kind of 'uncategorizable' pedagogue and 'unknowable' preacher who (2) preaches against the 'known' consumerist script, he (3) enacts a pedagogy of the unknown and performs the unknown, as he focuses on asking questions and enacting 'exalted acts of embarrassment' that are unsanctioned in everyday life to (4) disturb customers long enough so that they can (5) back away from the product, away from the consumerist script, into what Reverend Billy calls 'the fabulous unknown'. This pedagogy of the unknown seeks to open the 'transitional spaces' so necessary for critical learning about consumerism to take place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-311
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Studies in Education
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Fingerprint

pedagogue
learning
social movement
performance
everyday life
customer
video
church
art
interview
Group

Keywords

  • Consumption
  • Critical pedagogy of consumption
  • Public pedagogy
  • Social movement learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

Learning to survive the 'Shopocalypse' : Reverend billy's anti-consumption 'pedagogy of the unknown. / Sandlin, Jennifer.

In: Critical Studies in Education, Vol. 51, No. 3, 10.2010, p. 295-311.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ed7ce5d482ce4fb1b3c611ec40cded02,
title = "Learning to survive the 'Shopocalypse': Reverend billy's anti-consumption 'pedagogy of the unknown",
abstract = "This paper explores the 'social movement learning' operating within one site of critical public pedagogy and, specifically, examines how the anti-consumption activist group Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping encourages transitional spaces of learning through a 'pedagogy of the unknown.' Bill Talen, a.k.a. 'Reverend Billy', is an anti-consumption activist who utilizes performance art as a form of critical public pedagogy. Through an analysis of his performances gathered from numerous sources including video, audio interviews and written scripts, this paper discusses how Reverend Billy's work operates as a form of critical public pedagogy. This paper posits that Reverend Billy: (1) deliberately tries to avoid categorizing himself, so he remains a kind of 'uncategorizable' pedagogue and 'unknowable' preacher who (2) preaches against the 'known' consumerist script, he (3) enacts a pedagogy of the unknown and performs the unknown, as he focuses on asking questions and enacting 'exalted acts of embarrassment' that are unsanctioned in everyday life to (4) disturb customers long enough so that they can (5) back away from the product, away from the consumerist script, into what Reverend Billy calls 'the fabulous unknown'. This pedagogy of the unknown seeks to open the 'transitional spaces' so necessary for critical learning about consumerism to take place.",
keywords = "Consumption, Critical pedagogy of consumption, Public pedagogy, Social movement learning",
author = "Jennifer Sandlin",
year = "2010",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1080/17508487.2010.508809",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "51",
pages = "295--311",
journal = "Critical Studies in Education",
issn = "1750-8487",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Learning to survive the 'Shopocalypse'

T2 - Reverend billy's anti-consumption 'pedagogy of the unknown

AU - Sandlin, Jennifer

PY - 2010/10

Y1 - 2010/10

N2 - This paper explores the 'social movement learning' operating within one site of critical public pedagogy and, specifically, examines how the anti-consumption activist group Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping encourages transitional spaces of learning through a 'pedagogy of the unknown.' Bill Talen, a.k.a. 'Reverend Billy', is an anti-consumption activist who utilizes performance art as a form of critical public pedagogy. Through an analysis of his performances gathered from numerous sources including video, audio interviews and written scripts, this paper discusses how Reverend Billy's work operates as a form of critical public pedagogy. This paper posits that Reverend Billy: (1) deliberately tries to avoid categorizing himself, so he remains a kind of 'uncategorizable' pedagogue and 'unknowable' preacher who (2) preaches against the 'known' consumerist script, he (3) enacts a pedagogy of the unknown and performs the unknown, as he focuses on asking questions and enacting 'exalted acts of embarrassment' that are unsanctioned in everyday life to (4) disturb customers long enough so that they can (5) back away from the product, away from the consumerist script, into what Reverend Billy calls 'the fabulous unknown'. This pedagogy of the unknown seeks to open the 'transitional spaces' so necessary for critical learning about consumerism to take place.

AB - This paper explores the 'social movement learning' operating within one site of critical public pedagogy and, specifically, examines how the anti-consumption activist group Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping encourages transitional spaces of learning through a 'pedagogy of the unknown.' Bill Talen, a.k.a. 'Reverend Billy', is an anti-consumption activist who utilizes performance art as a form of critical public pedagogy. Through an analysis of his performances gathered from numerous sources including video, audio interviews and written scripts, this paper discusses how Reverend Billy's work operates as a form of critical public pedagogy. This paper posits that Reverend Billy: (1) deliberately tries to avoid categorizing himself, so he remains a kind of 'uncategorizable' pedagogue and 'unknowable' preacher who (2) preaches against the 'known' consumerist script, he (3) enacts a pedagogy of the unknown and performs the unknown, as he focuses on asking questions and enacting 'exalted acts of embarrassment' that are unsanctioned in everyday life to (4) disturb customers long enough so that they can (5) back away from the product, away from the consumerist script, into what Reverend Billy calls 'the fabulous unknown'. This pedagogy of the unknown seeks to open the 'transitional spaces' so necessary for critical learning about consumerism to take place.

KW - Consumption

KW - Critical pedagogy of consumption

KW - Public pedagogy

KW - Social movement learning

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79959279573&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79959279573&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/17508487.2010.508809

DO - 10.1080/17508487.2010.508809

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:79959279573

VL - 51

SP - 295

EP - 311

JO - Critical Studies in Education

JF - Critical Studies in Education

SN - 1750-8487

IS - 3

ER -