Erzsebet Strausz on writing, knowledge, pedagogy and transformational practice

October 19, 2022

Erzsebet Strausz has contributed to the special issue ‘What is an Author?’: Critical Reflections on Authors and Authority in Critical Security Studies edited by Tina Managhan and Dan Bulley with at article "Writing with Foucault: openings to transformational knowledge practices in and beyond the classroom". 

Read the full article here 


This article engages questions of authority and authorship in the discipline and the IR classroom, driven by a search for affirmative horizons within critical scholarship and academic practice. Prompted by a series of ‘failures’ attached to the social and disciplinary performance of ‘expertise’ in the context of violent conflict, I explore the practice of writing as it unfolds from Michel Foucault’s lesser cited essays and interviews as a generative, creative resource. I follow Foucault in breaking down the normalised perceptions of the ‘author function,’ revealing writing as an act that diagnoses, discovers, and potentially transforms writer, reader and the social structures that the writing addresses. Foucault’s experimental ethos brings to light the complex life worlds of sense-making through the vehicle of writing. It also invites us to embrace the transgenerational heritage that quietly structures our relationships to knowledge together with the multiple selves that arise and are co-present in the text. I enter such processes of negotiation and transgression in Foucault’s work and my own writing through a series of vignettes, which aim to actualise the ‘method’ these gestures may harbour for making ‘uncommon sense’ and re-inhabiting research and pedagogical practice as continuous, self-reflexive and self-authori(zi)ng journeys.