Remixing the Released Imagination

  • Tyler Denmead University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


In this paper, I present a DJ-inspired approach to arts-based educational research that borrows from found poetry analysis (Wiggins, 2011) to remix passages from Maxine Greene’s (1995) Releasing the Imagination. I describe revisiting Greene’s classic text twenty years after its major influence on me as a community arts practitioner. In rereading the text, I struggled with how I failed to see the ways in which her conception of “community” suppresses and reproduces racial conflict. I then describe using an absurdist approach to remixing that borrows materials from Greene’s text and from William Pope.L’s Skin Set (2013) to create a new text, or found poem. After presenting the outcome, I invite other community arts practitioners to consider playful, absurdist arts-based methodologies that may offer protected pedagogic spaces, albeit momentary ones, to trouble concepts we revere. In particular, I suggest that this irreverent approach to remixing can be useful in addressing the racialized tensions that can be silenced in the name of “community” because of the found poem’s lack of preciousness and its potential for humor.


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