COLLABORATORS AND HECKLERS: Performative Pedagogy and Interruptive Processes


  • Lee Campbell



Arguing for the positive disruptive nature of interruption, this paper concentrates on my current performative and pedagogic usage of interruption within my teaching as the means to achieve three aims: 1) develop aspects of practice discussed in my doctoral thesis ‘Tactics of Interruption: Provoking Participation in Performance Art’ (Campbell 2016) related to the focused usage of interruptive processes in contemporary art practice (Arlander 2009: 2) provide students with direct experience of how interruption may command immediate reaction and force collaborative means of working, i.e. collective survival tactics to deal with interruption; and 3) theorise, articulate and demonstrate how interruption relates to critical reflection (on the part of both student and teacher), extending the ideas of Maggi Savin-Baden (2007) to propose interruption as reflection. To achieve these aims, the paper discusses how I have implemented interruption into learning activity design and evidences how I have created activities that aim to help students understand collaborative learning in cross-disciplinary projects through an effective use of realia (interruption is part of real life). I discuss one first year teaching seminar at Loughborough University in March 2015 (and subsequent related iterations) combining performance, fine art and collaboration methodologies where students directly engaged in a range of activities not displaced from their own life experiences; there was heavy student engagement in digital technologies, and interruption. The main outcomes of the teaching session support and go beyond the aims by relating to: a) experiential learning related to the interplay between ‘collaboration’ and ‘interruption’; b) performative pedagogy and inclusion; c) the interplay between teaching, liveness and interruption; and d) performative pedagogy and the exchange of power relation.