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Ford, Derek R., PhD - Faculty Bio

Ford, Derek R., PhD



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Education Studies, Harrison Hall, Room 218

Education Studies

Assistant Professor of Education Studies

I teach classes about how educational theory, history, and economics relate to political struggles. My teaching and research focus on the ways that education can help us imagine and enact new ways of being together in the world and are motivated by a desire for justice and liberation for all. This also motivates my organizing with the Indianapolis Liberation Center, ANSWER Coalition, the International Manifesto Group, and others.

I've written a few books and published in a variety of academic journals, and other writing has appeared in popular outlets like Monthly Review and Black Agenda Report. My next book, Teaching the actuality of revolution: Aesthetics, pedagogy, and the sensations of struggle, examines the role aesthetic education plays in reproducing and challenging capitalism and imperialism and is due out in a few months. (You can hear me speak about it on a new episode of Revolutionary Left Radio.) I also hosted and helped create the podcast series, Reading Capital with Comrades, which takes listeners through volume 1 of Marx's magnum opus and is available on all major streaming platforms. I've recently focused on collectively researching and publishing with Education Studies students and alum.

I’m associate editor of Postdigital Science and Education and deputy editor of the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies--which I work on with an education studies intern. I co-edit the book series Radical politics and education, chair the education department at the Hampton Institute, and serve as the editor of Liberation School. You can see my cv here.


EDUC 170: Foundations of education
EDUC 197: We can't breathe: Identity, capitalism, and air conditions
EDUC 197: Urban revolutions: Space, capitalism, and social change
EDUC 197: The politics of sound: Education and the struggle over listening
EDUC 223: Deconstructing differences
EDUC 275: Radical philosophy and education
EDUC 290: Education, space, and urban revolution
EDUC 325: History of American education
EDUC 360: Political economy of schools
EDUC 390: Pedagogy in the 'post-truth' era
EDUC 390: Philosophy and alternative educational spaces
EDUC 390: Critical disability studies: Disordering education and society
EDUC 480: Educational research
EDUC 490: Senior research seminar
UNIV 183: (North) Korea in Japan: Colonialism and education
UNIV 184: The Baltimore Rebellion: Anatomy of an uprising

(click here for a complete list)

* denotes DePauw student/alum
Co-authored with students

  • Ford, D., Swenson, K*, & Fosher, M*. (2022). From the knowable and transparent individual to the secret thought of individuation: An anti-capitalist postdigital ecopedagogy. In P. Jandric & D. Ford (Eds.), Postdigital ecopedagogies: Genealogies, contradictions, and possible futures. New York: Springer.
  • Ford, D., & Sasaki, M.* (2022). The multitude beyond measure: Building a common stupor. Educational Philosophy and Theory, (54)7, 938-945.
  • Pappachen, M.*, & Ford, D. (2022). Spreading stupidity: Disability and anti-imperialist resistance to bio-informational capitalism. In M. Peters, P. Jandric, and S. Hayes (Eds.), Bioinformational philosophy and postdigital knowledge ecologies. New York: Springer.
  • Ford, D., & Esposito, M.* (2021). Aesthetic encounters beyond the present: Historical materialism and sonic pedagogies for resisting  abstraction. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 19(3), 32-55.
  • Ford, D., & Sasaki, M.* (2021). Listening like a postdigital human: The politics and knowledge of noise. In M. Savin-Baden (Ed.), Postdigital humans: Transitions, transformations, and transcendence. New York: Springer.
  • Ford, D., Waalkes*, A., Wilcek, S.*, & Cooprider, C.* (2019). An introduction, a wager: Long live radical philosophy and education! In D. Ford (Ed.), Keywords in radical philosophy and education: Common concepts for contemporary movements. Boston: Brill.


Edited books and journal issues

  • Jandric, P., & Ford, D. (2022). Postdigital ecopedagogies: Genealogies, contradictions, and possible futures. New York: Springer.
  • Zhao, W., Ford, D., & Lewis, T. (2020). Re-invoking global dialogues on learning, unlearning, and studying. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 39(3).
  • Ford, D. (2019). Keywords in radical philosophy and education: Common concepts for contemporary movements. Boston: Brill. (*with editorial assistants Anneliese Waalkes '20, Savannah Jo Wilcek '20, and Clayton Cooprider '19)
  • Ford, D., & Malott, C. (2019). Learning with Lenin: Selected works on education and revolution. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.
  • Ford, D. (2017). Lefebvre’s teachings. Special issue of Policy Futures in Education, 15(4).
  • Means, A., Ford, D., & Slater, G. (2017). Educational commons in theory and practice: Global pedagogy and politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Ford, D., Porfilio, B., & Goldstein, R. (2015). The media and the neoliberal privatization of education. Special issue of Critical Education, 6(7-16).
  • Porfilio, B., & Ford, D. (2015). Leaders in critical pedagogy: Narratives for understanding and solidarity. Boston: Brill-Sense.

Journal articles

  • Ford, D. (2022). Marx's inquiry and presentation: The pedagogical constellations of the Grundrisse and Capital. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 54(11), 1887-1897.
  • Ford, D. (2022). The sonic aesthetics of writing: Timbre, pedagogy, and thought. Pedagogy, Culture, and Society, 30(4), 567-580.
  • Ford, D. (2021). Pedagogically reclaiming Marx's politics in the postdigital age: Social formations and Althusserian pedagogical gestures. Postdigital Science and Education, 3(3), 851-869.
  • Ford, D. (2020). The aesthetics of exodus: Virno and Lyotard on art, timbre, and the general intellect. Cultural Politics, 16(2), 253-269.
  • Ford, D. (2020). Errant learning in foams: Glissant, Sloterdijk, and the foam of pedagogy. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 39(3), 245-256.
  • Ford, D. (2019). Explosions of stupidity: Notes for an urbanist pedagogy. Educational Theory, 69(2), 153-167.
  • Ford, D. (2019). Pedagogy of the "not:" Negation, exodus, and postdigital temporal regimes. Postdigital Science and Education, 1(1), 104-118.
  • Ford, D., & Jandric, P. (2019). The public intellectual is dead--long live the public intellectual! The postdigital rebirth of public pedagogy. Critical Questions in Education, 10(2), 92-106.
  • Ford, D., & Lewis, T. (2018). On the freedom to be opaque monsters: Communist pedagogy, aesthetics, and the sublime. Cultural Politics, 14(1), 95-108.
  • Ford, D. (2018). Queer communist study: The sinthomostudier against the capital-debt-learning regime. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 15(1), 8-23.
  • Ford, D., & Zhao, W. (2018). Toward an educational sphereology: Air, wind, and materialist pedagogy. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 50(5), 528-537.
  • Zhao, W., & Ford, D. (2018). Re-imagining affect with study: Implications from a Daoist wind story and yin-yang movement. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 37(2), 109-121.
  • Ford, D. (2017). Making marxist pedagogy magical: From critique to imagination, or how bookkeepers set us free. Critical Education, 8(9), 1-13.
  • Ford, D. (2017). Studying like a communist: Affect, the party, and the educational limits to capitalism. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49(5), 452-461.
  • Ford, D., & Lewis, T. (2017). Lyotard and the sublime unconscious of education: Communicative capitalism and aesthetics. Philosophy of Education, 73(1), 488-501.
  • Ford, D. (2016). A pedagogy for space: Teaching, learning, and studying in the Baltimore Rebellion. Policy Futures in Education, 14(2), 176-193.
  • Ford, D. (2016). Revolutionary parallel pedagogy: A critical teacher education for the multitude. Issues in Teacher Education, 25(2), 55-67.
  • Ford, D. (2016). Joining the party: Critical education and the question of organization. Critical Education, 7(15), 1-18.
  • Ford, D. (2015). The pneumatic common: Learning in, with and from the air. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 47(13-14), 1405-1418.
  • Ford, D. (2015). A figural education with Lyotard. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 34(1), 89-100.
  • Ford, D. (2014). Spatializing marxist educational theory: School, the built-environment, fixed capital, and (relational) space. Policy Futures in Education, 12(6), 784-793.
  • Ford, D. (2014). A critical pedagogy of ineffability: Identity, education, and the secret life of whatever. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 46(4), 380-392.
  • Ford, D. (2013). Butler goes to work: A political economy of the subject. borderlands e-journal, 12(1), 1-19.
  • Ford, D. (2013). Toward a theory of the educational encounter: Gert Biesta's educational theory and the right to the city. Critical Studies in Education, 54(3), 299-310.

Book chapters

  • Ford, D. (2022). Listening to the mute voices of words: Errant pedagogy in the zone. In K. Bamford and M. Grebowicz (Eds.), Lyotard and critical practice. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Ford, D. (2022). Facing the test: The Leninist Party as proctor. In A. Ivanchikova & R. Maclean (Eds.), The future of Lenin: Politics, power, and revolution in the 21st century. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  • Ford, D., & Malott, C. (2022). Contextualizing the Theses on socialist education: Lessons for revolutionary pedagogy today. In R. Park & C. York, (Eds.), Socialist education in Korea: Selected works of Kim Il-Sung. Madison: Iskra Books.
  • Ford, D. (2021). Pedagogy of the oppressed for revolution: Paulo Freire and revolutoinary leadership. In N. Brow (Ed.), Revolutionary education: Theory and practice for socialist organizers. San Francisco: Liberation Media.
  • Ford, D. (2020). A communist theory of writing: Virno, Lyotard, and a rewriting of the general intellect. In M. Peters, T. Besley, P. Jandric, and X. Zhu (Eds.), Knowledge socialism: The rise of peer production: Collegiality, collaboration, and collective intelligence. New York: Springer.
  • Ford, D. (2020). Lefebvre and atmospheric production: An architectronics of air. In M.E. Leary-Owhin & J.P. McCarthy (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of Henri Lefebvre, the city, and urban society. New York: Routledge.
  • Ford, D. (2019). On the chronic impotency of public intellectuals. In C. Jenkins (Ed.), The 2017 Hampton Institute reader: Collected essays from a working-class think tank. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.
  • Ford, D. (2018). Don't bring truth to a gun fight: Pedagogy, force, and decision. In M. Peters et. al. (Eds.), Post-truth, fake news: Viral modernity and higher education. New York: Springer.
  • McLaren, P., & Ford, D. (2018). Revolutionary critical pedagogy and the struggle against capital today. In L. Rasinski, D. Hill, & S. Skordoulis (Eds.), Marxism and education: International perspectives on theory and action. New York: Routledge.
  • John, K., & Ford, D. (2017). The rural is nowhere: Bringing Indigeneity and urbanism into educational research. In W. Reynolds (Ed.), Forgotten places: Critical rural education studies. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Ford, D. (2016). The air conditions of philosophy of education: Toward a microsphereology of the classroom. In E. Duarte (Ed.), Philosophy of Education 2015. Urbana: Philosophy of Education Society.
  • Ford, D. (2015). From standardized testing to the war on Libya: The privatization of U.S. education in international context. In B. Porfilio & M. Abendroth (Eds.), Understanding neoliberal rule in K-12 schools: Educational fronts for local and global justice. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.
Popular articles, interviews, and editorials


Ph.D., Cultural Foundations of Education, Syracuse University, 2015
M.S., Cultural Foundations of Education, Syracuse University, 2012
B.A., Peace Studies, Goucher College, 2008

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