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OuiLearn 2019-07-18T14:21:38+00:00

Oui!Learn: a learning community

Allan Parsons, 2018-2019

“the community of those who do not have a community”, Georges Bataille, cited in Maurice Blanchot, The Unavowable Community, p.1

“The absence of community is not the failure of community: absence belongs to community as its extreme moment or as the ideal that exposes it to its necessary disappearance.” Maurice Blanchot, The Unavowable Community, p.15

“If we could say we (but have I not already said it?), we might perhaps ask ourselves: where are we?” Jacques Derrida, “Mochlos or, the conflict of the faculties”.

We learn, despite our (ego-logical) selves

Go to the Oui!Learn Learning Community Group Area

Read about Oui!Learn’s genealogy

The Oui!Learn community is engaged in a re-thinking and a practising otherwise of the learning environment of higher education, specifically the project of re-articulating it in terms of “geographies of learning” (Leander, Phillips and Taylor, 2010) and “ecologies of learning” (Jackson, 2013; O’Toole, 2011)

This requires re-imagining a number of familiar and conventional entities, starting with, for example, the classroom, the book and the library, and associated actors, such as teacher, student and learner, amongst others. The classroom is significant, Leander, Phillips and Taylor suggest, “not just as a material location in which education research is located (along with the laboratory, which it sometimes reproduces), but also as a conceived or imagined space—an imagined geography of a particular kind.”

In the existing ‘imagined geography’ of the learning environment in higher education, the library could be viewed as another example of the hypomnemata discussed by Derrida (1981). In this scenario, the library stores only memorials, books as sign/insignia, whereas the classroom, as the scene of teaching, is the site where (‘real’, ‘genuine’) knowledge-memory is enacted, spoken. [1]

With digitisation, networking and mobility, the problems raised by the relationships among hypomnemata and mneme are exacerbated and the complexities of learning ecologies emerge in all their splendour, as the classroom is enfolded in the library, a library that is itself enfolded in the classroom, all of which is further enfolded in the book, a book that is enfolded in the classroom enfolded in the library enfolded in the teacher enfolded in the learner, and so on, opening up the field of ‘digital literacy’ and ‘digital agency’, as well as other modes of ‘literacy’ and ‘agency’, to their full potential.

Your contributions and actions are eagerly anticipated.


[1] “…the pharmakon of writing is good for hypomnesis (re-memoration, recollection, consignation) and not for mneme (living, knowing memory) that Thamus, in the Phaedrus, condemns … as being of little worth.” (Derrida, 1981: 91)

The relationships among teacher, book, classroom, learning and library are explored further in Parsons (2015). Spivak’s lessons: refractions of the scene of teaching. Poiesis and Prolepsis [Blog]. Available at [Accessed 3 January 2018]


Derrida, J. (1981). Dissemination. London, UK: Athlone Press.

Jackson, N.J. (2013). The Concept of learning ecologies. In: Lifewide Learning, Education & Personal Development. Available from [Accessed 11 May 2017].

Leander, K.M., Phillips, N.C. and Taylor, K.H. (2010). The Changing social spaces of learning: mapping new mobilities. Review of Research in Education, 34 (1), 329–394. Available from [Accessed 17 July 2012].

O’Toole, R. (2011). What is a learning ecology? Warwick Open Space Learning. Available from [Accessed 17 February 2018].


Go to the Oui!Learn Learning Community Group Area

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