Unlearning in the Classroom: Collaboratives, Arts-Based, and Restful Modes of Learning


  • Dani Pierson


This art piece and subsequent reflections emerge from my master’s research that intends to develop a Metis-feminist theory of rest as resistance. I use an expansive understanding of rest that sees itself as anything that operates as a break from everyday stressors or routines to soothe and rejuvenate. In an effort to shift the sense of “meaningful” classroom engagement, I created a collaborative art piece with classmates to insert an art break into a long day of presentations. This art break intervenes in classroom spaces that overwhelmingly prioritize colonial methods of producing and disseminating knowledge. It also interferes in the overwhelmingly large expectations of productivity in graduate student spaces. We open space for reflection by stepping away from the colonial and capitalistic pressure always to formulate the best question or response.

Author Biography

Dani Pierson


Dani is a Master’s student at UBC Okanagan in the Interdisciplinary Power, Conflict, and Ideas theme. She is Metis-Settler from Treaty Eight territory (Northern Alberta) but currently lives, works, and learns on unceded Syilx territory. Her work intends to develop an Indigenous feminist theory of rest as resistance. It will articulate a way to respond to the deeply exhausting ways that the settler state has (historically and presently) attempted to subdue/oppress/assimilate/annihilate our communities. This response sees rest not as succumbing to these oppressive powers but as a method to actively resist them. Most importantly, though, she is an Auntie whose life goal is always to have freshly baked cookies and a non-judgmental listening space.

Author Dani Pierson wearing a mask sitting at a restaurant


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