Introducing Scholactivism: Reflections on Transforming Praxis in and Beyond the Classroom

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Joseph G. Ramsey


Merging scholarship and activism, Scholactivism evokes a conceptual shadow: scholasticism, a term with its origins in the first medieval universities, now come to signify a “narrow-minded insistence on traditional doctrine.”1 Changing two letters in this old-fashioned word, our emphasis shifts from the dogmatic, tradition-bound tasks of academic adjudication, to a project more in line with Karl Marx’s famous Eleventh Thesis on Ludwig Feurbach, theses aimed at the scholasticism of his own day: “Philosophers have sought to understand the world. The point is to change it.” We move from the frame of resolving contradictions through cloistered academic disputation, to that of exposing and sharpening contradictions, so they can be resolved through extra-curricular, world-transforming practice.

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