Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program

Speech Communication


Bardhan, Nilanjana R.


As a GTA working in a critically oriented Communication Studies department at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, I am encouraged to be(come) an instructor whose teaching methods are steeped in the principles of critical pedagogy. One of the most inhibiting things I have come across as I have made attempts to uphold such principles of critical pedagogy is the issue of time.

This research report is about the problematic tension of trying to uphold a critical pedagogy in a system – a capitalist system – in which time is hard to come by. How can we perform an ethic of care in the classroom when we have no time to extend that same care to ourselves? How do we cultivate community in the classroom when we have very little time to be part of our own communities of choice? What does it mean to do critical pedagogy in a system that normalizes stress and overburdens instructors on all levels? In this research report I address these questions and focus specifically on the contradiction of our philosophical orientation towards critical pedagogy and our uncritical rootedness in the demanding capitalist system of higher education.