Back To Schedule
Wednesday, December 9 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Blanket Fort Pedagogy: Playing with Mad Culture to Foster Accessible, Welcoming, and Fun Learning Communities

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

There is an emerging emphasis on “community” in post-secondary education, with increased attention to community-engaged learning and fostering community in the classroom. However, not all students can access these versions of “community” or feel welcome in them. In particular, individualized approaches to mental health on campus that send Mad students away from community to receive treatment services and academic accommodations suggest to these students that they are not wanted in our learning “communities” as currently envisioned.

This presentation will highlight the intentional peer support community that Mad students at McMaster have been hanging out and creating since 2012, thanks to hundreds of years ofmental patient social movement organizing. In this crazy sub-community, values of accessibility, creativity, reciprocity, friendship, consent, and privacy offer different possibilities for connection and learning than traditionally found in the classroom. The co-curricular learning that occurs in the Hamilton Mad Students Collective helps protect students from inaccessible and sanist classrooms and curricula. But what if some of this community creativity spilled over into the rational/“professional” spaces of academia?

Drawing on our collective experiences as classroom and community educators, Mad(ness) Studies and Social Work Pedagogy researchers, service users, and students, this presentation will explore how neglected and subversive “fun” can open up possibilities for education. We will share how Fun Parties, blanket forts, and craftivist hallway decorations instigated by Mad students offer new ways of relating – to ourselves, to each other, to spaces, to social justice work, to academia – in the School of Social Work at McMaster University.


Alise de Bie

McMaster University

Becky Idems

McMaster University

Wednesday December 9, 2015 2:00pm - 2:30pm EST
Meeting Room A

Attendees (0)