Pedagogical Roots and Routes: A Radical Approach to Reading

Winding Forest Road

Pedagogical Roots and Routes: A Radical Approach to Reading

Hugo Azérad

Positing rhythm as reading praxis, we can perhaps merge new or different stories together—tracking continuities, seeking out flows, noticing pauses that occur across a range of texts and ideas—and thus challenge disciplinary silos that currently define normative and disciplined ways of knowing. Rhythmic reading practices, which are embraced by many theorists, gesture to and complement a range of interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and decolonial projects that are interested in generating conversations across multiple scholarly inquiries (rather than being beholden to a singular disciplinary tract). 

Through noting conversations among readers and writers, for example, a rhythmic reading practice asks that we work through ideas together, inducing a rhythmic return to and rereading of the text in newly synergetic ways. Rhythmic reading is thinking together, always, even when we do not realize that we are doing such. Even when conversations bring forth moments of forgetting—moments where someone asks, "What page or section was that idea on again?"—it is precisely these lapses that initiate a discursive rhythm prompted by memory, return, and the sharing of ideas. 

In rhythmic reading—which is performative and thus, in part, biological act—we recognize that we think together and are, at times, suspended from linear textual structure, moving and flowing alongside the ideas of friends, colleagues, students, teachers, and authors before returning again to reread the text anew. These intimate conversations parallel the flipping back and forth we often enact as readers—when we review footnotes, bibliographies, and our own thoughts as we read the main text—highlighting the relational, multi-sited, and non-linear foundation to rhythmic reading practices.