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Orla O’Donovan

9 Ivan Illich’s Tools for Conviviality Orla O’Donovan Introduction – Ivan Illich comes to Corofin I wish I had been in Corofin, County Clare, on the evening in May 1989 when Ivan Illich spoke to a large crowd in the village hall and caused ­pandemonium and consternation. At that time, I had only vaguely heard of Illich, and it would be a few years later before I began to read and be both invigorated and vexed by his work that questions the innocence of what passes for ‘development’. Illich was in Ireland as a guest of campaigners for alternatives in education

in Mobilising classics
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Reading radical writing in Ireland

This book provides a series of rich reflections on the interaction between the radical ideas and political action in Ireland. It aims to provide insights into how selected mobilising classics have framed or have the potential to frame Irish social movement discourses and oppositional activity. The book provides an account of the contributor's personal encounters with the classic text, some by word of mouth from their parents, others through copies passed around in activists' groups, and others still through serendipitous reading. The classic text were published over a period that spans three centuries. Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man, published in 1791, is the oldest text considered, whereas Our Common Future, published in 1987 by the UN-established World Commission on Environment and Development, is the most recent. In Hilary Tovey's commentary on Our Common Future, the work of a committee, she reveals tensions within the classic text and argues that its key concept 'sustainable development' is an inspirational but confused one. Orla McDonnell's essay on The Myth of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz considers his ideas about the huge social costs of the medicalisation of 'the problems of living'. In contrast, Orla O'Donovan's reflections on Ivan Illich's Tools for Conviviality, consider how his ideas can springboard our thinking beyond the prisons of visionlessness or circumscribed political imaginations. Eileen O'Carroll's essay on William Thompson's Practical Education for the South of Ireland traces early Irish articulations of socialist feminism.

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Tracing literary sites of activism
Author: John Kinsella

The essential purpose of my work is to challenge familiar topoi and normatives of poetic activity as they pertain to environmental, humanitarian and textual activism in ‘the world-at-large’: to show how ambiguity can be a generative force when it works from a basis of non-ambiguity of purpose. The ‘disambiguation’ is a major difference with all other critical works on generative ambiguities: I state there is a clear unambiguous position to have regarding issues of justice, but that from confirmed points, ambiguity can be an intense and useful activist tool. There is an undoing of an apparent paradox of text in terms of ‘in the real world’ activism. It becomes an issue of consequences arising from creative work and positioning. Whether in discussing a particular literary text or ‘event in the world’, I make use of creative texts at specific sites of a broader, intertextual and interconnected activism.

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John Kinsella

apparent contradictions. From considerations of ambiguities which refuse ‘definition’ and lead us to ‘push beyond ambiguity’ in an attempt to maintain clarity of purpose, and the generative slippages of understanding/misreading, we read text outside the investments of institutions (academic/schooling/government etc); we encounter the question of how we use these texts for activist purposes. Considering the making of adaptations and versions out of Hölderlin’s poetry, and inflecting through Ivan Illich’s ‘Deschooling

in Beyond Ambiguity
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Orla O’Donovan and Fiona Dukelow

his ideas about the huge social costs of the medicalisation of ‘the problems of living’, especially in respect of the liberty and dignity of those diagnosed with a psychiatric illness. In contrast, Orla O’Donovan’s reflections on Ivan Illich’s Tools for Conviviality, consider how his ideas can springboard our thinking beyond the prisons of visionlessness or circumscribed political imaginations, and provide us with a methodology for distinguishing ‘convivial’ from ‘nonconvivial’ social arrangements. As discussed by Eileen O’Carroll, William Thompson’s writings on

in Mobilising classics
Community engagement and lifelong learning
Author: Peter Mayo

In this broad sweep, Mayo explores dominant European discourses of higher education, in the contexts of different globalisations and neoliberalism, and examines its extension to a specific region. It explores alternatives in thinking and practice including those at the grassroots, also providing a situationally grounded project of university–community engagement. Signposts for further directions for higher education lifelong learning, with a social justice purpose, are provided.

The dead body, the individual and the limits of medicine
Órla O’Donovan

social risks such as illness … and for life in society into the domain for which the individual is responsible and transforming it into a problem of ‘self-care’. (Lemke, 2001: 201) Similar to this assessment of neoliberal governmentalities, according to Ivan Illich (2010: 104), crucial to the project of development, central to which are putative advances in medicine, have been efforts to get people to recognise their newly invented needs, but once conscious of these needs people have to ‘fend for themselves in satisfying them’. Neoliberalism, therefore, refers not

in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland
Mathew Thomson

Hospital introduced a further challenge. Earlier depictions of the NHS may have been critical of the service’s shortages and discomforts, but they had represented modern medicine as a good. The dystopia of Britannia Hospital now presented its audience with the nightmare spectre of a medicine driven by its own ambitions rather than the welfare of patients. This disillusion was more broadly characteristic of the time. Counter-cultural writing by figures such as Ivan Illich had fuelled suspicion. 38 So too in

in Posters, protests, and prescriptions
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Ethics beyond technics
Elke Schwarz

all medical problems is known as iatrogenesis . Derived from the Greek words iatros (physician) and genesis (origin), the term denotes a condition ‘resulting from the activity of a health care provider or institution; said of any adverse condition in a patient from treatment by a physician, nurse or allied health professional’ (Illich 1976 ). The philospher Ivan Illich engages this concept to critique an overreliance on financially expensive

in Death machines
Peter Mayo

entail appreciation and recognition of the many ‘learning webs’, to adopt Ivan Illich’s terminology, and non-​formal-​education experiences and traditions that abound in these places. Latin American popular education, spearheaded by the towering figure of Paulo Freire, comes to mind. This point also recalls accounts of tribal intergenerational ‘knowledge transfer’ involving community elders and other forms of indigenous knowledge. These were given short-​shrift by promoters of Western colonial education as part of their so-​called ‘civilising mission’, and yet they

in Higher education in a globalising world