Promising Truths: Sincerity and Education

Publication Date


Document Type


Publication Title

American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2019 Annual Meeting

Conference Location

Toronto, Canada


In keeping with the 2019 call for imagining approaches “that do not ignore the disagreements in our field...but work together across divides”, this essay argues a renewed consideration of sincerity opens avenues for thinking education as a good-faith practice of communicating with others in an increasingly plural world. In evoking sincerity, I do not draw upon the typical understanding but instead a more radical uptake drawn from fiction (e.g., Wallace, 2001) and literary theory (Kelly, 2016) that understands sincerity as “always contaminated by the threat of manipulating the other.” This re-theorization offers the field of education offers ways of making truths that matter, affirmatively grappling with challenges introduced by contemporary theories and rapidly evolving educational relations.


English and Comparative Literature