Existential Crises in Educational Administration and Leadership : Existential Anxiety and Loss of Meaning in the Gaze of Munch’s ‘The Scream’ book cover
1st Edition

Existential Crises in Educational Administration and Leadership
Existential Anxiety and Loss of Meaning in the Gaze of Munch’s ‘The Scream’

Edited By

Eugenie A. Samier

ISBN 9780367702564
Published June 30, 2022 by Routledge
216 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book examines the theoretical foundations relevant to existential issues in educational leadership and management, taking inspiration from Munch’s painting The Scream.

The book considers internationally relevant topics such as the growth of neoliberalism, globalisation, cultural shifts, forced migration and the digitalisation of the socio-cultural sphere and uniquely positions these crises as existential threats, rather than simply political, cultural, or social. The volume explores this complex set of dimensions in existential experience and outlines the implications for research and teaching in educational leadership. By exemplifying the narrative and introspective nature of existential research, the book addresses major aspects of the field including the impact such threats have on organisational studies, policy, administrative structures and practices, and leadership.

This timely collection on existential issues in administration and leadership will appeal to academics, scholars, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers. It will also be of great interest for students in teacher education programmes and graduate courses in educational administration and leadership, organisation studies, and educational ethics for broad international use.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

1. Existential Threats, Crises and Disciplinary Responses: Educational Administering and Leading in an Emerging Zeitgeist of Angst

Eugenie A. Samier

PART I. Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations

2. Standing at the Edge of Abysses: Existential Threats to Education and its Administration and Leadership, or, Communing with Kafka in the Abyss

Eugenie A. Samier

3. The Sublime, Affect Phrasing, and Les Petits Narratives in Educational Leadership

Richard Niesche

4. Creating and Sustaining a Politics of Outrage and Indignation, While ‘Screaming’ Back at Educational Leadership as a Bullshit Idea

John Smyth

PART II. Teaching and Researching Crises

5. Out of the Shadows: The Power of Art to Transform Conversations in Leadership

Carol E. Harris

6. The ‘Why’ Matters Most: A Framework for Activist Art Making to Transform School Communities to Promote Social Justice

Christa Boske, Mariel Sallee, L. Joshua Jackson, and Leshun Collins

7. Educating Administrators and the Fear of Freedom in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Eveline Wittmann and Aldin Striković

Part III. Contemporary Issues and Cases Internationally

8. The Meaning of Voice in our Search for Authenticity

Christopher Bezzina

9. The Scream and the ‘Dependent Beauty’ of Betsy DeVos

Fenwick W. English

10. Stoic Leadership of Dialogic Engagement: Expressionist Reflections on Surviving the Scream Against Toxic Leadership and Management in Higher Education

Jill Jameson

Afterword: Or, how to cling to the abyssal edge

Eugenie A. Samier


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Eugenie A. Samier is a Reader in the School of Education, University of Strathclyde, Scotland. She has been a Guest Researcher at the Humboldt University of Berlin, was Visiting Professor in Administrative Studies at the University of Tartu, Estonia, and a Visiting Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, UK.