Assemblages of Violence


Assemblages of Violence in Education: Everyday Trajectories of Oppression brings together fields including new materialisms, anthropology, curriculum theory, and educational foundations to examine how violence is intertwined with everyday events and ideas. Artfully weaving participant narratives in two contexts that exist a literal world apart—queer middle school youth of color in an urban context and Indian women who have survived domestic violence—Assemblages of Violence conceptualizes how social justice functions in opposition to normalized aggressions. Often overlooked, these deeply significant connections document how multiplicities of aggression operate as business-as-usual in a variety of spaces and places, including those that are often thought of as helpful. To these ends, this book introduces pathologies to theoretically and methodologically trace affects in order to more clearly perceive both where and how violence is embedded in and between sociopolitical and cultural ways of being, knowing, and doing. In so doing, Assemblages of Violence argues that pathologizing trajectories of violence can provide theoretical and methodological tools for those seeking to engage in a pedagogy of equity, access, and care to help people and communities in ways they wish to be helped.


Recipient of a 2021 Critics’ Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association (AESA).

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Cover Art:

Artist: Vicente Ortiz Cortez

Title: “Tormentos y Desarraigamientos” (Torments and Uprootings)

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Boni Wozolek’s Assemblages of Violence is a brilliant and brave contribution to posthumanist studies of social phenomena that seem to be everywhere, but cannot be reduced to one mode of being. Brilliant because she helps us understand violence as self-reproducing and protean, moving through the traumas of physical assault, material deprivation, epigenetics, cutting words, exclusions, discursive erasure, school curricula, and more. Brave, because Wozolek writes in the first person, not just about experiences of violence, but also about the experience of writing against the grain of a living violence that surrounds all of us. She doesn’t just describe the agency of violence, she wrestles with it, in a way that can benefit us all.   

  • Jerry Rosiek, Professor of Education Studies, University of Oregon

Evocative and timely, Assemblages of violence in education: Everyday trajectories of oppression, maps emergent pathways for new curricular futures. Provocatively entangling the engineered boundaries between narrative and theory, Boni Wozolek’s interdisciplinary – a “sewing together of the sciences” – project is a must read for a wide range of scholars and educators who seek a more rigorous engagement with naming, mourning and undoing violences across our schools, bodies, communities, and ways of knowing. 

  • Erica R. Meiners, Bernard J. Brommell Distinguished Research, Professor, Northeastern Illinois University 

Dr. Boni Wozolek is a visionary. Through the entanglements of life and research, her daring approach challenges coloniality, white supremacy, and sexual violence. By “qeering” her own life and experiences, her brutal honesty and personal reflections introduce us to the necessity of vulnerability when we dare to challenge the conventions of traditional research.

  • David O. Stovall, Professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago

Boni Wozolek’s Assemblages of Violence stages a bold and daring understanding of violence as it circulates in educational sites. Engaging theories of affect, Wozolek examines incidents of violence as entanglements that circulate between bodies and their inter-relations. Through dialogue, storytelling, and acts, Wozolek engagingly follows the workings of violence as it moves through and in assemblages of relation. This book will contribute new understandings of the enactment of violence through education to the fields of post-human studies, queer studies, educational methods, and curriculum studies. As critically, it informs teachers, educators, and researchers on the prevalence of violence in and as education, and offers avenues of thinking by which one might intervene and lessen its effects on children and young people in schools.

  • Aparna Mishra Tarc, Associate Professor of Education, York University

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