Not everyone who wanders is lost… – J.R.R. Tolkien
I am a dad, a husband, a student, a traveler, a seeker, an educator, a writer, a man of faith, a thinker, a person in progress and, ultimately, a wanderer. I embrace the childhood idyllic of exploration in the hopes that what I find and experience on the journey is as valuable, if not more so, than the end result. Too often wandering has had a negative connotation – we must “not stray from the path”, we must set goals and work towards them, we must not deviate from the norm. Instead, I choose to see wandering as something to embrace, something that is necessary in life. The shortest, most direct route is not always the best one and sometimes it is okay to not know where you are going. Life is a journey and it rarely follows the most direct path.
I am currently a graduate student, working on a PhD in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education (SESE) at the University of Toronto. I have completed a Masters of Education in Comparative, International and Development Education (CIDE) at the University of Toronto. I also have a B.A. from the University of Victoria.
My research interests are in Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, spirituality in schooling, anti-racism, anti-colonialism, critical pedagogy, and transformative education – much of it with a geographic focus on Africa and African peoples. In my studies, I seek out intersections and prefer to see disciplines and, more broadly, knowledges as connected and impacting one another. I see learning and research as a never completed journey, a tool in the quest to find/reveal/recover/discover our lost humanity. I choose to use my research as a starting point for transformation, resistance and political change, both at a personal level and at a larger societal level; I wish to be what Edward Said calls a “truly struggling intellectual” who is not content to learn for the sake of learning.
I have worked or currently work as an educator on two different continents not named North America, as an educational programmer, an academic editor, a government media liason, a workshop coordinator, and as a research assistant.
I am the founder and Managing Editor of a inter-disciplinary, scholarly Open Access journal titled Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society. It’s online home is http://www.decolonization.org
I love my amazing wife and kids.
I also love maps, random trivia facts, making and drinking craft beer, cooking and eating new things, working towards a more sustainable lifestyle, the giggles and smiles of my children, sitting on sunny patios, a well crafted espresso, BBQs in back yards, open and honest discussions, strategy games, the feel of the warm sun on a cool day, reading, and a wide variety of music.
I use this blog to keep in touch with friends and family, share some of my interests, work out thoughts I’m having, and highlight some of the issues that pique my interest in regards to Africa, race, and faith in particular. The topics are wide and varied and tend to wander from time to time.
I enjoy conversations, so stay a while and feel free to comment. Though, if you’re unnecessarily derogatory you probably shouldn’t waste your time commenting because I won’t post it.
You can read a more professional bio here.
You can also contact me at eric.ritskes[at]utoronto.com