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This article starts with a brief analysis of what it means to be an intellectual within the US tradition of critical pedagogy. Pointing toward important socio-technological transformations which have taken place in the past few decades, the article situates the concept of the intellectual into the contemporary postdigital context. The article looks into two main areas of intellectual work which seem to have undergone significant transformations—automation and post-truth. It develops possible responses to recent challenges in these areas and shows that contemporary intellectuals working in the tradition of critical pedagogy need to take technology seriously. Heading toward the conclusion, the article promotes Greta Thunberg as an important example of a postdigital intellectual. Our analyses show that critical pedagogy has an important role in the development of contemporary intellectual work. Aiming at constantly transforming challenges, however, old theories require constant reconceptualization in and for our postdigital context. Within this mash-up of questions and answers old and new, we identify a starting point for this reconceptualization in the notion of critical praxis.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Policy Futures in Education in 2020 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

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