A Question of Discipline: Pedagogy, Power, and the Teaching of Cultural Studies

By Joyce E. Canaan; Debbie Epstein | Go to book overview

4
Teaching Without Guarantees:
Cultural Studies, Pedagogy,
and Identity

Richard Johnson


Introduction

Since I left the Birmingham Department of Cultural Studies in 1993, I, have spent much time thinking, talking, and now writing about teaching. At the same time, the change of jobs and circumstances has switched me from a situation where I taught excessively to one where I teach little -- and miss it. At a personal level, then, this chapter is a way of handling both loss and privilege. An important context here, as the editors and others in this volume point out, is the near absence of a critical dialogue on teaching Cultural Studies in the universities. 1

Writing about teaching Cultural Studies has also necessarily involved revisiting the Birmingham experience, since most of my teaching experience was based there. In 1974 I was appointed to the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) to teach in a new MA programme. From 1975 to 1979 I taught a course in social and cultural history. When Stuart Hall left in 1979, we organised a collaborative version of the course, which took many different forms. Later I became course convenor and, under a modular reorganisation of 1990, taught the core course on 'Frameworks of Cultural Study' and an option on 'Social Identities and Cultural Processes'. From the late 1980s I began to withdraw, declining to compete for the headship of the new Department of Cultural Studies in 1988 and taking early retirement in 1989. I continued to teach part-time from 1990 to 1993, especially on the Master's programme. Throughout the 1980s, I also taught at least three undergraduate courses a year, with rapidly increasing numbers; for two of these I was the main teacher. During this period, the unit was making a transition from being a predomi

-42-

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A Question of Discipline: Pedagogy, Power, and the Teaching of Cultural Studies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • 1 - Questions of Discipline/ Disciplining Cultural Studies 1
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • 2 - Theory, Area Studies, Cultural Studies: Issues of Pedagogy in Multiculturalism 11
  • Notes 23
  • References 25
  • 3 - Doing Cultural Studies in Colleges of Education 27
  • Notes 39
  • References 40
  • 4 - Teaching Without Guarantees: Cultural Studies, Pedagogy, and Identity 42
  • Notes 69
  • References 71
  • 5 - 'It Ain't like Any Other Teaching': Some Versions of Teaching Cultural Studies 74
  • Notes 93
  • References 95
  • 6 - Mediating Desire: Visual Representation, Power, and Informed Consent in Teaching Feminist Cultural Studies 97
  • Notes 115
  • References 115
  • 7 - Teaching/Cultural Studies (or Pedagogy for 'World'-Travellers/ 'World'-Travelling Pedagogy) 117
  • Notes 128
  • References 128
  • 8 - Mirrors, Paintings, and Romances 131
  • Notes 151
  • References 154
  • 9 - Examining the Examination: Tracing the Effects of Pedagogic Authority on Cultural Studies Lecturers and Students 157
  • Notes 175
  • References 177
  • 10 - The Voice of Authority: on Lecturing in Cultural Studies 178
  • Notes 189
  • References 191
  • 11 - All Roads Lead to . . . Problems with Discipline 192
  • Notes 201
  • References 203
  • About the Book and Editors 205
  • About the Contributors 206
  • Index 208
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