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

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

5
'It Ain't Like Any Other
Teaching': Some Versions
of Teaching Cultural Studies

Maureen McNeil

I didn't want to write this chapter. It was drafted during a period in which I was not teaching Cultural Studies and when I was apprehensive about returning to this activity. 1 Moreover, I have always been wary of codifications of Cultural Studies, be they in its theory, its methods, or its pedagogy. 2 The ambiguity and the vagueness associated with Cultural Studies I have relished as appealing and useful characteristics. My dissatisfaction with most writing about pedagogy (even radical writing about radical pedagogy), which in my reading too often becomes either a catalogue of techniques or a rhetorical flourish about aspirations, is a further obstacle. Since my career as a teacher in Cultural Studies has been mainly at the Cultural Studies Department (formerly the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies -- CCCS) at the University of Birmingham, I have the further problem that the practices at this location have been peculiarly susceptible to idealisations or condemnations, even if some have now come to note 'the fragile and marginalized conditions for intellectual work' at this institution. 3 In writing out of my experience as a teacher in that location, I run the risk of contributing to this pattern.

The fact that you are reading this indicates that my desire to explore my dilemmas about teaching Cultural Studies has counteracted my hesitations. The first section of this chapter reviews the circumstances of my recent unease. These doubts propelled my search for reflections on Cultural Studies pedagogy. My encounters on this quest inform the second section of this chapter where I sketch three related but distinct approaches to Cultural Studies teaching which have emerged in the writings of Cultural Studies teachers in the United States. This carries me into a review of the most distinctive and specific pedagogic strategy currently

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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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