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

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

to see ourselves, as 'the voice of authority', then we should, when possible, organise classes around workshops, around exercises where students are encouraged to engage with one another and thereby recognise the knowledges which they each bring to the learning process. Whilst growing economic, social, and political pressures, as well as the pressures of growing student numbers, may limit the degree to which we can avoid formal lectures, when it is possible -- in smaller classes, or in seminars held after formal lectures, for example -- we should develop strategies that enable students to speak for themselves.

Finally, whilst many of us are invested in the assumption that the examination is an objective process, acknowledging that we grade students in and from our own histories and social positionings does not have to be problematic. Indeed, it allows us to introduce into teaching an insight that informs our research and reading -- the recognition that we produce and interpret signs from particular, interested vantage points. We can use the knowledge that stems from our awareness of our interested vantage points to recognise when we reproduce dominant power relations and to seek, when possible, to dislodge the usual flow of power, the flow that maintains the powers that be.


Notes

I would like to thank the students who gave many hours of their time to my questions and the University of Central England for providing me with time off from teaching to do this research and with funds to have taped interviews transcribed. Thanks also to Ann Lane for transcribing these interviews. I would also like to thank Debbie Epstein and Deborah Steinberg for their careful comments.

1
See Canaan (n.d.) for a discussion of students' perceptions of the grading process.
2
Like Gore ( 1993) I use a hyphen rather than a stroke to separate power and knowledge. As she notes, a hyphen 'holds the words together and apart, showing both their presupposition of each other and their difference from each other' ( 1993:51).
3
This control can become visible when a lecturer and student disagree about what the student's 'true nature' is or should be.
4
Like Lather ( 1992: 132), I view post-critical pedagogy as that which aims 'to decolonize the space of academic discourse that is accessed by our privilege, to open that space up in a way that contributes to the production of a politics of difference'.
5
Morgan and McWilliams ( 1995) playfully acknowledge the symbolic power of this location.
6
Some of us may organise small classes or seminars in ways which are interactive (see Epstein, Chapter 10 in this volume, for a discussion of this). This challenges the assumption that knowledge 'trickles down' from us to them. In such

-175-

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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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