Kitsch: From Education to Public Policy

By Catherine A. Lugg | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Some scholarly books cover the darndest topics, and this is one of them. The idea for examining Kitsch, education, and public policy sprang forth in the summer of 1995, when I was a newly minted Ph.D. Underemployed, almost completely bored off my rocker, and looking for something to do, I asked Joe Kincheloe if I could sit in on his graduate class on Power and Curriculum. He graciously allowed me in, and I spent the rest of the summer rapidly broadening my theoretical horizons and intellectually sparring with most everyone in the class. It was truly a “mind-expanding” experience.

At the time, I was reading Murray Edelman’s From Art to Politics, which contained an intriguing section on Kitsch. Drawing on my background in educational policy and history, and my earlier life as a musician and blending in what we were examining in Joe’s class, I briefly sketched a paper linking Kitsch with education, politics and policy making. Joe believed that I was on to something and encouraged me to transform the entire enterprise into a book. The rest is my (and to some extent, his) fault.

Between that summer and now (August 1998), both the book and I have undergone a few transformations. Along the way, I have received assistance and encouragement from numerous individuals. Special thanks to all of my friends and colleagues from Penn State, including William Pencak, Henry C. Johnson, Jr., William Lowe Boyd, R. Andrew and Elizabeth Lugg, and Julie Weber. Since relocating to Rutgers University, I have been blessed with two wonderful intellectual playmates, James R. Bliss and William A. Firestone. They good-naturedly read and commented on numerous (and at times, insufferable) drafts. H. Scott Kynrim has been my longtime political partner in “crime,” and he helped me keep the project focused. Lee Carpenter has

-vii-

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Kitsch: From Education to Public Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Chapter 1 - Kitsch 3
  • Chapter 2 - Kitsch and the American Political Spectacle 13
  • Chapter 3 - Kitsch and Leadership 53
  • Chapter 4 - Kitsch and Social Policy 75
  • Chapter 5 - Resisting and Subverting Kitsch 103
  • Chapter 6 - The End? 117
  • Index 123
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