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

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

10
The Voice of Authority:
On Lecturing in Cultural Studies

Debbie Epstein

'Twas brillig and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the Mome raths outgrabe.
(Lewis Carroll)

For many of our students, lectures in Cultural Studies (and in other subject areas too) make about as much sense as Lewis Carroll's famous piece of nonsense. 1 Alice's comment that 'it's all in some language I don't know' would undoubtedly resonate with the experience of many new Cultural Studies students -- indeed, I remember well feeling this on my first acquaintance with some of the 'key texts' in Cultural Studies. The elliptical style of Gramsci in his Prison Notebooks ( 1971) required several readings, as did Foucault (see, for example, 1977 and 1978). Even now, I must confess to finding Judith Butler's work ( 1990 and 1993) extraordinarily difficult. It sometimes seems as if authors working within the field of Cultural Studies have taken a leaf out of Humpty Dumpty's book:

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master [sic] -- that's all.' ( Carroll 1962: 130)

Of course, despite all the difficulties I experienced in my early reading of these texts, my narrative is one of successfully gaining control of the

-178-

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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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