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

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

power our authority is entrenched. This may sound a small thing, but it is no mean achievement. Making systems of power transparent is inherently subversive of them and, therefore, likely to help students empower themselves to learn, to understand how authority operates in and outside the academy, and, therefore, to challenge existing regimes of power/knowledge.


Notes
1.
The poem, Jabberwocky, appears for the first time in mirror writing in Alice Through the Looking Glass ( Carroll, 1962: 21).
2.
My present post is as lecturer in Women's Studies. However, my PhD comes from the Department of Cultural Studies at Birmingham University (formerly the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies), and both in my present position and in my previous job as a lecturer in Sociology, part of what I teach is a feminist version of Cultural Studies. I also taught (as graduate student and later as a visiting lecturer) in the Department of Cultural Studies at Birmingham.
3.
It should be noted here that the generic term for teachers in universities in the UK is 'lecturer'. The equivalent term in the United States would be 'professor'. The questions about authority have just as much (if not more) relevance in relation to 'professing' a subject as in relation to 'lecturing' in it.
4.
The use of TA's is not unproblematic, since they tend to be underpaid and undertrained (in teaching) people whom universities employ to teach but treat as if they were students being privileged by the opportunity to teach in the university where they are studying. This was certainly the case during my own experience of working as a TA while doing my PhD at Birmingham University. Indeed a group of Cultural Studies graduate students struggled to join the Association of University Teachers in the hope that we would then be able to persuade it to represent our interests. We managed to gain admission in the end, but only as observers! Since 1994 TA's at Yale have been involved in a dispute with the administration of the university over precisely the exploitative levels of pay and lack of training which they receive and over the recognition of their union, the Graduate Employee Student Organisation ( GESO, 1994). In November 1996 the General Council of the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint charging Yale with violating federal labor laws. A special issue of Social Text, devoted to GESO's struggle with the Yale administration, was published in Winter 1996.
5.
For example, I know of lecturers who have been told that they could simply 'read up' on a course which they had never taught before and which was not within their expertise in order to save their institution the money required to bring in someone who did actually know something about the particular course/module.
6.
British universities need to do well in the RAE in order to gain funding. Those who do best (with ratings of 5 or 5*) are financially rewarded. For the 1996 RAE, academics have to nominate their four 'best' publications (and submit a list of the rest). However, textbooks are not counted as 'research' and may not be nominated as a 'best publication'. There is an irony here, in that many major pub-

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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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