University of Minnesota Press

Pedagogy and Cultural Practice

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Pedagogy and Cultural Practice


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The Crisis of Meaning

In Culture and Education

David Trend

The Crisis of Meaning was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Pick up any newspaper and it is clear that the United States is facing a democratic crisis. Recent culture wars and debates about political correctness and culture have illustrated how conventional definitions of citizenship and national identity have been thrown into question.

Investigating what he views as an inseparable link between culture and politics, David Trend analyzes how notions of patriotism, citizenship, community, and family are communicated within specific public and private institutions. He extends the meaning and purpose of pedagogy as a cultural practice outside the classroom, focusing on political activism in education, the mass media, and the art world.

The Crisis of Meaning supplies a crucial theoretical understanding of the ways in which the pedagogical and political intersect at a variety of cultural sites, as it points us toward a "democratic" process of national identity formation. It is indispensable reading for anyone interested in the connections between education and politics.

David Trend is executive director of the Center for Social Research and Education in San Francisco and also executive editor of the Socialist Review. He is the author of Cultural Pedagogy: Art/Education/Politics (1992).

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End Of Education

Toward Posthumanism

William Spanos

“A powerful argument against and brilliant analysis of the liberal humanist project.” --Peter McLaren

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Margins in the Classroom

Teaching Literature

Kostas Myrsiades and Linda S. Myrsiades, Editors

Margins in the Classroom was first published in 1994. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

For today's teacher of literature, facing a minefield of politics and theory, this book arrives as a much needed guide through the multiplying cultural anxieties of the college classroom. Margins in the Classroom brings together established scholars and emerging voices from diverse backgrounds to show how politics and theory can and do affect the most pressing problems confronting the contemporary teacher of literature. The essays in this volume go beyond questioning and examining existing practices to suggest fresh approaches to teaching the expanding literary canon within the context of the politics of the educational institution.

Grounded in literary criticism, psychoanalysis, feminist theory, political economy, sociology, and philosophy, these essays apply new theoretical models to the traditional canon, identify new bodies of literature, and show how theory can be used to analyze these new literatures. Focusing on the politics of teaching and theory in the classroom, the authors explore the present practice and future implications of changing textual analysis, literary theory, and pedagogy. Their essays address the politics of literature as it affects the classroom, the design of courses, and the creation of new courses. They mold theory to the variety of classroom populations and materials the teacher of literature encounters today. The resulting volume bridges the differences between the languages of the classroom instructor and the contemporary theorist. Margins in the Classroom is unique in both the breadth and the depth of its concern over the disturbing, if electric, impact of changes in criticism, theory, and pedagogy in college literature classes as we approach the next century of academic instruction.

Kostas Myrsiades is professor of comparative literature, and Linda S. Myrsiades is professor of English, both at West Chester University. Kostas Myrsiades is editor of College Literature, where Linda S. Myrsiades is an associate editor.

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Reconstructing Architecture

Critical Discourses and Social Practices

Thomas A. Dutton and Lian Hurst Mann, Editors

Reconstructing Architecture was first published in 1996. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

To create architecture is an inherently political act, yet its nature as a social practice is often obscured beneath layers of wealth and privilege. The contributors to this volume question architecture's complicity with the status quo, moving beyond critique to outline the part architects are playing in building radical social movements and challenging dominant forms of power.

The making of architecture is instrumental in the construction of our identities, our differences, the world around us-much of what we know of institutions, the distribution of power, social relations, and cultural values is mediated by the built environment. Historically, architecture has constructed the environments that house the dominant culture. Yet, as the essays in Reconstructing Architecture demonstrate, there exists a strong tradition of critical practice in the field, one that attempts to alter existing social power relations. Engaging the gap between modernism and postmodernism, each chapter addresses an oppositional discourse that has developed within the field and then reconstructs it in terms of a new social project: feminism, social theory, environmentalism, cultural studies, race and ethnic studies, and critical theory.

The activists and scholars writing here provide a clarion call to architects and other producers of culture, challenging them to renegotiate their political allegiances and to help reconstruct a viable democratic life in the face of inexorable forces driving economic growth, destroying global ecology, homogenizing culture, and privatizing the public realm. Reconstructing Architecture reformulates the role of architecture in society as well as its capacity to further a progressive social transformation.

Contributors: Sherry Ahrentzen, U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Bradford C. Grant, California Polytechnic State U, San Luis Obispo; Richard Ingersoll, Rice U; Margaret Soltan, George Washington U; Anthony Ward, U of Auckland, New Zealand.

Thomas A. Dutton is an architect and professor of architecture at Miami University, Ohio. He is editor of Voices in Architectural Education (1991) and is associate editor of the Journal of Architectural Education.

Lian Hurst Mann is an architect and editor of Architecture California. A founding member of the Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles, she is editor of its bilingual quarterly Ahora Now and a coauthor of Reconstructing Los Angeles from the Bottom Up (1993).

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Writing Permitted in Designated Areas Only

Linda Brodkey

In the early 1990s, Linda Brodkey ended up on the front page of the New York Times and in the columns of George Will and other conservative pundits. The furor was over the “Writing about Difference” syllabus she helped create at the University of Texas, an effort that came to be one more casualty in the debate over multiculturalism in the academy. Writing Permitted in Designated Areas Only is made up of Brodkey’s dispatches from the front lines of the culture wars. The essays in this book raise provocative questions about the way writing is taught in the United States. Brodkey lambastes conventional composition courses, which since their inception in the mid-nineteenth century have been the site of conflict over what “literacy” really means. She argues that such courses have institutionalized the practice of separating form and content, relegating teachers to the tasks of policing grammar and patrolling the borders of style and literature. Ultimately, this separation of structure and meaning depoliticizes the act of writing, creating an artificial distinction between what is being said and how it is expressed. Comprising specific examples of student work in addition to Brodkey’s own essays, Writing Permitted in Designated Areas Only works against this dynamic. Ranging from personal essay (“Writing on the Bias”) to hard-hitting polemic (“Writing Permitted in Designated Areas Only”) and touching on many of the major issues in the teaching of writing today, this volume explores alternatives to the standard methods for teaching composition. The result is a passionate plea for the loosing of writing to achieve its full power and potential; to unharness writing—and its teachers—from the institutional strictures that stifle both creativity and independent thought.


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