Approaches to Teaching Coetzee?s Disgrace and Other Works

Overview

The novels of the South African writer J. M. Coetzee won him global recognition and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003. His work offers substantial pedagogical richness and challenges. Coetzee treats such themes as race, aging, gender, animal rights, power, violence, colonial history and accountability, the silent or silenced other, sympathy, and forgiveness in an allusive and detached prose that avoids obvious answers or easy ethical reassurance.

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Approaches to Teaching Coetzee's Disgrace and Other Works

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Overview

The novels of the South African writer J. M. Coetzee won him global recognition and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003. His work offers substantial pedagogical richness and challenges. Coetzee treats such themes as race, aging, gender, animal rights, power, violence, colonial history and accountability, the silent or silenced other, sympathy, and forgiveness in an allusive and detached prose that avoids obvious answers or easy ethical reassurance.

Part 1 of this volume, "Materials," identifies secondary materials, including multimedia and Internet resources, that will help instructors guide their students through the contextual and formal complexities of Coetzee's fiction. In part 2, "Approaches," essays discuss how to teach works that are sometimes suspicious of teachers and teaching. The essays aim to help instructors negotiate Coetzee's ironies and allegories in his treatment of human relationships in a changing South Africa and of the shifting connections between human beings and the biosphere.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The sheer range of critical and pedagogical approaches canvased is little short of astonishing, and the ingenuity and effort that these teachers of Coetzee put into preparing their courses should be a source of real inspiration to their readers."

--Gareth Cornwell,
Rhodes University, South Africa

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Product Details

Table of Contents


Contents

Acknowledgments ix

PART ONE: MATERIALS

Jane Poyner

Contexts and Criticism 4

Disgrace 4

Other Works 6

Form 9

Intertextuality 10

Further Resources 10

Historical Background to South Africa 10

Biographical Resources 12

Supplemental Student Reading 12

Multimedia, Internet, and Other Resources 15

PART TWO: APPROACHES

Introduction: Teaching with/out Authority 19

Laura Wright

On Difficulty

Prologue: Why Not to Teach Coetzee 31

Rita Barnard

What Does It Mean to Teach The Lives of Animals or Disgrace? 43

Michael Bell

Intellectual Contexts

Horizons Not Only of Expectation: Lessons from In the Heart

of the Country 49

Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn

Teaching Coetzee's Subject: Waiting for the Barbarians and Disgrace 59

Stephen Clingman

Coetzee's Other Other: An Existential Approach to

Teaching Disgrace 67

Erik Grayson

vi contents

Reading Coetzee's Worldliness 73

Johan Geertsema

Teaching the Critique of Romanticism and Empire in Disgrace 80

Pieter Vermeulen

Historical and Cultural Contexts

Teaching Coetzee, Then and Now 87

David Attwell

"[From] Whom This Writing Then?" Politics, Aesthetics, and

the Personal in Coetzee's Age of Iron 96

Andrew van der Vlies

Refusing Adamastor: Lucy Lurie and "White Writing" in Disgrace 105

Louise Bethlehem

Countering Context: Teaching Disgrace in the New South Africa 112

Gerald Gaylard

Teaching Coetzee and Australia 117

Elleke Boehmer

Teaching Coetzee's American Contexts; or, How I Teach America --

and Africa -- in Cullowhee, North Carolina 123

Laura Wright

Ethics and Representation

Teaching Disgrace at the University of Cape Town 131

Carrol Clarkson

Pedagogies of Discomfort: Teaching Coetzee's The Lives of Animals 139

Wendy Woodward

Open to Interpretation: Politics and Allegory in Coetzee's

Waiting for the Barbarians 146

Robert Spencer

Who's Appropriating Whose Voice in Coetzee's Life &

Times of Michael K? 152

Patricia Merivale

Biopolitical Coetzee; or, "The Will to Be Against" 160

Keith Leslie Johnson

Classroom Contexts

Reconciling Whiteness: Disgrace as Postcolonial Text at a

Historically Black University 167

Kay Heath

contents vii

Teaching Coetzee's The Lives of Animals in the First-Year

Composition Classroom 174

Shannon Payne

Teaching Coetzee's Foe in an Undergraduate Theory Classroom 180

Emily S. Davis

Coetzee and Close Reading 187

Patrick Hayes

Notes on Contributors 195

Survey Respondents 199

Works Cited 201

Index 223

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