Between the Masks: Resisting the Politics of Essentialism

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Overview

Between the Masks articulates a study of representation and the "politics of place" through a pedagogy of narrative-performing inquiry and a critical reflection on identity. As a resistance to essentialist politics, the text focuses on the identity making/marking role of cultural materials in the recovery of different and overdetermind histories. It proposes a multicultural revision of knowledge that displaces the binarisms of insider/outside rather than simply shifting the margin to the center. By combining perspectives that produce strong readings with a semiotic method of analysis, the essentialist representations of racial, ethnic, sexual, and class biases will be revealed as strategies of power that employ appearance in their seduction. By this method, Brunner suggests a view of reflexive performance that seeks not to legitimate, but to critique, displace, and liberate these illusions of identity. Between the Masks promotes critical teaching that can bring together the literary, the historic, the theoretical, and the sociological. Brunner suggests the combined study of cultural studies and education as a theoretical and pedagogical site which embraces curriculum theory, teacher preparation, and policy. This book marks a move toward intertextual, interdisciplinary study which will help educators modulate the complicated conversations and contexts of today’s schools.

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Editorial Reviews

Signs: Journal Of Women In Culture & Society
Between the Masks presents one feminist's contruction of a pedagogy that can illuminate the politics of race, class, and gender.
Choice
The coda, Critical Teaching and Theatricality in Everyday Life, is an especially provocative look at universities and English departments as theaters of knowledge. Recommended for all collections.
— H.A. Booth, SUNY at Buffalo
Signs: Journal of Women In Culture & Society
Between the Masks presents one feminist's contruction of a pedagogy that can illuminate the politics of race, class, and gender.
CHOICE - H.A. Booth
The coda, Critical Teaching and Theatricality in Everyday Life, is an especially provocative look at universities and English departments as theaters of knowledge. Recommended for all collections.
Signs: Journal of Women In Culture & Society
Between the Masks presents one feminist's contruction of a pedagogy that can illuminate the politics of race, class, and gender.
D. Soyini Madison
The author takes the seminal and sometimes most difficult arguments of important theorists and applies them to the concepts of performance and essentialism in ways that are inventive and insightful . . . . The book is theoretically rich without being convoluted; therefore, rich in ways that are relevant and meaningful.
Booknews
A work of cultural criticism which examines how identity and ethnicity are constructed culturally and pedagogically. In her rambling exploration of body, place, cultural self-discovery, and narrative, Brunner (English, Michigan State U.) visits contemporary films, multi-ethnic novels, performance events, several of her own formative experiences, and the ideas of a broad range of theorists and philosophers. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847688951
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Series: Culture and Education Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane DuBose Brunner is associate professor of English and director of English education at Michigan State University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part I: On Pedagogy and Performance Chapter 3 Towards a Pedagogy of Narrative-Performing Inquiry Chapter 4 Theorizing "Place" in the Performance of Identity Part 5 Part II: Interrogating the "Mirrors of Seduction" Chapter 6 Musical Elaborations of Identity. Masks in Film and Literature Part 7 Part III: Three In(ter)ventions: Performative Bridgework Chapter 8 Acts of Cultural Recovery Chapter 9 Border Literacies, Body Literacies Chapter 10 CODA: Critical Teaching and Theatricality in Everyday Life: A Reflexive View of Performance

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