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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.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: MATERIALS
Contexts and Criticism
Historical Background to South Africa
Supplemental Student Reading
Multimedia, Internet, and Other Resources
PART TWO: APPROACHES
Introduction: Teaching with /out Authority
Prologue: Why Not to Teach Coetzee
What Does It Mean to Teach The Lives of Animals or Disgrace?
Horizons Not Only of Expectation: Lessons from In the Heart of the Country
Teaching Coetzee's Subject: Waiting for the Barbarians and Disgrace
Coetzee's Other Other: An Existential Approach to Teaching Disgrace
Reading Coetzee's Worldliness
Teaching the Critique of Romanticism and Empire in Disgrace
HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXTS
Teaching Coetzee, Then and Now
"[From] Whom This Writing Then?" Politics, Aesthetics, and the Personal in Coetzee's Age of Iron
Andrew van der Vlies
Refusing Adamastor: Lucy Lurie and "White Writing" in Disgrace
Countering Context: Teaching Disgrace in the New South Africa
Teaching Coetzee and Australia
Teaching Coetzee's American Contexts; or, How I Teach America--and Africa--in Cullowhee, North Carolina
ETHICS AND REPRESENTATION
Teaching Disgrace at the University of Cape Town
Pedagogies of Discomfort: Teaching Coetzee's The Lives of Animals
Open to Interpretation: Politics and Allegory in Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians
Who's Appropriating Whose Voice in Coetzee's Life & Times of Michael K?
Biopolitical Coetzee; or, "The Will to Be Against"
Keith Leslie Johnson
Reconciling Whiteness: Disgrace as Postcolonial Text at a Historically Black University
Teaching Coetzee's The Lives of Animals in the First-Year Composition Classroom
Teaching Coetzee's Foe in an Undergraduate Theory Classroom
Emily S. Davis
Coetzee and Close Reading
Notes On Contributors
What People are Saying About This
"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."
Rhodes University, South Africa