Teaching what You're Not: Identity Politics in Higher Education

Front Cover
Katherine Mayberry
NYU Press, 1996 - Education - 371 pages

Can whites teach African-American literature effectively and legitimately? What is at issue when a man teaches a women's studies course? How effectively can a straight woman educate students about gay and lesbian history? What are the political implications of the study of the colonizers by the colonized? More generally, how does the identity of an educator affect his or her credibility with students and with other educators?
In incident after well-publicized incident, these abstract questions have turned up in America's classrooms and in national media, often trivialized as the latest example of PC excess. Going beyond simplistic headlines, Teaching What You're Not broaches these and many other difficult questions. With contributions from scholars in a variety of disciplines, the book examines the ways in which historical, cultural, and personal identities impact on pedagogy and scholarship. Essays cover such topics as the outsider's gaze as it applies to the study of non-white literature; an able-bodied woman's reflections on teaching literature by disabled women; and the challenges of teaching the Western canon at an African American college.

 

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Contents

Literature Multiculturalism
23
Teaching
47
The Outsiders Gaze
70
No Middle Ground? Men Teaching Feminism
85
The Discipline of History and the Demands
107
Teaches Literature by Women with Disabilities
131
Theory Practice and the Battered Woman Teacher
155
Identities in the English Classroom
195
Caliban in the Classroom
215
Reflections of a Man
228
Young Man Tell Our Stories of How We Made
259
The Challenges
285
The Importance of Sensitivity
308
Daughters of the Dust the White Woman
335
Contributors
357
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About the author (1996)

Katherine Mayberry is Professor of Language and Literature at Rochester Institute of Technology, College of Liberal Arts.

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