Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: July ::
Re: Pedagogy: Course Structure
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1348  Tuesday, 4 July 2000.

[1]     From:   Briggs John <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 30 Jun 2000 14:35:10 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1328 Re: Pedagogy: Course Structure

[2]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 3 Jul 2000 06:49:57 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1328 Re: Pedagogy: Course Structure


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Briggs John <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 30 Jun 2000 14:35:10 +0100
Subject: 11.1328 Re: Pedagogy: Course Structure
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1328 Re: Pedagogy: Course Structure

I had been experiencing more than my normal sense of confusion in trying
to follow the discussion on the word 'presently', so I wandered over to
a colleague's copy of the "Pocket Oxford Dictionary".  Sure enough,
there I found:

presently adv. soon, after a short time; US & Sc. at the present time,
now.

That seems clear enough, except for the question: where does that leave
Canada?

John Briggs

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 3 Jul 2000 06:49:57 -0400
Subject: 11.1328 Re: Pedagogy: Course Structure
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1328 Re: Pedagogy: Course Structure

L. Swilley wrote:

> Pat Dolan wrote,
>
> "What do you do with students who believe (I'd say "know," but that
> would be tendentious wouldn't it?) that the deepest, most human truth
> about us is that we are historically and culturally situated?"
> I would tell such students to ask themselves how it is possible, under
> their belief, that great literature - great art generally - continues to
> touch, to excite audiences of every generation that may have very little
> historical knowledge of the periods in which those works were created.

If I were that student, I would point out that it is the "very little
historical knowledge" on which our ability to be touched depends.  Where
we have "no" historical knowledge, we are untouched.  Knowledge of
history is not restricted to the learning of written history.  Our
school system is still based on values that were established in the
Middle Ages and Renaissance and by the time we reach college we are so
thouroughly indoctrinated into those values and the a priori assumptions
about "human nature" they imply that we don't need to study, for
instance, the unconscious conflicts created within patriarchal nuclear
families to understand Hamlet's harangue of his mother.  Because we are
all the products of an historical process that begins with a common
mother in Africa 200,000 years ago, we are able to recognize the
aesthetic value of even non-European tribal art, but only by projecting
our ideas of culture and history onto them.  The fact that we are more
culturally related to each other than we usually realize allows us
access to the beauty of each other's art, rather than a "universal
humanity" that is somehow seperable from cultural history.

> That such deep constants prevail throughout the ages argues the
> constancy of human nature rather than its historical and cultural
> determination.

This antihistoricism seems to be part of a full blown movement
represented by Helen Vendler who attempts to make lyric poetry somehow
ahistorical and accessible to anyone regardless of class, race, gender
or nation.  I can only assume that she has not spent alot of time
teaching sonnets to Brooklyn high school students.  It would help if you
would identify these "deep constants" that you perceive to prevail, but
I assume you are not referring to the divine right of kings, or the
nobility of the barbarian berserker.

(By the way, the problem for historical/cultural research
> of literature - which I certainly acknowledge as a proper science - is
> that it is less than and more precise than formal criticism and tends,
> because of its pr

 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.