FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007
2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Polycentric Session, UC-Berkeley, Townsend
Center for the Humanities
Back to Program
We must visualize and enact our own “recasting
of borders, in the immemorial violence with which a body becomes separated
from another body in order to be” (Kristeva, 1982)
Foucault argued that, “The world we know
is not this ultimately simple configuration where events are reduced
to accentuate their essential traits, their final meaning, or their
initial and final value. On the contrary, it is a profusion of entangled
events" (1984, p. 116). Building from there, this work seeks to
further untangle some of the ‘entangled events’ that are
a part of our so-called progressive field-based teacher preparation
program, a part of the new master narrative in teacher education. Through
the critical lenses (Lather, 1998) of visual culture I will consider
issues of colonization, desire, tourism, and identity as these are impacted
by typical field-based teacher education programs.
Undoing the done
Because of my individual and greater collective
professional and personal interests in issues of globalization, imperialism,
and colonization, in the theoretical work proposed here I am choosing
to critically engage and critique discourses of teacher education through
both local and global lenses. In my analyses I will read teacher education
in a particular traditional way and then seek to critically question
the orderly, patterned, ritualistic ways in which it is structured,
seemingly beyond dispute, especially if one seeks recognition as an
accredited (i.e., NCATE) institution. This stance mirrors Tobin’s
work in which she critically engages sets of particular eighteenth century
paintings as colonial discourse (1999). Her research offers, “one
way to recover subaltern subjectivity from an elite text is to read
the imperial text symptomatically—that is, reading what is not
there but is implied and called into existence by a series of oppositions”
(1999, p. 12). Like Tobin, I am interested in a particular set of images,
how they represent a field of study, and how they too speak to a dominant
discourse in teacher education. Here I recognize that as a poststructuralist
reading, “words and images do not merely reflect the world, but
mediate, even create, what we believe to be reality” (Tobin, 1999,
pp. 13-14). For instance, many of the visual artifacts I’ll critique
from textbooks and journals and curriculum catalogues represent the
field of early childhood education’s (ECE) reliance on the pedagogical
subject as natural, innocent, to-be-protected and saved, happy and safe,
normative child(ren) of the esteemed discipline.
This work incorporates visual culture theory(s)
as I’ve been keenly aware of the importance of looking closely
at popular images in schooling, and borrowing from that cultural theory
(Jameson, 1990; Jenks, 1995; Metz, 1982; Secula, 1983) I am particularly
interested in what images have been included in various educational
contexts and how can we further understand the meaning of these images?
In this active, participatory movement my research will attempt to more
dynamically call to question—things that once seemed stable, appeared
to be readily fixed, looked as if they were normal and typical—but
upon further viewing/theorizing were visualized as strangely unfixed
and unfamiliar. In my pursuit of the unknown, visual culture theory(s)
has been highly assistive given our interest in countering these truth(s),
theoretically recognizable “by an awareness of spectacle as an
autonomous site of contestation” (Cohen, 1998, p. 7).
In concert with Alan Sekula’s work on
photographs I too am intrigued and interested in understanding and using
images/photographs to assist in understanding, “How is historical
and social memory preserved, transformed, restricted, and obliterated
by photographs” (Sekula, 1983, p. 22). For me, like other visual
cultural methodologists, I’ll look at images representing various
aspects of teacher education illustrating how “visual images and
visualities are articulations of institutional power” (Rose, 2001,
In this active, participatory movement my research
will attempt to more dynamically call to question—things that
once seemed stable, appeared to be readily fixed, looked as if they
were normal and typical—but upon further viewing/theorizing were
visualized as strangely unfixed and unfamiliar. In my pursuit of the
unknown, visual culture theory(s) has been highly assistive given our
interest in countering these truth(s), theoretically recognizable “by
an awareness of spectacle as an autonomous site of contestation”
(Cohen, 1998, p. 7). In his work In/different Spaces, Victor Burgin
illustrates that, “visual culture—the combined product of
‘the media’ and a variety of other spheres of image production—can
no longer be seen as simply ‘reflecting’ or ‘communicating’
the world in which we live: it contributes to the making of this world”
(2000, p. 21-22).
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