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John Williams's Stoner and Literature as Dark Matter in the Age of Educational Managerialism
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9530-555X
2019 (English)In: Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, ISSN 1218-7364, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 151-160Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The tension between Bildung and more utility-oriented dimensions of education is nothing new. For instance, Friedrich Nietzsche addressed the issue in a series of lectures presented at the Basel city museum in 1872. The German philosopher particularly despised 19th century tendencies to let education be controlled by external forces. The contemporary literature teacher may feel inclined to endorse some of Nietzsche’s sentiments. What is allowed to remain of the subject of literature in the age of massification, learnification, and criterion referenced teaching in secondary and tertiary education? Through an analysis of certain aspects of John Williams’ Stoner, the paper considers a few central questions: Why is the devoted literature teacher forced into a hypocritical position, pretending to do a set of stated things (learning outcomes), while actually doing (or wanting to do) something completely different? Is it not precisely what cannot be put into words that is the actual driving force of the study of literature? The paper suggests that this Gordian knot cannot be untied and that it should not be cut, but also that the attempts to untie the knot are in themselves vitalising forces that ought not to be neglected within literary studies and teaching.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 25, no 1, p. 151-160
Keywords [en]
Nietzsche, Heidegger, education, art, humanities, aesthetics, life-changing event
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Literature; Education in Languages and Language Development
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-170477OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-170477DiVA, id: diva2:1335692
Available from: 2019-07-06 Created: 2019-07-06 Last updated: 2019-12-04

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Wrethed, Joakim
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