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Teaching the Unthinkable: Counter-Narratives, Pedagogy, and Genocide Stephanie Schneider1 This study focuses on the pedagogy of teaching about the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust by using alternate texts to create a counter-narrative. By using different genres, teachers can encourage students to question the dominant historical narratives about the Armenian Genocide and Holocaust. Alternate texts include poetry, graphic novels, plays, and films. Each of these genres invites the reader or viewer to actively engage in history by examining the viewpoint of the victims of genocide. School curriculums must change so that future generations will have a more complete understanding of genocide. [Article copies available for a fee from The Transformative Studies Institute. E-mail address: email@example.com Website: http://www.transformativestudies.org ©2014 by The Transformative Studies Institute. All rights reserved.] KEYWORDS: Pedagogy, Poetry, Literacy Studies, Genocide, History. Cato the Elder, a Roman statesman ended every one of his speeches with the words “Carthago delenda est” or “Carthage must be destroyed”. These speech acts helped to foist Rome into the Third Punic War. This war resulted in the evisceration of Carthage. Salt was sown into the soil so no crops grew again. The population was eradicated, and Carthage as a civilization perished. Yet, in the West, we hold Rome up as a bastion of Republican ideals. It is not hard to make the leap from Cato’s speeches to the speeches we see in the most reviled regimes seeking to destroy a population. The Rwandan radio that called Tutsis “cockroaches” that must be squashed to the Nazis who called Jews “rats” who should be
Stephanie Schneider, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate in Literacy Studies. She currently teaches in the School of Education at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. Prior to this, Dr. Schneider taught special education and social studies at Herricks High School in Long Island, New York. She is currently working on pedagogical practices through the use of poetry, as well as interdisciplinary instructional strategies. Address correspondence to: Stephanie Schneider, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 1937-0229 ©2014 Transformative Studies Institute 23
just as when faced with large numbers of victims. First.Stephanie Schneider exterminated used language to compel their citizens to murder millions. By using Understanding by Design. They are purposely creating units that spark inquiry. We cannot possibly know them. and their dashed futures. the less empathy there is for them. “Teaching the unthinkable” is much like the phrase by Theodore Adorno. and community. 24 . teachers are the authors of learning. Visuals may lead to fatigue. teachers are granted latitude in ways to teach their subjects. produce authentic assessment. economics. many of us become numb. we need to get through to our students. If we are to be successful in instilling hope for the future by teaching the next generation. After. Broadly. Using interdisciplinary instruction. their stories. Teaching is a kind of poetic performance done throughout the world every day. who said. and learning activities that highlight the process of various content areas. There is more of an impact when we see one person in need. 2005). then we can say that teachers are creators. alternative pedagogy is needed to teach mass atrocities along with alternate texts. Paul Slovic (2007) examines this phenomenon in his article “If I look at the mass I will never act”: Psychic numbing and genocide. In this sense. The narratives that are most common come from the perpetrators. The more people you have. In a class I teach called “Interdisciplinary Instructional Strategies”. They must interpret instruction to make meaning. especially Understanding by Design (McTighe & Wiggins. social justice. I will take up the text. Teachers of social sciences have the Sisyphean task of explaining why so many horrors have happened. smoke from crematoriums. In education today. We must give victims a voice to share their stories as an alternate perspective. future teachers are given a wide variety of strategies to use in teaching social studies to promote critical thinking about history. and skulls from killing fields. undergraduate students in their last semester before student teaching learn how to create units based on Understanding by Design. raise essential questions. If one can look at pedagogy as an art form. teachers are not creators of their own pedagogy. In this class. mass graves. much of what makes up pedagogy is a top-down prescriptive model. politics. chief among them is the fact that victims of genocide are silenced. Students are not and should not be mere receptors of instruction. Given the proper cues. It is therefore imperative as teachers that we provide a counternarrative of the victim. Narratives of mass atrocities can overwhelm teachers and students with imagery of corpses piled like mountains. There are reasons for this. I will address the pedagogy. “Poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric”.
usually Euro-Christian white men who were able to do “great” or “terrible” things. This is shown in Understanding by Design in the Stage 2: Assessments. Looking back. or a way to avoid this kind of Discourse by giving voices to those “others”. We don’t see it and because we don’t see it this means that there is no period so remote as the recent 25 . the ultimate metaphor. How can we address pedagogy into the realm of the counter-narrative? In teaching counter-narratives. When one thinks of history. and works of fiction. Other genres that can be used to tell counter-narratives are graphic novels. In The History Boys. “Our perspective on the past altars. people whose names were forgotten. Linda Christensen (2000) asks. Counter-narratives celebrate those who were never in power. conventional wisdom says that there is truth. One way to do this is using poetry from the viewpoint of victims and bystanders. films. Poetry can be an extended metaphor. If we teach genocide and mass atrocities as they are currently being taught. we are using the same Dominant Discourse that oppresses the “Other”. or others that lay outside the realm of the “powerful”. Asking students to become performers allows them to apply new knowledge to make inferences. 106)? Christensen’s questions that she posed to her students are the same ones that we must ask ourselves as educators. And critical literacy is about ‘reading’ and uncovering power relationships in the world…How does language benefit some and hurt others” (p.Theory in Action students can become performers themselves by authentically responding to instruction. The majority of people pass through the pages of history without a single mention. One example of this kind of pedagogy was to highlight the importance of counter-narratives. we see names of the powerful. faces that disappear into time. they can do so in an unconventional way. we are teaching social justice. Yet it is also narrative in that it tells a very specific story. Poetry gives us an out. If poetry is instrumental in telling stories. But how can one get to this truth when it is shrouded in language that is a direct instrument of power? The truth in history is usually hard to get to. So often in social studies curriculums. Certain events unfolded in a certain order. non-European descendants. Counter-narratives are important to push back against the Dominant Discourse (the language of those in power) of history that celebrates only the ones who were able to “win”. We rarely see women. Irwin stated. There are implicit messages behind language. immediately in front of us is dead ground. “How is language political? Why language? Because language is about power. plays. and caused other events to happen until we get to the present moment.
2004). places. As such. The basic realm of history is a series of events. Winston." and then go on eating their dinners. Gail Ivy Berlin (2012) echoes the same sentiment in her article “‘Once there was Elzunia’: Approaching affect in Holocaust literature. 85). Rudge in The History Boys said history is “Just one fucking thing after another” (Bennett. part of the Ministry of Truth. and send the offending record down the memory hole. where it would be burned in a furnace. [pause] 26 . only certain ideas come down from the past.” These works go along with the question of how we can represent genocide. History is a term that is. there are certain regimes in history that worked a lot like Winston’s memory hole from Orwell’s 1984 (2003). perpetuating the disappearance of alternate views and counter-narratives in the name of keeping power? Or can one say that there is another issue: representation. we must tap into their emotional intelligence.Stephanie Schneider past and one of the historian’s jobs is to anticipate what our perspective of that period will be… even on the Holocaust” (Bennett. Why are certain ideas remembered. The memory hole is a tool that Orwell’s protagonist. used at his job in the Records Department. hard to wrap our heads around. people. Paul: I am glad that you have shot this footage and that the world will see it. while others become footnotes. or forgotten altogether? Is the Dominant Discourse. The opening quote from History Boys grounds this question of emotions and how to represent genocide. p. a photojournalist named Jack from the United States and the protagonist Paul Rusesabagina have the following conversation about the West’s collective reaction to the mass atrocity unfolding in Rwanda. "Oh my God that's horrible. Nussbaum (2001) wrote in her seminal work Upheavals of thought: The intelligence of emotions about the need to involve our emotions when thinking and researching. is it still a good thing to show? Paul: How can they not intervene when they witness such atrocities? Jack: I think if people see this footage they'll say. 2004. in itself. If we are to get students to understand the real ramification of genocide and mass atrocities. 2004. The central problem of representing any mass atrocity is a resounding “How?” In the movie Hotel Rwanda (George. It is the only way we have a chance that people might intervene. and things that happened in the past. Martha C. Winston would change the document for the official records. Jack: Yeah and if no one intervenes. 126). Furthermore. the language of education. p. and erased from history (pg. 74). When anything unfavorable came through about Big Brother. The eminent philosopher.
There are few words in the English language that get a stronger response than the word genocide. It was called the “Sick man of Europe” due to its relative lack of power compared to Western Europe in the early 1900’s. The Ottoman Empire is important to the Global History curriculum because it emerged from the takeover of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Turks. perhaps a map shown. And then they do nothing. religions. the Armenian Genocide (which is called a massacre in the New York State Curriculum (“New York State”.Theory in Action Jack: What the hell do I know? This scene. The Ottoman Empire stretched from the Middle East to Eastern Europe. The reality is genocide is a word that is contested. Though this is beyond the scope of this study. To fully examine these implications. Samantha Power’s book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (2002) tackles the problem of why America’s leaders repeatedly fail to stop genocides. The Muslim majority held most of the power and when the Empire was falling. Then the Armenian Genocide is mentioned. in a lot of ways. The Holocaust is given far more time in tenth grade. even if the genocide is happening at the very moment you choose to pay attention. and are mentioned in about half a period. Facts and figures may be given. What genocide is. ethnic groups. Typically. the emotional issues surrounding genocide are complex. spotlights the huge problem in representing genocide. They go back to doing whatever they were doing in the first place with nary a thought to how those in some far off land may not make it to tomorrow. in this particular district. and languages. consisted of many different nationalities. I studied the ways that the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust are typically taught in a suburban New York high school and then examined how counternarratives dramatically change that pedagogy. Scott Straus (2001) points out that there are twelve accepted definitions of genocide. But then it is left alone. has implications in the realm of education. 2009) is a causal mention when discussing the break-up of the Ottoman Empire following World War I. Is there a sense that we cannot do anything about tragedies halfway around the globe? Is it apathy? Does a slick social media campaign have to happen to take action (Kony 2012 comes to mind)? Another point is how much public opinion sways policy makers. Still. or what genocide is not. along with five different sub-types. These are facts. about a month of study in middle 27 . Turkey emerged as the main power in the region. This is mentioned in class. as well as. The truth is that most humans feel bad when they hear news about a mass atrocity.
Dadrian talked about the language of manipulation in a lecture given at Harvard in 2001. Clearly. 4). In fact though. A civil war by its definition has to have at least two factions. The victims do not get to manipulate language because there is no language for them. the Armenians did not have a chance to fight. the use of “civil war” to describe this turn of events is futile. The Young Turks first gave other political parties parliamentary seats allotted to the Armenians. The ironic part of the side of the victim is that language does not serve a purpose. go into concentration camps.Stephanie Schneider school. the perpetrators took their language away from them. Dadrian (2001) affirmed that martial law includes censorship. This argument is absurd. This duality is between the perpetrators and the victims. 1990. This is a use of Lakoff’s framing theory (1992). the secret service was used (p. Part of this problem stems from the fact that we do not explicitly say the Armenian Genocide was a genocide. they dissolved the parliament all together (Chalk and Jonassohn. If the Young Turks had all authority. nor the aftermath. 3). By using the term “civil war”. Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel wrote memoirs. factions begin to fight one another in the absence of central authority” (p. does not convey the true meaning of emotions and feelings. Then. and the subsequent onset of a vacuum. To say that the Turks made them march to a desert. and then they have no words to describe the genocidal events. the message is that the Holocaust is the genocide that matters most in the students’ minds. The other side of the language duality is the language of the victim. Genocide deniers use the term “civil war” as a way to contort the facts. according to Dadrian (2001) is “The collapse of central authority. 259). the definition of civil war. control of movement of goods and people. The Young Turks then declared martial law. The research has revealed how language is used to subvert and manipulate. and see family members killed. Furthermore. total control of communication. genocide deniers are in essence trying to say that more than one side is to blame for the events that transpired. Given the evidence. and stories of the Holocaust that were 28 . We know from history that this is not what happened. First. As a result. There have been accounts of genocide to be certain. There are no words to describe what happened to them in genocide. There is a duality of language that is inherent in genocide. p. and the threat of a quick and severe punishment for those who break the rules. The language of the perpetrators is the language of manipulation. poetry. The truth is. is that verbal language seldom does justice to our innermost selves. A noted Armenian Genocide scholar Vahakn N.
the reader has not experienced what they have experienced. New York. This book of poetry centered on his maternal grandfather who was orphaned during the genocide. One survivor was the grandfather of a fellow educator. The speech of the victims is moving to be sure. whilst those of onlookers. “Saw Armenians Go Starving to Exile”. and death marches en route to the desert in the eastern part of Turkey. One headline screams out “Only Room for Turks in Turkey” (p. there is the lack of “being there”. but no words can ever express the pain and trauma that they have gone through.Theory in Action moving. although make the reader aware of the Armenian plight. “Turks Depopulate Towns of Armenia” shows an insincere tone. 29 . “Appeal to Turkey to Stop Massacres”. as well as his views on his poetry about the Armenian Genocide. Alan is also a poet who wrote a book of poetry about his grandfather’s experience as a young boy. The Armenian Genocide occurred in the shadows of World War I. A group called the Young Turks. This is not to say that they are not powerful means of expression. and “Says Extinction Menaces Armenia” all give an alarmist tone. They put you there beside them. and some historians describe genocide with countless. headlines such as “The Assassination of a Race: The Hopes and the Threatened Fate of the Armenians”. “Wholesale Massacre of Armenians by Turks and Kurds”. the leaders of the newly formed Turkey following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire executed the first genocide of the Twentieth Century. sunny Wednesday and we sat drinking coffee outside a used bookshop in Huntington. The Armenian Genocide featured massacres. Alan Semerdjian. However. The word “depopulate” is one that. He had recently published In the Architecture of Bones (2009). Kloian. ii-vii). These headlines show a few different reactions to the genocide. is very harsh. It was a hot. In a collection of newspaper articles called The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts From the American Press: 1915-1922 by Richard D. jarring adjectives. Alan’s grandfather was born in 1915. However. “Turks Depopulate Towns of Armenia”. I wanted to know more about Alan’s family background. This implies that the Armenians are something less than human. “Wholesale Massacre of Armenians by Turks and Kurds”. the media. used the word “wholesale”. I first interviewed Alan on July 27. although factual. Much like the words “liquidated” and “dispatched” used by the Turks as a reference for the Armenians. Another headline. “Whole Plain Strewn by Armenian Bodies”. Armenians were targeted for linguistic and cultural differences. as well as for political power. 2011. the American newspaper dehumanized the Armenians as well. One of the headlines.
He then stated. and ended up in Alexandria. it was a parent protecting a child. specifically poetry. although his grandfather was not a very religious man. Alan admitted that his early work centered on relationships. However.” This unveiling is a deep kind of analysis. Over a few laughs. and said that all language is political. 2009. They started a family in Cairo. it lifts a veil on history. pg. He grew up in Greece. 30 .Stephanie Schneider and was saved by a group called the Near East Relief Fund. 63). “Art is used to depict a truth about history. I have reproduced the poem in full: For my grandfather the word genocide tastes like copper everything is elliptical this morning the alkaline of a battery on the tongue he says everything sounds like thunder outside the closed window likes to reinvent itself but never really goes away air in a room sealed shut where the silence is a vicious blade of memories when I listen to his story where I’m rearing the fabric of the air I’m sitting next to him watching it It circles around me he’s on a sofa in a tapestry outside a dead end in his daughter’s home I think I’m crazy I tell my mother I need to see someone the voices grow louder unimaginable swell the head about the voices in my head but she doesn’t want to believe me either (Semerdjian. The genocide itself was not really discussed in Alan’s house. there were elements of his faith throughout his work. Usually. he started to read the works of Peter Balakian. where Alan’s mother was born. There was a cubist style to his work. Alan’s grandfather was an artist. has with history. One poem that struck me as being deeply analytical was “Survivor: Dream for Two Voices”. Alan said that. The art of his grandfather triggered an interest in Alan. as well as elements of Christ figures. Egypt. when Alan was about 18 years old. Egypt. Alan mentioned that art is used to communicate ideas. Many of his pieces were about “protection”. The conversation then shifted to the connection that art. where he met his wife at art school. who Alan called “an inspiration”.
deals directly with the idea of the hyphen. When we talked about this particular poem. or a kind of truth that’s not available. This poem. Alan continued. We concluded our conversation with the sentiment that there is no history. “Poetry is about transformation”. Poems can be more successful in being a true document of what occurred. “Am I allowed to own my grandfather’s past? Am I allowed to even write about it?” Alan asked these questions as we spoke about what it is to write about a history that is in our people’s past. especially one that is contested. On another level.” When I asked how poetry and history relate. Alan said that it kind of is schizophrenic. poets are more accurate journalists. from the roads. One is to read the poem in a full linear manner. It is also transforming something. “The Dance” is a poem by Siamento (18781915). poetry is analysis of the past. Our talk then turned to identity. I saw with my cruel human eyes. We did not deal with this as it hung in the air for a bit before we shifted the conversation. the German woman narrated: "This story which I tell you and which cannot be told. “Poetry speaks more truth. Crushing my teeth from my terrible rage.” Here. Alan said that these questions have forced him to become obsessive with “the need to get things right. The other is to read every other line as one voice. On a field of ash where Armenian life was still dying. in Judaism. from the fountains. we tend to look at things that have happened in our past to have happened to us as well. but a past that we have never experienced. even with this in mind. how we can learn from this. he said. then go back and read the other lines as another voice.. It was in Garden city. or the absence of humanity. After the conversation with Alan. just historians. “On one level. To elaborate. “There is insanity in looking at genocide. The rebellious murmur of your blood.Theory in Action This poem can be read in two different ways. it can make sense of the past. from the streams. I mentioned that. 31 . Here is his account: And as her tears drowned in her blue eyes.. And from the waters.. I looked at some other poems about the Armenian Genocide. Alan replied. This is what the witness of our horror. One of Alan’s poems is called “Punctuation Marks”... But. it’s a reconfiguration of the past. especially with regards to the truth. The corpses were piled high to the top of the trees.” Genocide is something that makes you question everything about humanity. Still speaks now its vengeance into my ears.. From the window of my safe house which looked on hell. With my cruelly human eyes I saw. which was turned to a pile of ashes.” To this end.
Cursing the universe." Then they ignited the naked bodies of the brides with a torch.. O. from evening to dawn. In vain I moved my fists against the mob. 32 . In my terror I closed the shutters of my window like a storm. "You must dance".. human justice.. roared the furious crowd.. Stood in a vineyard singing songs of debauchery. tell me..Stephanie Schneider O.. And the charcoaled corpses rolled from dance to death.. started their round dance. In the vineyard the black mob became a forest. the poor beautiful Armenian girl. Ah. You must dance when our drum sounds. When inside my room... Bending over the agony of a girl slashed with a sword.. they shrieked. "here is a perfume for you which even Arabia does not have. 1910). Leaving the poor dying girl on her mattress. "You must dance until your death. lustfully and lasciviously.." And the whips started wildly cracking on the bodies Of the Armenian women who were missing death.. I approached the balcony of my window which looked on hell. they roared. I was wetting her death with my tears... That morning in death's shadow was a Sunday. To her young dove spirit gave wings toward the stars. And approaching my lonely dead girl I asked: "How can I dig my eyes out. "Stand up".?" (Siamento.. "You must dance".. The first and helpless Sunday which rose over the corpses. Because I heard. waving their naked swords like snakes. beastly mob Brutally whipping the twenty brides who were with them. Let men understand the crime of man against man. Suddenly from afar a black.. hand in hand.. The tears flowed from their eyes like wounds. let me spit at your forehead. how can I dig them out.. Twenty brides.. how much I envied my wounded neighbor.. Under the sun of two days. don't be shocked when I tell you this story which cannot be told. on the road to the cemetery The evil of man against man.. A savage roared to the brides: "You must dance...! They anointed the twenty brides hastily with that liquid. that with a peaceful moan... Let all the hearts of the world know. Then someone brought to the mob a barrel of oil...." The twenty beautiful brides fell to the ground exhausted. Our eyes are thirsty for your movements and your death....
painted as brutal a picture as anything that a photograph would have. Then again. The words shocked my students. As I read and reread this poem. I have analyzed the poetry of Semerdjian and of Siamento to focus on the language of the victims of this genocide. there is a counter-narrative of the Armenian Genocide. There were many more to discuss in class. But as I read Siamento’s poem. and debated the meaning of civil war versus genocide as linguistic terms.” The next day. We will speak of the victims as numbers. there was an unveiling. However. The image of twenty brides being burned to death as they dance for a sadistic crowd of killers left them rightly speechless. and how language is used in a way that can twist the truth to how a side sees it. We must delve into the material like it is the unending ocean. the poetry. For as much as I used an interdisciplinary approach to teach the Armenian Genocide. to unwrap the meaning behind the horrors. Poetry gives them a metaphorical face. I want to dig my mind’s eye out just like the narrator. They were scarred that humans are capable of such horrors as am I. Pedagogically. “I wish this were a fake. wondering if this was “too much” one student said on the way out. We cannot sit back as educators and expect the state or anyone else to make our curriculum come to life. Here. shared Alan’s poetry and told them that dialects were wiped out. But Armenia is just the first peek of what’s behind the curtain of mass atrocities.Theory in Action This poem clearly reflects the viciousness of the Turks. well. If it is my duty as a teacher of history to make students witnesses to events of the past. I addressed the poem. that would not be far from the truth. This particular poem is one that I showed my students last year. and it seems as though I am purposely making students uncomfortable. By doing this. Among the outrage. I felt a slight feeling of victory. we will talk of the number of deaths in the Armenian Genocide and talk about the how and why of the perpetrator. Armenia brings up the issue of critically thinking about history. but for what? I still don’t know. They wondered themselves why they had only just learned about this. I wish history was just a bunch of made up stories. I did not use pictures. I didn’t bother asking them the obligatory “Are you okay?” since that was not a question that would have any meaningful answer. which was a mini-theme within the unit. If I am describing a kind of horror show. If traditional pedagogy holds. It was enough without exposing them to even more images of violence. As I sat. We sat quietly in the classroom until time expired. then that is fulfilled. The students wondered why this type of cruelty was in their textbook only as a “massacre”. The notion that behind 33 . whose images plague my brain. Many of my students had no concept of “Armenia” or genocide (except the Holocaust).
don’t they? Auschwitz. What has always concerned me is where do they eat their sandwiches? Drink their Coke? 34 . It was after the destruction of six million Jews. With this connection. When I did a deep analysis of both works. This enabled me to do two things: question the notion of what the Holocaust means in today’s world. It was after the Holocaust that the Convention (1948) was written and the Nuremberg Trials punished ordinary citizens for their actions. even if we know that’s not the case. but about looking at it from different perspectives.Stephanie Schneider the poetry are real experiences by people who are real to them is horrific enough. Dachau. The last major piece of data analyzed was Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands. Gypsies. Truthfully. nor the personal impact it would have on the way that I have ever thought about the Holocaust. what struck me was the idea that the Holocaust reverberates through generations of survivors and victims. disabled persons. When most think of genocide. These works are done as graphic novels. The importance of this book on my scholarship cannot be overstated. this is the one that comes to mind. I did not anticipate the huge shift in the historiography of the Holocaust. This was a time where ordinary citizens were picked out because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs for murder. How does one even speak about the magnitude without diminishing its horror? Hector: They go on school trips nowadays. and millions of other Slavs. Representing the Holocaust is an issue. the poems can be read as fiction. When I first sat down to read this book. We can pretend that behind every poet is a great imagination that can conjure such images. One reason why the Holocaust is an accepted use of the term genocide was that it was clear who was being exterminated and for what ideological reasons. my students had to look truth in the face. this section was not about rehashing the plentiful books and articles about the history of this atrocity. The scope and magnitude of the Nazis’ solution to the “Jewish Problem” was never seen before or since. The Holocaust is the accepted use of the word genocide in global history curriculums. and political enemies of the Nazis that the world came together and vowed “Never Again”. bureaucratic system in place to murder millions of a country’s own people. Never before has there been such a calculated. For me. and to place the Holocaust in a place of pedagogy. The genocide that raises the fewest (albeit loudest) contestations is the Holocaust. efficient. The next piece of data was Art Spiegelman’s two works Maus and Metamaus. The first piece of data that I analyzed was Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys. homosexuals.
Hector: Do they take pictures of each other there? Are they smiling? Do they hold hands? Nothing is appropriate. viii). Auschwitz is the symbol of the Holocaust and is getting an update. 2004. Snyder’s Bloodlands is creating a counter-narrative against this type of representation. to the prisons and gas chambers. This was a huge paradigm shift for me. and the Holocaust for the evil of a century” (pg. p. Cywinski stated that this would show the “daily dehumanization and attempts to keep one’s humanity” (Kimmelman. It’s like anywhere else. Stalin himself accounted for one-third of the “deliberate deaths” in the Bloodlands. wants to show the “process of extermination”. The director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Timothy Snyder (2010) in Bloodlands explains the horrors subjected to the people between Russia and Germany in the interwar and World War II years. Fourteen million were deliberately killed between 1933-1945. Auschwitz stands for the Holocaust. they cry. He went on to say that the changes at the museum are due to a historical turning point: Teenagers now have grandparents born after the war. why there were so few righteous. my frame of reference was Auschwitz. However. they ask why people didn’t react more at the time. during peacetime. most shot out in the fields of the Bloodlands. “Today. As both a scholar and teacher. 2011. This is a very big deal. gassed in lesser-known camps like Treblinka. A1). Piotr Cywinski. Stalin was more lethal than Hitler (x). Let us now talk about what most think of when they think of the Holocaust: Auschwitz. see genocide on television and don’t 35 .Theory in Action Crowher: The visitors’ centre. How can the boys scribble down an answer however well that doesn’t demean the suffering involved? And putting it well demeans it as much as putting it badly (Bennett. Just as questions on an examination paper are inappropriate. Presently. Auschwitz tells its own story from the moment one walks through the gate that reads “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work makes one free). Auschwitz may symbolize most of what the Holocaust was. then they go home. starved in the fields of the Ukraine. 71). The historiographical counter-narrative is vital in setting the record correct for one of the most studied and documented genocides in history. most of the killing took place in the fields of Eastern Europe. Your grandparents are your era but your greatgrandparents are history…More or less eight to ten million people go to such exhibitions around the world today.
“Bearing witness”. p. an Auschwitz survivor. will soon be second or third-hand. with vendors selling postcards and ice cream. Zajac’s words. students learn that Franklin D. The individual stories of the Holocaust may dissolve into the sands of time.Stephanie Schneider move a finger. They didn’t ask why they are not righteous themselves. I fear that the Holocaust will become just another human tragedy like the Third Punic War.” A paradigm shift within the camp could create a shift from: “that happened” to “this could easily happen again if the world allows it to. What is getting harder is conveying the Holocaust as a crisis of humanity. A1). life reflects art as ice cream is being sold beside the words “Work will make you free. Just as the History Boys were reflecting on the visitors’ center of Auschwitz. one that needs to remind us of the dangers of being complacent. Individual schools are attempting to do the same things. This is a strong statement. 2011. The changes at Auschwitz reflect a new era that we live in. students learn about the Holocaust in the context of World War II. 2011. I want to thank these young Polish men for their deep sensitivity to the site as hallowed ground. Theodore Adorno stated. A1). When Spiegelman was creating 36 . “Poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric”. Art Spiegelman (2011) talks of the danger of Holokitsch or what I interpret to be an overwrought reaction to the Holocaust. I teach the Holocaust as a culmination of the nature of Anti-Semitism that existed from the Medieval Ages in Europe. Slowly and over time. In an oftquoted statement. ‘the biggest cemetery in the world’” (Kimmelman. In my class. Education about the Holocaust is vital. the witnesses are passing. In eleventh grade. How the changes at Auschwitz impact visitors’ senses of social justice is still to be determined. in Mr. In my former school district. I was appalled at the carnival-like atmosphere near the entrance to the camp. the term used when referencing the Holocaust. Susan Beer. the eighth graders have a month long curriculum about the Holocaust. Education has to change with the passing of time. and their thoughtful and well-designed efforts to elevate the memories of those who perished at. including Saul Friedlander (1992). and one that has been revisited by a number of scholars. the tattooed arm. and thus. especially as the generation who lived through this time period is disappearing. In tenth grade. Roosevelt did not do enough to ensure the safe passage of Jews from Germany and other parts of Europe to America. wrote “On my return visit. (Kimmelman.” The museum is creating spaces for new ways to educate the future generations. the human face. The Holocaust has been represented in a variety of ways.
” The students with whom I work are thinking beings. He went on to say that There’s a kind of kitschification in our culture in general. or sometimes meretriciously. p. Another reason why Jews as mice fit can be found in Nazi propaganda. “Hitler was a bad man” or “Every victim was a good person. ‘Well. it’s a sugarcoated pill’. is perhaps a good way to get students to read a work of history.a sugarcoated cyanide pill that we can get people to swallow to understand the horrors of history. This kind of representation oversimplifies the discussions that we have to have. or comic book. and I do think. They know a gimmick from a mile away. However. 102) The notion of a “sugarcoated cyanide pill” is a strong image. 2011. but there has been a kind of secondary life for the book as a didactic tool. the Devil. He then goes on to discuss the cat and mouse metaphor that fits in with the Holocaust. sometimes used admirably. 111) explained that he started drawing “black folks” as mice. this Holokitsch is a huge problem in representing a historical nightmare. poisonous mushrooms. It is not enough to say. that most ask is “Why mice?” Spiegelman (2011.. It’s that thing of trying to always go for the sentimental money shot whenever one can that informs our debates…It’s all got to be reduced to Good Guys and Bad Guys…This is the perfect hero/villain paradigm…The Holocaust has become a trope. and being ridiculed for attempting to represent the Holocaust in an entirely new way. this oversimplification. p.Theory in Action Maus. he knew that he was walking a thin line between saying something profound. Spiegelman went on to explain the pedagogical force of Maus: There was also the misguided notion that Maus was some kind of ‘Auschwitz for Beginners.’ I had no faith that one could make the world better by telling someone what happened in the past. p. especially in the classroom. and of course. If Maus is. lecherous old men. Nazis have characterized Jews as mice. 70). the very fact that it is a graphic novel. according to Spiegelman. and that particular practice dates back to Mickey Mouse. The question. 2011. “Dehumanization is just basic to the whole killing project–America demonized the Japanese during World War II (it’s what primed us for 37 . (Spiegelman. (Spiegelman. it’s a comic. a powerful learning tool..
The first indicator is the form Maus takes. in ways that movies such as the eight-hour Shoah cannot. I’m often struck by how the narratives of individuals are multiplied by about 8 million (Jewish victims and nonJewish victims). They are walking on a road that looks like a swastika with bare (dying) trees and smokestacks (gas chambers) in the background. p. One way that representation is important is that it contextualizes the history. Spiegelman only seems to get angry when he finds out his father burned all of his mother’s notebooks. Yet. is fighting against reason. The plight of Spiegelman’s parents is outside the realm of reason. filled with shadows. if for a moment. Spiegelman notes that he cannot make sense of his own relationship with his father. Spiegelman’s stepmother has just left his father. 125) there is a panel of Spiegelman’s parents walking to avoid getting caught. The drawings look like black and white woodcuts. “murderer” (Spiegelman. a good example is the Hutu calling Tutsis “cockroaches” -it is much easier to kill. 159). it makes perfect sense. he says. p. Through the two volumes of Maus. rough in nature. we dichotomize the realms of reason and emotion. so how can he make sense of Auschwitz? Most of what people know now is through these representations of the Holocaust. It is a graphic novel. 38 . If propaganda can make human beings out to be vermin or evil. and his father’s story is in the past. there is a philosophical problem in representing “history’s greatest nightmare. but it is more than that. and have nowhere to go. This statement struck me as being insightful. It is divided into parts where Spiegelman is talking to his father in the present. a sort of survival handbook.Stephanie Schneider dropping the bomb on Hiroshima)” (p. However. 1991). rather than the event itself. The imagery is stark. Spiegelman’s telling of his father’s story seems rational.” In reading Maus (Spiegelman 1986. there is a sense that Spiegelman. by virtue of telling his father’s story. Yet. 115). Do these stories form a cohesive narrative? Does that even matter much? In the History Boys. psychologically. it is harder to kill. Maus and Metamaus are representations of the Holocaust that brings it to a wide audience. 1986. Pedagogically. The problem of representation is paramount to understanding the history of the Holocaust. It is then that. this is the exchange that most directly questions pedagogy of genocide. If one sees a human as being just like them. They are wearing pig masks to appear Polish. In Maus: My Father Bleeds History (1986. This is the end of the first volume. The second volume picks up with Spiegelman trying to draw his wife as an animal (she is French) and returning to his father’s apartment. as he is leaving his father’s apartment.
all I am doing is attempting to represent the events of the past and trying to contextualize them to students who may not have any other connection to the event itself. When I teach history. p. in the representation. 2012. In fact. This is the best historians can come up with in terms of what the fate was for Elzunia. The Holocaust is not just a simple story. the problem of how to respond emotionally to a work of literature is taken on by Berlin in a poem left by a young girl. the scholarship may be precise. These four lines are striking for a number of reasons. She is dying all alone. Poland during the “Harvest Festival” in 1943. And in Auschwitz her mommy…(Berlin. It is a subject. She is dying all alone. Another issue that comes up when teaching genocide is the divide between emotions and reason. middle. There are too many characters that were lost to the gas chambers and mass graves. 397). and end. her parents died in death camps (p. However. 42. The poem reads. The first is that she recognizes that she places herself in the past. It’s a subject like any other. 2004. what is important is that academic language does not allow for the kind of emotional exploration that subjects like the Holocaust evoke. If we aren’t 39 . 407. 404). Berlin (2012) writes of the problem of academic language being void of emotion. in part: Once there was Elzunia. Not like any other at all. Because her daddy is in Maidanek. and answers for us. (Bennett. the “why”. She wrote this as a nine-year-old girl. that would do as a question.409). p. As a result. The poem was soaked in blood and sewn into a coat.000 Jews were shot during this “festival” (p. but it lacks a certain something. 71). linguistic problems are plentiful. Can you…should you…teach the Holocaust? Akthar: It has origins. This contextualization leads naturally into representation of the genocide. Scripps: Not like any other. For Berlin.Theory in Action Hector: But how can you teach the Holocaust? Irwin: Well. The girl was most certainly shot by the SS in a forest near Majdanek. It has consequences. It has a beginning. how emotions are to be discounted when doing serious scholarship. surely.
Instead. you can explain it away. in looking at the ways that I teach the Holocaust I am constantly questioning myself. we lose compassion.Stephanie Schneider allowed to feel anything in the name of objectivity. It would be simple to explain the history of anti-Semitism in Europe. Without this emotional piece. tragic part of history should serve as a warning to all future generations? This can happen again. I have been studying it since I was a teenager and my identity as a Jewish woman is in some ways shaped by the diasporatic history that we. as she would have us understand it. and hunger of a specific era. 2009. He who laughs Has not yet received The terrible news. It is hard to put this all in a perspective that would give both teachers and students the space to explore the fact that ordinary people experienced the Holocaust. Even today. 11 million is an unfathomable reality. then how can we passionately argue that looking at this painful. again. A smooth forehead Points to insensitivity. And yet. I am most connected to the Holocaust. purges. what do we do about that number–6 million plus another 5 million. or the rise of the Nazi party. 3). My goal instead was to carve out a space for students to understand that the most horrific nightmares were reality. What. Berkowitz quotes “To Posterity” a poem by Bertold Brecht (1939): Truly. I would like to go back to Adorno’s statement after a brief detour into the work of Hannah Arendt. or even the steps taken to eradicate Jews from the world. Passes out of the reach of his friends Who are in danger? Berkowitz uses this as the starting point to explain that. If you can explain something. And yet. in which A conversation about trees is almost a crime For in doing so we maintain our silence about so much wrongdoing! And he who walks quietly across the street. p. endured. but I’m not sure if it 40 . For me personally. does not name the genocides. What times are these. after all. In his work Thinking in Dark Times (2009). when we look at the Holocaust. there is a kind of discourse about it. for Hannah Arendt. and the Arendt scholar Richard Berkowitz. as Jews. “Darkness. darkness refers to the way these horrors appear in public discourse and yet remain hidden” (Berkowitz. I live in dark times! An artless word is foolish. This is the type of dark times that Bennett was exploring in The History Boys. can possibly represent this? In The History Boys there is a quote that says something like.
is the enemy. The ironic thing about the Holocaust is that it was meticulously planned. 2012) This is the heart of the put-down. Reason told them that the erasure of the Jews was more important than the winning of the war. and purges according to Arendt. Once considered the world’s largest cemetery. One example of this is Auschwitz itself. famine. war. 4). When the war was lost for the Nazis. is saying that much of what we don’t want to hear is hidden “in plain sight”. In this article. There has been a new trend that recently came to my attention. Berkowitz then explains that the only way out of this circle is to think. mostly Jews. it is now a place that people tour as they would the Met. not just those involving Jews? (Rosenbaum. according to Roger Berkowitz. Hannah Arendt. this refers back to Speigelman’s reference to Holokitsch. It implies a bright line between legitimate interest and something else. But where is that line? How much time should we spend worrying about the threat of future Holocausts and genocides. Reason. something over-intense. he explains that instead of out rightly denying the Holocaust ever happened. “It is the vapid clichés that mar speech on TV news channels and by water coolers” (Berkowitz. The word “obsessed” makes us (Jews) seem as though the only thing we care about is dwelling on the fact that we were (and are) victimized as the “other”. Reason begat the mobile gas units that replaced the single bullet to the back of the skull. Reason. feverish. “Holocaust obsessed”. certain people are calling. By thinking. Then there is the talk of reason. Calling people “Holocaust-obsessed” is the new idea explored by Ron Rosenbaum (Rosenbaum. in this sense. and counterproductive.Theory in Action is a constructive one. in that the reason of Nazi ideology was spewed forth by Hitler. or the motive to chase the rational choice is what lead to genocides. What should be Authentic (to borrow from Martin Heidegger) is trivial. one can get away from that which obscures what should be clear as day. The Holocaust is a genocide that has near-universal acceptance. To me this represents madness. 2009. 2012). which begat the gas chambers themselves. Rosenbaum explains that those who criticize others of being Holocaust obsessed are saying that 41 . Again. Rosenbaum finds linguistic issues with the word “obsessed”: It’s the word ‘obsessed’ that seems problematic to me. save for Holocaust-deniers. though that denial is illegal in Germany and France. Reason was the guidepost. the killing went on. Thinking is what can prevent future mass trauma.
Jordan changed the game.Stephanie Schneider they are using the Holocaust in “bad faith. The Holocaust changed genocide. Prior to the Holocaust. Nor it is an issue of gas chambers versus machetes. if you can explain something. along with students who have experienced ancestral persecution as well. Perhaps this will make sense. Rosenbaum also quotes Walter Reich who. I grasped at straws. wrote “he shows how the horror of the Holocaust has been minimized and even disparaged by those who want the public to focus on their own historical traumas and are frustrated by the Holocaust’s power to eclipse other tragic national experiences” (Rosenbaum. when the Holocaust eclipses the others in scope? In looking for another metaphor. There is a kind of rationality that goes with this type of thinking. something where most people can come to a general consensus. whether as a ‘victimization Olympics’ or for political (primarily pro-Israel) purposes” (Rosenbaum. That the Holocaust is said to be unique. If I can explain why Hitler felt like he 42 . changing not only basketball. When people compare things. But. One cannot be willfully blind to the inherent evil humans possess. but also the business of basketball. Rosenbaum prefers the term “Holocaustconscious” that would promote action against other genocides. 2012). How do they come up with this answer? Well. there were genocides. the world could not look back because the world had not seen the kind of machine-like precision in killing a group of people. groups were wiped off the map (see Carthage. He ushered in a new era. even if there was not yet a name for it. in a book review. Prior to the Holocaust. After Jordan. The Germans documented everything. Therefore. One example is “Who is the best basketball player of all time?” Most people would say that it was Michael Jordan. This is the big problem when it comes to the pedagogy. you can explain it away. in representing the Holocaust in the classroom. perhaps more importantly. who endorsed the Nike Air Jordan sneaker. However. in terms of time and resources. Jordan changed the way basketball was played. statistics would play a role. How can teachers bring other genocides in line with the Holocaust. The world could not go back to ignoring what human beings were capable of doing. they look for a yardstick. it is not a question of saying a particular genocide is worse than another. Much of this debate is against the backdrop of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s threat to “Wipe Israel off the map” and of new scholarship coming to light from Eastern Europe on the complicity of the whole of Europe to genocide. 2012). The problem is.BCE). 149-146. After the Holocaust. I have to be aware that I have Armenian students. is a statement that I agree with. star basketball players became rich with endorsements.
It starts with an itch. nationalities. and be much clearer as to which events in history are genocide. A simple lesson on bullying. Another lesson is reminding students that beneath our races. his plays are meant for him to step on a soapbox. Berkowitz. R. for example.” then I’m setting up a paradigm in my classroom that justifies the Holocaust.) New York: Fordham University Press.doi.org/10. http://dx. ethnicities.5422/fso/9780823230754. "Once there was Elzunia": approaching affect in holocaust literature. A. Yet. it is a remarkable treatise about how we cannot teach the Holocaust because it cannot be explained rationally. R. O’Connor (Ed.0001 Berlin. T. Any curriculum that teaches genocide must first teach what makes us all human. Genocide transcends time and space. There is no one unified theory as to why genocide occurred on all continents that hold human life in every age. “The Jews are undoubtedly a race. sexual orientations. And anyway. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. would help students to understand what happens when we are not good to each other. (2012). Without an attempt to teach about genocide is to ensure that “never again” will only be “again and again”. London Review of Books. as flawed as it is. to explain something is to explain it away. 19-20. 43 . Bennett.Theory in Action had to eradicate the Jews. (2009). Bennett. This process does not need to be grand in scale. New York: Faber and Faber Inc. religions. Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics. J Katz. College English. (2012). we are all humans. But we must try. G. The use of language frames mass atrocities in a way that one can get a context of the basic questions of specific cases of genocide. is one way to prevent the future of genocide. but they are not human. He said that. Alan Bennett in an essay in the London Review of Books (2012) came back to the History Boys and wrote how sometimes. The process of dehumanization is a common thread that runs throughout genocides. Berkowitz. A. 34(21). The Adorno reader. B. The history boys. (2004).001. (2000).). 74(5). the curriculums of history have to be rewritten to highlight the conditions that precede genocide. History Boys is about a private school meant to send its boys to Oxbridge. Education. on the surface. & T Keenan (Eds. and social classes. We can teach future generations that we can work together on our collective humanity. of whom he said. 395-416. I. REFERENCES Adorno. In order to do this.
1984. (2011.1017/CBO9780511840715 Orwell. (2009). (1992). Dadrian. Christensen. Rosenbaum.). (2000). R. (2007). T. M. New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://www. T. C. New York: Pearson..htm Semerdjian. 2001. (2010). Kloian. Slate. A new slur: calling people "holocaust-obsessed is the new holocaust denial. New York: Basic Books. Reading. 44 .pdf Nussbaum.p12. The contemporary theory of metaphor. Ortony (Ed. V. G. Hotel Rwanda [DVD]. Milwaukee. G.doi. The Armenian genocide within a framework of compelling evidence. New york state social studies core curriculum. (1910). Siamento. Lakoff. A. New York State Education Department. WI: Rethinking Schools.Stephanie Schneider Chalk.gov/ciai/socst/pub/sscore1. (2012. Retrieved from http://www. S. J. Power. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.html.sas. Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin. Understanding by design. The history and sociology of genocide: analyses and case studies. In the architecture of bone. New Haven: Yale University Press. (2001). USA: GenPop Books. Orlando. (2003). McTighe.Judgement and Decision Making. A1.edu/~baron/journal/7303a/jdm7303a. (2nd ed. The New York Times. & Wiggins. Kimmelman.umd. New York: Harper Perennial.upenn. (1990). R. In A. August 24). Metaphor and thought (2nd ed. Inc. (2002). February 18).html Slovic. N.org/10. p.nysed. P. Lecture given at Harvard University: April 24. 79-95. (2009).edu/dept/armenian/literatu/dance. (2001). A problem from Hell: America and the age of genocide. Presented by The Zoryan Institute.). & Jonassohn. 2(2). Upheavals of thought: The intelligence of emotions. D. If i look at the mass i will never act: psychic numbing and genocide. http://dx. K. Snyder. (2005). writing. L. Retrieved from website: http://www. The Armenian genocide: news accounts from the American press: 1915-1922 (3rd Edition). Retrieved from http://www. M. George.umich. FL: Harcourt. (Director) (2004). United States: Armenian Genocide Resource Center.). Auschwitz shifts from memorializing to teaching.slate. (2002). F. and rising up: Teaching about social justice and the power of the written word. The Dance. G.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_spectator/2012/0 8/_holocaust_obsessed_it_s_the_new_anti_semitic_slur_.
(Resolution 260 (III) A) Dec. Metamaus: A look inside a modern classic. Spiegelman.Theory in Action Spiegelman. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. I.hrweb. New York: Pantheon Books. Contested meanings and conflicting imperatives: A contested analysis of genocide. Available at: http://www. 9. Straus. http://dx. (2011). A. Journal of Genocide Research 3(3).1080/14623520120097189 U. 1948.html 45 . my Father bleeds history. S. II.N. 349-375. A. General Assembly. Maus : A survivor's tale.org/10. New York: Pantheon Books. And here my troubles began.org/legal/genocide.doi. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly. (1991). (2001).
ISBN: 978-0826519276 (Paperback). Societas Imprint Academic. 187 Pages. Place. Encounter Books. $25. $24. and Genocide Stephanie Schneider 46 Blending In: The Presentation of Self among Homeless Men in a Gentrifying Environment Amy Donley and Emmanuel Jackson 64 Evaluating Global Education at a Regional University: A Focus Group Research on Faculty Perspectives Chin Hu. 251 Pages. Dominic Standish Journal of the Transformative Studies Institute .Volume 7 Number 1 January 2014 Theory In Action IN THIS ISSUE 1 Gambling With Our Planet Michael Barker 23 Teaching the Unthinkable: Counter-Narratives. Yoly Zentella 85 Book Review: Greg Lukianoff. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Press…and We Need One More Than Ever. Vanderbilt University Press. and Erica Velander 80 Book Review: Jacqueline Foertsch. 2012. Reckoning Day: Race. £8.99. Pedagogy. ISBN: 978-1594036354 (Hardcover).95/$17. 2013.95.90. Hooshang Pazaki. Timothy McGettigan 94 Book Review: Mick Hume. and the Atom Bomb in Postwar America. 294 Pages. ISBN: 978-1845403508 (Paperback). 2012. Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate.
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” —Ramsey Kanaan. UK “In our increasingly crisis-ridden world.org —Dr. Political Media Review “Machine-breakers were once threatened with the death penalty if they took direct action against the systems of production that reduced them to poverty. volatile. Social Structures of Direct Democracy (forthcoming Brill). Revolt! This book is recommended reading for anyone sickened by an increasingly violent. John Asimakopoulos’ critique draws inspiration from the history of working-class activism and. Transformative Radio ABOUT THE BOOK: Asimakopoulos develops a theory to action model for working class movement building toward societies based on direct democracy. Email: jasimakopoulos@transformativestudies.” KEYWORDS Critical Theory Political Philosophy Stratification Critical Pedagogy History Social Movements Globalization ISBN 978-0983298205 PAPERBACK $14. and is editor in chief of Theory in Action. economic. A must read for everyone that actually takes working-class self-determination seriously. and boring status quo. in presenting a clear and accessible analysis of the system’s operation. Kleptocracy capitalism describes a similar juxtaposition: the facilitation of systematic corporate exploitation running alongside policies which criminalise individuals who steal in order to live. Anarchist Studies. His students include undergraduates and graduates from diverse ethnic. critical theory. Editor. Ruth Kinna.” —Sarat Colling.95 PAGES 194 TSI PRESS 39-09 Berdan Avenue Fair Lawn.REVOLT! The Next Great Transformation from Kleptocracy Capitalism to Libertarian Socialism through Counter Ideology. Asimakopoulos is author of The Accumulation of Freedom (2012). He has advanced degrees in and has taught sociology. and educational backgrounds who honor him for over 20 years with the highest teaching evaluations. His research is focused on social movements. short of the immediate overthrow of capitalism. and class consciousness. political science. Revolt! analyzes the Great Recession showing neoliberal globalization is intensifying capitalism’s contradictions resulting in perpetual crises and collapse. and economics resulting in a unique interdisciplinary perspective. And these visions must be linked to critiques of the existing society. an educational think tank. Deric Shannon. PM Press “A must-read book for all those interested in real change and social justice stripped bare of rhetoric and fantasy. we need visions of vastly different worlds to aspire to. NJ 07410 transformativestudies. many journal articles. he also calls for direct action to combat it. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Asimakopoulos. & Direct Action By John Asimakopoulos Foreword Peter McLaren “A welcome return to the center stage of political discourse—and action—for the working class. Societal Education.org . can obtain with direct action specific working class victories that will set in motion transformative change. where the global working class is rediscovering its spine. an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal. and international political economy. passionately giving voice to a popular and deeply held view—that the status quo must be challenged.” —Dr. is Full Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York and executive director of the Transformative Studies Institute (TSI). Asimakopoulos combines these tasks in his latest book. Reviewing the labor and civil rights movements Asimakopoulos argues social justice can only be achieved through a new movement which.
ant hony j.accumulation o f The freedom W R I T I N G S O N A N A R C H I S T E C O N O M I C S edit ed by der ic shannon. & john asimakop o ul os . no c el l a ii.
and interesting. precise. National Labor College Larry Wittner’s engaging and important memoir reminds me of why his work. Read this book and you’ll learn what olidarity really means! —Bill Ritchie. We can all learn lessons from this wonderful memoir. Physicians for Social Responsibility Whether he was formulating ideas for world peace or walking a picket line. . unpretentious. . . John Jay College & Graduate Center.PRAISE FOR WORKING FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE Wittner’s memoir is an inspirational and entertaining read. —Gary Dorrien. Founding President. —New Politics Working for Peace and Justice takes you along on a joyful ride of discovery through the life of a model citizen/ scholar/activist. author of Eleanor Roosevelt and Distinguished Professor of History and Women’s Studies. and troubadour Larry Wittner has gifted us with his bold life’s journey for world betterment. Sherwin. AFL-CIO To order visit utpress. Vividly written and deeply moving. . activist. Union Theological Seminary. —Kevin Martin.org/peace or call 800-621-2736. evocative. —Martin J. CUNY A jewel of the genre: wonderfully lucid. honest. United University Professions. —Helen Caldicott. —Blanche Wiesen Cook. former President. winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for biography Larry Wittner has been—and remains—a great union activist. —Bill Scheuerman. and his activism have made me proud to be an American historian. Is it possible to be an `activist intellectual’? Indeed it is. Executive Director. Professor of Religion. Columbia University It is fascinating to peer into the personal life of Lawrence Wittner—the great chronicler of the antinuclear movement— in this quite amazing autobiography. Peace Action Scholar. Albany County Central Federation of Labor. President. retired President. Larry Wittner was there and his impact was felt. Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics. his scholarship.
not trained. humaniƟes. grassroots acƟvists.S. interdisciplinary. Further. A New University The corporate university acƟvely impedes free thought and discourse in the United States. propaganda. As such. which is why we oīer them an opportunity to aĸliate with TSI as research Fellows and Associates. TSI is managed and operated by a dedicated global team of academic scholar-acƟvists. TSI. labor centers. and advocate at a university whose core curriculum will speak for the poor. the environment. . The college will have a parƟcipatory and democraƟc structure. TSI also provides consulƟng services. They will learn by doing rather than through cookie-cuƩer online modules or exploited sharecropper adjuncts. the insƟtute plans on collaboraƟng with various worker educaƟon programs. through which research associates. acƟvists.TRANSFORMATIVESTUDIES. peer-reviewed. insƟtuƟonal email. advocacy groups and non-proĮt organizaƟons. and animals. and operaƟon of the center. challenge. TSI also welcomes opportuniƟes to work with naƟonal and internaƟonal scholars who serve as research associates and fellows. and the concerned public. we invite literary parƟcipaƟon through our independent. As part of the mission. The InsƟtute is concerned with issues of social jusƟce and related acƟvism. Upon acceptance. believes that all scholars have something to contribute. colleges. Publish with our Journal Ever wonder why acƟvist scholarship is rouƟnely rejected by ‘serious’ peer-reviewed journals? So did we and decided to do something about it! The purpose of our Ňagship journal Theory in AcƟon is to legiƟmize scholar-acƟvism through an internaƟonal. however. and its aim is to provide a working model of theory in acƟon. In addiƟon. © 2007-20ϭ4 TransformaƟve Studies InsƟtute. universiƟes. registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonproĮt organizaƟon. The college seeks to be tuiƟon-free if we build a suĸcient endowment. scholars. you may now do so as a TSI research Fellow or Associate. and its purpose will be nothing less than the transformaƟon of society via a new social movement based on equality and facts versus poverty. governance. and other concerned individuals in Įelds such as social sciences. leƩerhead. acƟvists. and other materials. quarterly publicaƟon that is available both in print and online. Many of TSI’s members have mulƟple graduate degrees. Furthermore. peer-reviewed journal Theory in AcƟon. They will quesƟon. Students will be educated. scholars. and operates a speakers’ bureau. through shared research. and foundaƟons oŌen do not take conƟngent faculty and independent scholars seriously. the insƟtute may provide a working laboratory for evoluƟonary socioeconomic forms of organizaƟon. If you are too radical for acceptance by your associaƟon’s journals. since we do not require exclusive rights to their intellectual work. and supersƟƟon! WWW. mulƟple years of secondary and college level teaching experience throughout most disciplines.About The TransformaƟve Studies InsƟtute (TSI) fosters interdisciplinary research that will bridge mulƟdisciplinary theory with acƟvism in order to encourage community involvement that will aƩempt to alleviate social problems. We recognize that journals. In response. custom policy papers and projects. scholars will be able to aĸliate with TSI as their home insƟtuƟon. think tanks. our scholars are free to disseminate their research through any outlet. and students may disseminate their research and expand themaƟc social dialogue. and law will be invited to conduct research and become involved in like-minded various grass roots organizaƟons. well check us out because WE WANT YOU! We welcome assistance in disseminaƟng our journal through your social networks and increasing its subscripƟon base through your recommendaƟons to your insƟtuƟon’s librarian. All funds received by TSI are tax-deducƟble. Fellowships If you wish to pursue grants without insƟtuƟonal restraints. TSI is establishing an accredited graduate school in which ‘radicals’ will be welcomed rather than muzzled or Įred. the forgoƩen.ORG TransformaƟve Studies InsƟtute is a U. We will provide support.
Folksinger & Sociologist Corey Dolgon. and inspiring. He is a long-time labor activist and community organizer and has used folk songs to build solidarity on the line and engage students in the classroom. New England College “Corey's music added tremendous spirit to our National Labor Assembly.S.In Search of One Big Union: A Singing Lecture by Corey Dolgon. Corey’s words and music bring both history and theory to life. This singing lecture covers labor history from a multicultural perspective and examines the function of folk songs in workers’ lives.edu. and great knowledge about folksongs.D in American Culture and Sociology Professor has been performing “singing lectures” for almost a decade.coreydolgon.com .” --Kathleen Odell Korgen. Professor of Sociology. “I learned about the importance and power of strikes and labor unions. [The lecture] made the period come alive for me.” --Chris Dale. From union retirees to active union members. labor. Professor of Sociology. U. President. abundant energy. More info @ www. United American Nurses. all received a good time and good learning. AFL-CIO “Corey Dolgon’s “singing lecture” is a hit. and other social movements were entertaining. I never knew there were songs about them. labor.” --John Ralston. of Louisville Labor-Management Center “Corey’s wonderful voice. labor movement. very informative. from academics to management. a Ph. William Patterson U.” --Cheryl Johnson. Focusing on the role that folksongs play in the U. Please contact Corey for scheduling a lecture or receiving a sample CD at 617-298-0388 or at cdolgon@worcester.” --Stonehill College student “Corey’s work weaves together a coherent and accessible narrative about labor struggles with a tour de force of labor songs that moves audiences. I encourage other unions to add Corey's talents and expertise to their agendas. and organizing.
All funds received by TSI are tax-deductible. Individual and institutional subscription orders can be placed online at: http://www.00 for shipping & handling.00 yearly with free online access*. For orders outside the continental U. Institutions: $350.S. # _______________ City:_________________________________________________ State/Provence: _________ Country:____________________ Postal Code: ____________________ Signature_________________________________ Date (MM/DD/YYYY) ____________ Transformative Studies Institute is a U.org/products-page/ Alternatively.00 for shipping & handling. 39-09 Berdan Avenue.: _______________________ Email: __________________________________________ Mailing Address if Different From Above: Street: _________________________________________________ Apt.S. Fair Lawn. NJ 07410 One Year Subscription: Individual Institutional Order Total: $US _________________ (Do not forget to add Shipping & Handling*) I am enclosing a check or money order made payable to: Transformative Studies Institute Please charge my credit card: Card Information: Card number _______________________________________________ Expiration date _______________ CVC Code (last 3 digits on the back of the card) ___________________ First Name: _______________________ MI____ Last Name: __________________________ Address Associated with Card: Street: __________________________________________________ Apt. add $100.S. registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Visa Mastercard American Express Discover .00 per year print with free online access*. Subscription rates ($USD) for the print version are: Individuals: $200. Orders. # _____________ City:_________________________________________________ State/Provence: _________ Country:____________________ Postal Code: ____________________ Tel. add $8. *For orders within the continental U. you may mail this form to: Transformative Studies Institute.SUBSCRIPTIONS (Print) ISSN 1937-0229 Theory in Action is published quarterly by the Transformative Studies Institute.transformativestudies.
org Email: journal@transformativestudies. NJ 07410 USA www.transformativestudies.Dear reader: If you wish to recommend this journal to your library fill out the information below and forward it to your institution’s librarian in charge of serials/orders or electronic resources specialist. Fair Lawn.org . Attn: Journal Selection/Electronic Resources Librarian Name/Title:__________________________________ Library:_____________________________________ College/University/Institution: __________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ Here is our library recommendation for the print journal: Theory in Action (Print ISSN 1937-0229) Recommended by: Name: _______________________________________________________________ Title: _________ Department: ______________________ Signature: _________________________ Date (MM/DD/YYYY): _____________ I plan to use this journal: as a publication outlet for articles as class handouts professional discussions for my own research for coursework assignments other _________________ Name: _______________________________________________________________ Title: _________ Department: ______________________ Signature: _________________________ Date (MM/DD/YYYY): _____________ I plan to use this journal: as a publication outlet for articles as class handouts professional discussions for my own research for coursework assignments other _________________ Theory in Action – the Journal of the Transformative Studies Institute 39-09 Berdan Avenue.
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