Who gets to play? This paper addresses the question by examining common forms of aesthetic experience enacted in everyday forms of classroom experience (as viewed through Jacques Rancière’s notion of ‘the politics of the aesthetic’). The purpose of this paper is to build on a view of emancipated learning by linking Ranciere’s notion of ‘intellectual emancipation’ to equally resonant arguments in the works of Ellsworth, Lather, & Bakhtin (among many others). Using movie & theatrical idioms, my story pivots not only on Ranciere’s pre-supposition of the ‘intellectual equality of anyone’, but also upon the view that ‘knowing is nothing - doing is everything’. These two points, brought together, suggest a performative theater that departs not only from traditional/progressive forms of pedagogy, but also from forms of critical pedagogy that would see themselves as the emancipatory solution to the former. Taking Ranciere’s The Ignorant Schoolmaster (literally), I highlight a notion of ‘affordances of equality’ that updates Jacotot’s practice of experimenting in ‘the gap between accreditation and act’. This experimental way of doing challenges the opposition - or rather plays in the gap - between theater and world, imitation and reality, an expert role and a talent imitable by anyone at all.
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Thesis advisor: de Castell, Suzanne
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