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ERIC Number: ED422573
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"Mass Dialogue" Turned Mass Requiem: A "Democratic" Discourse Reconsidered.
Fowler, Shelli B.
This paper tells the story of a pedagogy conference keynote event that is both specific and individual as well as emblematic of the difficulties that individuals face as academics and teachers. The paper explores the problematic relationship between power and responsibility, between privilege and accountability--issues that teachers are always wrestling with in their classrooms, in their scholarship, and in their daily lives. The paper's background is the 1997 "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, which a large and diverse group of academics, community activists, graduate and undergraduate student activists, and theater activists from across the nation attended. According to the paper, at one of the mass dialogue events the keynote speaker "lectured" the attendees about the usefulness of dialogue and about how to do a mass dialogue, while referring to the "keynote lecture format" as an academic "press conference," thereby agitating much of the 400-member audience. Afterward, the paper states, the speaker called on some people for questions and comments and ignored others, thus directing and controlling the dialogue--what was supposed to be a mass dialogue, an interactive, dialogic, and democratic event, turned into an anti-democratic, authoritarian exercise in containing, and ultimately silencing the angry voices of the diverse (and mainly marginalized) audience members. The paper suggests that all who consider themselves progressive educators can learn from this story; academics should be self-reflexive to continually engage in the critical analysis of personal inconsistencies and to change personal actions. (NKA)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A