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ERIC Number: EJ836399
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3746
Bearing Witness to the Ethics and Politics of Suffering: J. M. Coetzee's "Disgrace," Inconsolable Mourning, and the Task of Educators
Zembylas, Michalinos
Studies in Philosophy and Education, v28 n3 p223-237 May 2009
How can educators and their students interrogate the ethics and politics of suffering in ways that do not create fixed and totalized narratives from the past? In responding to this question, this essay draws on J. M. Coeetze's "Disgrace," and discusses how this novel constitutes a crucial site for bearing witness to the suffering engendered by apartheid through inventing new forms of mourning and community. The anti-historicist stance of the novel is grounded on the notion that bearing witness to suffering without betraying it means refusing to represent it, that is, refusing to translate history and speak of it; instead, the novel's characters remain inconsolable before history. The essay builds on these ideas and considers whether educators and their students need to (re)learn the limits of historicism in comprehending conflict, oppression, otherness and suffering; also, it examines the educational implications of such a pedagogical task.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa