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Birthed from the Clinic

The Degenerate Medical Students of Edward Berdoe's St. Bernard's

Lorenzo Servitje

This article reveals how Edward Berdoe's St. Bernard's: The Romance of a Medical Student (1887) critiques the evolution of medical science at the fin de siècle. Berdoe deploys the discourse of degeneracy to challenge the culture of medical education that produces monstrous medical students. St. Bernard's reflects not only the ambiguity towards scientific materialism and knowledge, which entails learning how to prolong life by encountering death, but also critiques the foundations of late Victorian medical education by articulating how the middle class was complicit in the horrors that the novel would expose, ultimately suggesting that middle-class health was built on the bodies of the poor. The text's ethical imperative to reform the medical establishment, however, derives its rhetorical power from provoking anxieties of corrupting middle-class health with working-class and pauper bodies. This reveals the novel's problematic use of degeneracy, as St. Bernard's reinscribes some of the very tenets about class that it aims to critique.

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Culture, Identity, Difference

Developing a Museum-based Anthropology Education Resource forPre-university Students

Paul Basu and Simon Coleman

In its 2002-3 Strategic Review, the Royal Anthropological Institute reasserted the importance of the public communication of anthropology for the future of the discipline. Two significant venues for public engagement activity were identified: museums and pre-university education contexts. We present an account of the development and piloting of an anthropology teaching and learning resource that bridges these two arenas. Complementing efforts to introduce an anthropology A-Level, the Culture, Identity, Difference resource uses museum collections as a way of introducing anthropological perspectives on topics such as belief, ethnicity, gender and power to enhance students' studies across a range of different A-Level subjects. We reflect on some of the lessons learnt during the process, including the value of developing resources that can be used flexibly and creatively by teachers and students, and the need to approach the museum as a space of encounter, exploration and experimentation rather than as a didactic educational venue.

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Stephen Thornton

Information literacy, the concept most associated with inculcating the attributes necessary to behave in a strategic, thoughtful and ethical manner in the face of a superfluity of information, has been part of the information specialist scene for many years. As the United Kingdom’s QAA benchmark statements for Politics and International Relations highlight, many of the competences associated with this concept are vital in the honourable struggle to become a successful graduate of those disciplines. This article presents a longitudinal study of a survey used to expose the information literacy levels of two groups of first-year Politics/IR students at a British university and, using the logic of ‘most similar design’, make informed inferences about the level of students’ information literacy on coming into tertiary education.

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Gina Hunter and Nancy Abelmann

Welcome to this special issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. As guest editors, we are delighted to be able to share the experiences of the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI, www.eui.uiuc.edu), a multi-disciplinary course-based initiative that fosters student research on their own universities and is

housed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I). EUI is at once a pedagogical approach, a teaching community and a digital archive. EUI also works as a research agenda committed to student engagement with university practice and policy – and thus to institutional critique. In this editorial introduction, we provide an overview of EUI’s history, innovations, organisational structure and guiding values. We also introduce this issue’s authors – faculty members, an administrator and a former student – all of whom have taught with EUI and have documented here the ways in which taking the university as a research subject transformed their courses and teaching, and in some cases, their programmes and learning.

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Ellen Bal, Erella Grassiani, and Kate Kirk

This article is based on our own experiences and that of several of our colleagues teaching social and cultural anthropology in different Dutch institutions for higher learning. We focus in particular on teaching and learning in two small liberal arts and science (LAS) colleges, where anthropology makes up part of the social science curriculum and/or is part of the core curriculum. The data collected from our own critical reflections developed during informal discussion and from formal interviews with colleagues, together with literature on recent changes in academia, leads us to argue that neoliberal individualism, shaped by management tactics that constantly measure individual performance and output, is making academia an increasingly insecure place in which to work and study. The consequences of this insecurity include increasing mental health problems among both students and staff, intensifying competition at the expense of collegiality and collaboration and an overall decrease in the quality of academic jobs and teaching. Although the discipline of anthropology can help us better understand our own conditions, the personalisation of problems and the focus on success obscure the anthropological lens, which looks at social and cultural structures of power and depends on critical reflexivity.

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Doing Time in College

Student-Prisoner Reading Groups and the Object(s) of Literary Study

Ed Wiltse

Taking stock of ten years of a service learning project that brings together small groups of college students and prisoners in jailhouse classrooms to discuss literary representations of crime and punishment, this essay finds in project participants' reading journals some remarkable trends. Complex dynamics of authenticity and authority emerge in the groups' weekly meetings, as participants negotiate their own and their groups' identities and commitments with respect to each other and to the literary texts, in the absence of professors, corrections officers, or other guardians of discipline. These dynamics are investigated in light of participants' discussions of a range of works, before looking in greater detail at responses to Sherman Alexie's 1996 novel Indian Killer, which are found to complicate stable notions of pedagogical authority and the object(s) of literary study.

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Susanne Bregnbaek

This article is based on anthropological fieldwork undertaken at two elite universities in Beijing. It addresses the paradoxical situation of the many instances of suicide among Chinese elite university students in Beijing, which constitute a public secret. The pressure of education weighs heavily on the shoulders of China's only child in each family, known as the generation of little emperors and little empresses. Since the 1980s, the suzhi jiaoyu reforms (education for quality) have involved various attempts to reduce the pressure of education. However, simultaneously the aim is to increase the competitiveness of individuals. Drawing on existential and phenomenological thought, I suggest that the discourse seems to objectify and quantify a concern for well-being, rather than recognising its intersubjective character. Finally, I argue that the suicides are controversial since they are seen as a form of social criticism.

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From steward to leader

A decade of shifting roles for the PhD student

Corina Balaban

) Globalization and Its Impacts on the Quality of PhD Education: Forces and Forms in Doctoral Education Worldwide , Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Globalisation: changing context for the PhD student Over the last two decades, the production of doctoral degrees has

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"The Truth about the Mistake"

Perpetrator Witness and the Intergenerational Transmission of Guilt

Katharina von Kellenbach

Based on the archived correspondence between Artur Wilke, a convicted member of Sonderkommando 1005, and Hermann Schlingensiepen, a former professor of theology who acted as spiritual advisor to imprisoned Nazi perpetrators, this article examines the moral and political lessons that Nazi perpetrators communicated to their children. In a seventy-seven-page letter written to his son in 1966, Artur Wilke tried to preserve his paternal authority and moral integrity by denying personal wrongdoing. Instead, he portrayed himself as a victim of his teachers, of politicians, and of religious and legal authorities. He counseled his son to distrust the state and the law, and to submit only to divine authority. His political lessons and deep disillusionment with the German state resonated with the radical politics of the student rebellion of 1968.

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The Inner Conflict

How Palestinian Students in Israel React to the Dual Narrative Approach Concerning the Events of 1948

Neveen Eid

This article addresses the Dual Narrative Approach (DNA) as applied to a sample group of Palestinian students in Israel. This approach is implemented in the dual narrative textbook developed by the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (PRIME). The textbook was originally developed for history teaching in both the state of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority. The particular situation of Palestinians living in Israel raises an important question of the implementation of this approach in Palestinian-Israeli schools. This sample group is particularly interesting as within the State of Israel only the Jewish-Israeli historical narrative is officially taught in schools, even in the Arab-Palestinian schools. For many of the students tested in this study, this textbook was their first exposure to their own narrative. This article is an empirical study that uses the "mixed methods approach," investigating the students' reactions to the dual narrative textbook with specific regard to the narrative of the events of 1948, one of the most contentious periods for these two nations.