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Splitting Skulls

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16 posts
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Precisely Like a Hole in the Head 

Bart Huges trepanning himself, 1965. Photo Cor Jaring. Bringing you the latest old news of perforated interiors, we find this article from Cabinet magazine, Like a Hole in the Head. Excerpts: "Feilding wasn’t interested in performing the operation as an extreme form of body art, but because she believed it would have a life-changing effect …

Posted 14 months ago by

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The Space Between Heads 

  There is always this funny moment. I'm nodding along—yep, yep, we can't reduce culture to discourse; there's gesture, activity, materiality—when it dawns on me: oh right, they nevertheless still imagine that we are essentially heads with wavy arms. Culture: what happens between the heads...

Posted 60 months ago by

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Story Place 

"Story time," we call it, but it is just as much a place. We have places for our stories. Or is it stories for our places? But isn't this just another way of saying there is a time and a place for stories? And isn't this just another, polite, way of saying there are times …

Posted 78 months ago by

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The Big Toe 

Posted 79 months ago by

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Book Review: Urban Underworlds 

A review (by yours truly) of Thomas Heise's book, Urban Underworlds: A Geography of Twentieth-Century American Literature and Culture, has found its way to the online pages of the Teachers College Record. I begin with a cheap ploy: "Urban Underworlds is a haunted book." But as is fitting in tales of fallen spaces (which is …

Posted 80 months ago by

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The Death of Education 

The logical extension of my recent strategy of reviewing books I am still reading is to do so before I have even left the bookstore. In a way, then, it is only fitting that I am holding two books on death and burial. What could have more to do with beginnings and archives? And with …

Posted 86 months ago by

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Mediumism: The Art of Education 

As someone who takes the aesthetics of education seriously, I was pleased to be asked to respond to René Arcilla's new book, Mediumism. The Panel is this evening, and should prove interesting. In part because Arcilla confounds the line concerning aesthetics and education. If Art Education, at first glance, is simply about the teaching of …

Posted 88 months ago by

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Inheriting the Rubble – Eugenics and Behavior 

As a radical agnostic (sorry, can you repeat the question?) named "Christopher" (φέρω, pherō: to carry. You work it out....) I only have sympathy for those named "Eugene". Lord help them if it's meant specifically, these are our "good genes", or wishfully, here's to the utopian promise of good genes, or somehow both. Carriers and …

Posted 90 months ago by

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“There is no book…”  ☆

Reading Sacrifice: It's Nature and Function, leaves me wondering about all of our daily investitures. It concludes by pointing to the complex ways in which sacrificial rituals function within our personal and social spheres, even, and especially when they are abstracted. But why? Why sacrifice? Their answer is that the mediation of the sacrificial object …

Posted 91 months ago by

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Sacrifice and Education – Part II 

Yesterday's post on dangerous T-shirts, academic bloodletting, and sacrifice continues... I've jumped ahead in Sacrifice: Its Nature and Function, to the "function" part, which seems to me particularly provocative for thinking about education. Hubert and Mauss, after sketching out the general schema of sacrifice, point out that this can be combined in any number of …

Posted 91 months ago by

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Sacrifice and Education  ☆

I'm sitting in a coffee shop, across from a guy wearing a shirt that reads, "It's only funny til' someone gets hurt. Then it's freakin' hilarious!" The shirt itself is not, of course, particularly funny. (I gather this is because the shirt seems to fit fine and is not inadvertently choking him to death, which …

Posted 91 months ago by

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Monogamy in Education  ☆

Adam Phillips' book, Monogamy—anything but the paean that it's title might suggest—is a beautiful study in examining the workings behind the scene of our apparently simple beliefs. Perhaps not surprisingly the questions of monogamy, that is to say, of relationships and how they should go, overlap with questions of education. Children drop adults far more …

Posted 91 months ago by

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“And You will Play the Trouble Maker” 

I've been reading Eyal Weizman's excellent book Hollow Land recently, recommended to me by a colleague. It is a quite striking analysis of what Weizman calls "Israel's Architecture of Occupation," a fluid set of territorial and architectural strategies that effectively constitute a working, material, politics. Architecture as one of the many speeds and faces of …

Posted 91 months ago by

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Death and Life… 

I'd like to formally kick off a series of "book reviews of books I've only just begun to read." Recently I've been finding that the responses and questions I have at first blush are more interesting than those that I have after a book has worn me down a bit. So rather than "review" what …

Posted 92 months ago by

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“The Shakespeare Wars” and a Pound of Flesh 

I have to be careful here, since the name "Shakespeare" is, for whatever reasons, a loaded name in education. In the great culture wars surrounding media and literacy, "Shakespeare" seems to have become a kind of shorthand for all that may be lost of high culture. Let us not get into the irony here. What …

Posted 93 months ago by

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The Illiad or the Poem of Force 

Short and powerful, like her sentences, Simone Weil's essay cuts to the center of things. The true hero, the true subject matter, the center of the Illiad is force. The force that men wield, the force that subdues men, in the face of which human flesh shrinks back. The human soul seems ever conditioned by …

Posted 93 months ago by

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