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By William F. Pinar (auth.)

Assembles essays addressing the habitual query of the 'subject,' understood either as human individual and college topic, thereby elaborating the subjective and disciplinary personality of curriculum studies.

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While the latter phrase conveys the social character of subjectivity, I would remove the negative in the first in order to acknowledge the inextricably interwoven relations among ideology, sociality, and subjectivity. Because it is unable to acknowledge its complicity with the reality it discerns, ideology critique in education is split off from historical actuality, the historical moment in its specificity. Spinning their own wheels, the critics of ideology cannot resist the compulsion to reiterate reproduction.

Not everyone on the Left agrees that postmodernism (and its theoretical subsidiary, poststructuralism)11 is to blame; Dennis Carlson suggests: “To get beyond the current ‘stuck point’ in progressive cultural politics, I believe poststructural perspectives can be particularly useful” (2006, 110). If education is the reproduction of power, the resounding defeat of 1968 would seem to be to blame, not efforts to challenge hegemonic forms of representation. Is postmodernism a convenient and distracting scapegoat?

Early in his life, Gendzier suggests, Fanon concluded that he needed to understand himself as he was. Self-knowledge included grasping how the world looked at him: his interpellation. To change the world required understanding the world. Only through such understanding, Fanon realized, might he grasp the world’s absurdities as well as the possibilities of its transformation. To write could become a form of action, Fanon knew. In its subjective origins, writing is self-focused and reflexive, but in its social expression, writing becomes outward-reaching, engaging the world.

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