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Miseducation: Dalit and Beur Writers on the Antiromance of Pedagogy

Miseducation: Dalit and Beur Writers on the Antiromance of Pedagogy Toral Jatin Gajarawala Berlin of 1884 was effected through the sword and the bullet. But the night of the sword and the bullet was followed by the morning of the chalk and the blackboard. The physical violence of the battlefield was followed by the psychological violence of the classroom. --Ngugi wa Thiong'o Introduction Farida Belghoul's novel Georgette! (1986) spans a single traumatic day in the life of a Beur schoolgirl. Sushila Takbhore's story "Siliya" (1997) traverses the entire educational life of the protagonist from grade school to college and beyond. There are many such examples. The overarching dominance of the educational institution and its apparatus at large, to invoke Althusser's important construction, provides a crucial angle of engagement with the literature of marginality, preoccupied with education in the broadest sense and with the demonstration of an antiromance of pedagogy. This essay considers why the site of the school figures this prominently, this deliberately, in writing by Beurs (descendants of North African immigrants) and Dalits ("untouchable" caste), writing invested in the category of the marginal. As essential subsets of literatures characterized as "ethnic," "marginal," "minor," and so forth, these bodies of texts inevitably negotiate mainstream bureaucratic institutions; indeed, their http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Studies Penn State University Press

Miseducation: Dalit and Beur Writers on the Antiromance of Pedagogy

Comparative Literature Studies , Volume 47 (3) – Oct 16, 2010

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Penn State University Press
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Abstract

Toral Jatin Gajarawala Berlin of 1884 was effected through the sword and the bullet. But the night of the sword and the bullet was followed by the morning of the chalk and the blackboard. The physical violence of the battlefield was followed by the psychological violence of the classroom. --Ngugi wa Thiong'o Introduction Farida Belghoul's novel Georgette! (1986) spans a single traumatic day in the life of a Beur schoolgirl. Sushila Takbhore's story "Siliya" (1997) traverses the entire educational life of the protagonist from grade school to college and beyond. There are many such examples. The overarching dominance of the educational institution and its apparatus at large, to invoke Althusser's important construction, provides a crucial angle of engagement with the literature of marginality, preoccupied with education in the broadest sense and with the demonstration of an antiromance of pedagogy. This essay considers why the site of the school figures this prominently, this deliberately, in writing by Beurs (descendants of North African immigrants) and Dalits ("untouchable" caste), writing invested in the category of the marginal. As essential subsets of literatures characterized as "ethnic," "marginal," "minor," and so forth, these bodies of texts inevitably negotiate mainstream bureaucratic institutions; indeed, their

Journal

Comparative Literature StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Oct 16, 2010

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