Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Teaching Carnival: Power & Everyday Life

So. The first couple of weeks of school have been a bit intense and weird, what with a brutal rape on campus and the strike and whatnot. But the picket line comes down today and everything on that end should get back to normal shortly. I really don't see how anyone could make the case that the uni doesn't effectively grind to a halt without its support staff - and it'll be great to have them back!

My Power & Everyday Life course is off to a good start, I think. Lots of people, over a dozen different disciplines, and they're engaged! Our first workshop was a way for students to get to know each other in small groups. Everyone chose the most important thing in their bag and explained to the others what it said about their personal attitudes and values. I saw lots of debit and credit cards, mobile phones (and quite a bit of concern about that being a bad thing), keys, sunglasses and even deodorant. All of this led quite nicely into discussing the assigned readings by Raymond Williams, Erving Goffman and Betty Friedan - and asking some questions about where, when and for whom is everyday life?

This week I'll be lecturing on the poetics and politics of everyday life, and the students will be discussing the revolutionary and creative potentials of subverting everyday life as well as conducting a quick-and-dirty postering campaign. I'll also get them going on their first assignment, inspired by Mass Observation. And if we're lucky, we'll have time to discuss the City of Ottawa's recent decision to put "We Support Our Troops" stickers on all municipal vehicles.

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