Review of Claudia W. Ruitenberg, Unlocking the World: Education in an Ethic of Hospitality
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Claudia Ruitenberg’s Unlocking the World: Education in an Ethic of Hospitality invites readers to see how the thought of Jacques Derrida might inform the work of teaching. Ruitenberg manages to unlock Derrida’s sometimes impenetrable ideas for newcomers while maintaining philosophical complexity for experienced readers of philosophy. She honors the intellectual richness of teaching and presents Derrida’s thought as an offering, not a prescription.
The book comprises six chapters that build to a compelling argument for the necessity of a new ethical framework in education. Ruitenberg offers a clear exposition of Derrida’s ethic of hospitality and the significance of a decentered subject. She then examines the roles of gender, culture, and language in enacting hospitality. Drawing on illustrative examples, Ruitenberg describes the enactment of hospitality in curriculum and pedagogy. She concludes with the relationship between individual acts of hospitality and political concepts such as...