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Shakespeare, Alienation, and the Working-Class Student

  • Doug Eskew
Chapter

Abstract

Much scholarship focused on teaching at working-class universities assumes that professors should not “alienate” their students. As much as it would seem unethical for professors to seek to alienate working-class students, a pedagogy of alienation is precisely what this essay encourages. Drawing on the work of Walter Kaufmann, this essay suggests that the best humanist pedagogies strive to create a culture shock in which students must reappraise their own ways of thinking face-to-face with a challenging other. Despite how counterintuitive it may seem, professors who strive to reduce alienation unwittingly reduce the quality of their students’ education. If elite institutions provide a better education through a selective alienation of students to the objects of their studies, it is unethical to teach working-class students from a watered-down form of pedagogy simply because the educator believes they cannot cope with unadulterated form of teaching.

Keywords

Alienation Walter kaufmann Pedagogy Working-class students Marxism Shakespeare 

Notes

Acknowledgements

For assistance in the writing of the essay, the author would like to thank Don Geiss, Rodney Herring, and the editors of this collection.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doug Eskew
    • 1
  1. 1.Colorado State UniversityPuebloUSA

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