Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

A Proposed Reading Project: Jacques Ranciere’s _The Ignorant Schoolmaster_

Posted by joespencer on December 20, 2009

Robert C. and I have decided it might be well worth our while to start up a discussion group on here that would read through Ranciere’s The Ignorant Schoolmaster together. Ranciere’s book recounts the story of Joseph Jacotot, a teacher during the workers’ movement in post-revolutionary France. Analyzing Jacotot’s experience, Ranciere is able to formulate a whole series of propositions about teaching, all of which seem to me to be immensely helpful for making sense of the teaching situation.

So, the proposal is to read through Ranciere’s book over the course, say, over five weeks or so (there are five chapters in the book). We would want to give everyone interested an opportunity to get a copy of the book (I believe there’s a free pdf version somewhere on the web) before starting.

So a series of questions:

(1) Who’s interested? (Feel free just to read the book and discussions, or even just the discussions. We’d love everyone interested to comment and participate, but no one ought to feel like they have to do so.)

(2) How soon do those interested want to start? (How long will it take to track down a copy of the book and get through the first chapter? Are there other things pressing for time that mean we ought to start a little later?)

(3) Who is willing to write a post for the discussion? (It would be nice if we could have five different people to write the five different posts, just to keep things open. A post would involve a brief summary of the chapter, some comments and questions to start discussion.)

(4) What else?

13 Responses to “A Proposed Reading Project: Jacques Ranciere’s _The Ignorant Schoolmaster_”

  1. joespencer said

    Wow! Great idea, Joe! I’m in!

  2. Ben said

    Count me in. Starting some time after new years would be best. I’d be willing to do a post, but only if smarter people aren’t available.

    The text can be downloaded here: http://www.mediafire.com/?mn3fjsyuond

  3. joespencer said

    Great, Ben. And thanks for posting the link.

  4. Julie M. Smith said

    Count me in. I’ll write a post if you want me to.

  5. Jacob B. said

    I’d like to participate as well. If you can’t find the requisite number of contributors, I’ll write a post. For my part, one week from Christmas is a good time to begin (reading the first chapter during that week).

  6. RobF said

    I’m in and can write a post.

  7. Karen said

    I love this book, and I’d love to read along with other people. I can start whenever, it’s all the same to me!

  8. J. Madson said

    radical egalitarian philosophy? im game

  9. Lisa B said

    I haven’t scholastically analyzed a book in a long time, so I would love to read along but am hesitant to post as I don’t know yet what to expect.

  10. joespencer said

    I’m glad to see such an enthusiastic response, and so quickly. Robert, I know you had some hangups about how soon you could start. I’ll let you decide an official starting date for discussions….

  11. Robert C. said

    Well, all of January’s going to be pretty crazy for me, so in some ways it won’t make that much difference to me.

    If we get the first post up two weeks from now, the first week in January, then that should give enough time to get books ordered, for those who want hard copies. And it might be a good way to start of the new year here at the Feast.

    But as far as leading the discussion for a chapter, I’d like to take either the 4th or 5th week, not one of the earlier weeks.

  12. joespencer said

    Let’s plan accordingly. I’ll work up a schedule of weeks and posters so as to get things rolling for the first week in January. In the meanwhile, get your copies, everyone!

  13. Karen said

    There is an interview posted online with Ranciere about some of his work, including some about the Ignorant Schoolmaster:


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