Insignificant Stories: The Burden of Feeling Unhinged and Uncanny in Detours of Teaching, Learning and Reading

David Lewkowich

Abstract


By setting foot back in the space of school, teachers stage a return that is necessarily uncanny, encountering a strangeness that is nonetheless known, intimate and familiar. Through positing the notion of a "burden of feeling," this article theorizes the psychoanalytic concept of the uncanny, as a way to think through the narrative difficulties inherent in interpreting the variously psychical, historical and sensual influences of our personal educational experiences. Since we are here dealing—as in literature—with the inescapable singularity of experience, I intersperse a number of my own memories of teaching and schooling throughout this article, in the hopes of productively framing our understanding of educational spaces—spaces of reading and interpretation always—as necessarily unhinged and uncanny. In this framing, I also argue for the importance of telling insignificant stories, and that rather than insinuating a method that looks to the obviously memorable and notable, I propose a practice of looking instead to the trivial and the typically forgotten. As a methodological practice, this article employs—in part—a multimodal strategy of strange juxtaposition, drawing attention to the spaces between words, and upsetting the framings of traditional narrative. The images that are interspersed throughout this piece suggest the pursual of a reading that lets itself stray, and that requests of the reader an imaginative and a collaborative interpretive practice.

Keywords: teaching; education and psychoanalysis; teacher identity; the uncanny; educational memories


Keywords


teaching; education and psychoanalysis; teacher identity; the uncanny; educational memories

Full Text:

HTML PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.