Monday, 20 February 2012

Why I Love Teaching, part 94.

Last week, I walked out of this class because the vast majority hadn't read the novel. Today - though a few still didn't have a copy, the class was intellectually stimulating, virtually everyone had something to say, they took the theoretical ball and ran with it to interesting places - everything went swimmingly.

The core text was Geoffrey Trease's Bows Against The Barons, a 1930s Marxist take - for kids - on the Robin Hood story. It's quite a good adventure novel in its own right, but we talked about all sorts of aspects: whether the novel form itself cannot be leftwing, how much political commentary can a narrative bear before it generates reader resistance, potential audiences, whether all children's literature is propagandist, and how more modern texts communicate class anxiety. We ended up discussing TOWIE and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding as examples of disciplinary texts, i.e. work which mark out Others to make you aware of what you shouldn't be/do.

There's no adaptation of Bows Against The Barons, but here's a clip from the children's comedy Maid Marian and her Merry Men, spoofing amusing adventure game The Crystal Maze


Sam said...

I had a sneaky feeling today's seminar would warrant a mention, it was rather fun. I'm sad it's all coming to an abrupt end now; the 'Dark Place' will seem even more bleak when our little academic bubble bursts. Who knows, I may even miss Piers Plowman...but then again...

The Plashing Vole said...

I'm sad too. Every year I think that the departing lot will never be replaced in my affections, and every year I'm wrong. Your lot is particularly good though.