The Question of Impersonation
Edited by Jane Gallop
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 04/22/1995
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-20936-8
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In Pedagogy: The Question of Impersonation, authors argue that teaching is a performance that incorporates the personal in acts of "im-personation." After David Crane's prefatory "postscript," George Otte recommends that students pretend, writing from various perspectives; Indira Karamcheti suggests putting on race as one can put on gender roles. Cheryl Johnson gets personal by playing the "trickster," and Chris Amirault explores the relationship between the teacher and "the good student." While Karamcheti, Gallop, and Lynne Joyrich use theatrical vehicles to structure their essays, Joseph Litvak, Arthur W. Frank, and Naomi Scheman incorporate performance as examples. Madeleine R. Grumet theorizes pedagogy, while Roger I. Simon suggests that pedagogical roles can be taken on and off at will; Gregory Jay discusses the ethical side of impersonation; and Susan Miller denounces "the personal" as a sham.

Author Bio

JANE GALLOP, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, is author of The Daughter's Seduction, Reading Lacan, Thinking through the Body, and Around 1981.


“Interrogating “the personal” in teaching, this collection formulates a performative notion of the personal, what we might term im-personation. As one essay after another, while doing theory, nonetheless demonstrates a flair for storytelling, the book not only entertains the postmodern question of the performative in teaching, but dazzlingly performs the question, teaching us while it entertains.”

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Table of Contents

A Personal Postscript, an Impostured Preface; David Crane
Im-Personation: A Reading in the Guise of an Introduction; Jane Gallop
Discipline, Spectacle, and Melancholia in and around the Gay Studies Classroom; Joseph Litvak
Lecturing and Transference: The Undercover Work of Pedagogy; Arthur W. Frank
Scholae Personae: Masks for Meaning; Madeleine R. Grumet
Give Me a Girl at an Impressionable Age and She Is Mine for Life: Jean Brodie as Pedagogical Primer; Lynne Joyrich
The Good Teacher, The Good Student: Identifications of a Student Teacher; Chris Amirault
The Teacher's Breasts; Jane Gallop
Face to Face with Alterity: Postmodern Jewish Identity and the Eros of Pedagogy; Roger I. Simon
On Waking Up One Morning and Discovering We Are Them; Naomi Scheman
Taking Multiculturalism Personally: Ethnos and Ethos in the Classroom; Gregory Jay
Disinfecting Dialogues; Cheryl Johnson
Caliban in the Classroom; Indira Karamcheti
In-Voicing:Beyond the Voice Debate; George Otte
In Loco Parentis: Addressing (the) Class; Susan Miller