Narrative and performative acts in cultural education: the teaching of writing as critical communication
CHAN Ching-kiu Stephen and LAW Yuen-fun Muriel
ABSTRACT Grounded in the interdisciplinary educational work of Cultural Studies, this paper examines the pedagogical potentials of narrative and performance for the teaching of writing as a mode of public discourse. Guided to address a wide readership, students engage in critical communication aimed at linking self inquiry and narrative discourse to the contextual analysis of the social. Drawing on research findings derived from the undergraduate teaching of cultural criticism as a genre of public writing at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, we look at how educational drama mediates the work of narrative and performative acts involving the young learner-writers and contributes to the shaping of a dialogic mode of address and communication, thus articulating the process and impact of writing to the public-oriented discourse in Cultural Studies education. In light of such acts in critical discourse and imagination targeted at the potential reader, we show how the young writers’ own engagement with critical thinking and communication are opened up by drama-in-education adopted in the class, and argue how, in this sense, both writing and its learning process become effective stages in the making of the kind of cultural criticism we want to help students to learn.
Keywords: Cultural Studies, educational drama, self inquiry and narrative acts, participatory performance as critical communication, the pedagogy of cultural criticism as a mode of writing
CHAN Ching-kiu Stephenis Professor of Cultural Studies and Academic Dean of Arts at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Published on Hong Kong culture, film, literature, education and cultural studies, Chan coordinates projects on cultural pedagogy and policy, schooling as cultural process, urban creativity and cultural citizenship under the Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme. His current research projects involve studies in cultural policy and creativity.
LAW Yuen-fun Murielobtained her PhD in Cultural Studies at Lingnan Universitywith a thesis entitled, “Drama as Method: Recontextualizing Project Learning for Hong Kong Secondary Schools.” Being a drama educator and a long-time school teacher, Law’s research interests lie in areas where cultural studies, education and drama intersect in the contemporary social world.