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Popular film and English as a second language : toward a critical feminist pedagogy of identity and desire Mackie, Ardiss Emilie 2005

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POPULAR F I L M A N D ENGLISH AS A SECOND L A N G U A G E : TOWARD A CRITICAL FEMINIST P E D A G O G Y OF IDENTITY A N D DESIRE , by ARDISS E M U J E M A C K J E B.Ed., Concordia University, 1983 M.A. , University of British Columbia, 1994 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in ^ THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Language and Literacy Education • \ THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A February 2005 ©Ardiss Mackie 2005 A B S T R A C T M y identity as a white woman ESL teacher has been structured partly through movies I saw in my youth. More recently in the late 1990s, a film with ESL, The King and I (1956), was on Japanese television two years in a row while I was teaching there. I found that very interesting and began asking questions regarding the influences that popular film may have on real ESL teachers and students. The study questions how films contribute to ESL in terms of teacher and student identities and desires. To explore this question, I collected three forms of data: 24 films with ESL; post-secondary ESL teacher and student responses to watching two films with ESL; and memories of films from my youth. A framework of critical and feminist pedagogy, including work in identity and ESL, and postcolonial, cultural, and feminist studies informed the analysis. I analyzed the data in relation to discourses of desire and the body as a socially constructed site of racial and gender identification. From the film data, I made the case that particular tropes, initiations, and signs construct reel ESL, such as white female teachers as upholders of particular colonial identities. From the teacher and student data, I found that readers engage with cinematic meanings in a space of liminality, that is, not quite in the movie but not quite in themselves. Readers by-pass their race, gender, age, and occupation to access the cinematic body as politically engaged and disrupting the status quo. From the memory data, I argued that through the seemingly innocent practice of watching movies, a world of racialized and gendered desire was settling in and making itself comfortable. The study is positioned in a critical feminist pedagogy of multiliteracies. Here, diverse sites of meaning-making strengthen and disrupt the desires and identities of ESL. i i T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i List of Cinematic Images vii List of Tables ix Acknowledgements x Dedication xi Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION . 1 1.1 Identity and ESL 2 1.2 Desire and Education 4 1.3 Useful Terms from Cultural Studies 8 1.4 Mapping the Study 11 1.4.1 Significance 11 1.4.2 Assumptions 15 1.4.3 Purpose and Research Questions 17 1.4.4 Thesis Organization 18 Chapter 2 LITERATURE REVIEW: THREE STRANDS OF CRITICAL W O R K WITH F I L M A N D EDUCATION 20 2.1 Introduction 21 2.2 Critical Thinking 24 2.2.1 Bodnar's Stand and Deliver (1988) 26 2.2.2 Review of Critical Thinking Studies 30 2.3 Emancipatory Modernism 37 2.3.1 Dal ton' s Stand and Deliver 39 2.3.2 Ayer' s Stand and Deliver 41 2.3.3 Farber and Holm's Stand and Deliver 42 2.3.4 Review of Emancipatory Modernist Studies . . . . 43 2.4 Problematizing Practices 54 2.4.1 Robertson's Stand and Deliver 56 2.4.2 F. Butler's Stand and Deliver 59 2.4.3 Review of Problematizing Practices 61 2.5 Summary 74 Chapter 3 METHODS OF INQUIRY 79 3.1 Memory Data 80 3.2 Cinematic Data 83 3.2.1 Film Selection 83 i i i 3.2.2 Methodology 85 3.3 Data from Teachers and Students 87 3.3.1 Research Setting 87 3.3.2 Subjects : 89 3.3.3 Film Selection 90 3.3.4 Data Collection 92 3.3.5 Data Analysis 94 • Chapter 4 C U L T U R A L M E M O R Y , F I L M , A N D DESIRE 97 4.1 Introduction 98 4.2 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) 99 4.3 The Sound of Music (1965) 103 4.4 Hamm Scarum (1965) 106 4.5 Billy Jack (1971) 108 4.6 Summary and Comments 112 Chapter 5 CINEMATIC METAPHORS FOR ESL: DISCURSIVE ELEMENTS 116 5.1 Introduction 117 5.2 Metaphors and Tropes for ESL 119 5.2.1 The Worlding of English 119 5.2.2 Freedom 123 5.2.3 Heroic Duty 126 5.2.4 Romantic Desire 128 5.3 Cinematic ESL Curriculum 132 5.3.1 Curriculum Settings 132 5.3.2 Curriculum Content 139 5.4 Summary 155 Chapter 6 POSTCOLONIAL DISCOURSES A N D CINEMATIC ESL IDENTITIES 157 6.1 Introduction 158 6.2 Representations of ESL Students 158 6.2.1 Rituals and Initiations 158 6.2.2 Coming of Age 163 6.2.3 Resistance 166 6.3 Representations of ESL Teachers 173 6.3.1 Backgrounds 173 6.3.2 Desires to Teach 174 6.3.3 Teachers as Spectacles 176 6.3.4 Teachers and Gender 178 iv 6.4 Summary and Comments 181 Chapter 7 SEMIOLOGY A N D CINEMATIC LITERACY: CLOSE READINGS OF OUT OF AFRICA A N D THE JUNGLE BOOK 183 7.1 Introduction 184 7.2 Out of Africa (1985) 185 7.2.1 Signs and the Construction of Race and Gender . . 186 7.2.2 The Contest Over Teaching English 190 7.2.3 Colonial Failure and Reading Contexts 193 7.2.4 A Critical Thinking Reading of Out of Africa . . . . 194 7.3 The Jungle Book (1994) 197 7.3.1 Producing Raced Male Identities 198 7.3.2 Producing Raced Female Identities 202 7.3.3 Cinematic Hybridization 207 7.4 Summary and Comments 211 Chapter 8 TEACHER DISCOURSES OF F I L M A N D TEACHING . . . 212 8.1 Introduction 213 8.2 Classroom Uses of Film 213 8.3 Corporeality and Difference 215 8.3.1 Visuality and Learners' Bodies 215 8.3.2 Films and Teachers' Bodies 217 8.3.3 Producing Difference 219 8.4 Cautionary Notes and Critical Perspectives 224 8.5 To Sir With Love (1967) 228 8.5.1 Hybrid Identification 229 8.5.2 Corporeal Identification 233 8.6 The Jungle Book(l994) T 235 8.6.1 Mowgli 'sBody 235 8.6.2 Mowgli's Clothing 238 8.7 Iron and Silk (1990) 242 8.7.1 Discourses of Restraint/Freedom 243 8.7.2 Realism 244 8.9 Summary 247 Chapter 9 STUDENT DISCOURSES OF F I L M A N D L E A R N I N G . . . . 249 9.1 Introduction 250 9.2 Learning and Film 250 9.2.1 Access to Popular Films 250 9.2.2 Learning English , 252 9.2.3 Learning Culture 253 v 9.2.4 Alternative Language Learning 255 , 9.3 Change and Film 257 9.3.1 Physical and Emotional Changes 257 9.3.2 Change and Desire 262 9.3.3 Change and Fantasy 266 9.4 Critical Engagement 268 9.4.1 Yeung-Sook 270 9.4.2 Mahvash 272 9.4.3 Ji-Yong 276 9.5 Summary 279 Chapter 10 POSTSTRUCTURAL PEDAGOGY: FILM AS PRAXIS. . . . 282 10.1 Introduction 283 10.2 Disruptions in ESL Teaching: Pearl Harbor (2001)... 284 10.3 Critical Teacher Education: "Women and Imperialism" 290 10.4 Summary 295 Chapter 11 CONCLUSION 297 11.1 Summary of Main Arguments 298 11.2 Future Work 302 References 305 Appendix A General Consent Form 332 Appendix B Consent Form for Questionnaire 336 Appendix C Consent Form for Film Viewing and Discussion 339 Appendix D Questionnaire for Students 342 Appendix E Discussion and Interview Questions for ESL Students 348 Appendix F Questionnaire for Teachers 349 vi J L I S T O F C I N E M A T I C I M A G E S 2.1 Edward Almos as "Jaime Escalante" and Lou Diamond Philips as "Angel Guzman" in Stand and Deliver, 1988 27 2.2 Zaide Guiterezza as "Rosa" in El Norte, 1984 34 2.3 Michelle Pfeiffer as "LouAnne Johnson" in Dangerous Minds, 1995 . . 47 2.4 Mia Kirschner as "Christina" in Exotica, 1994 52 2.5 Morgan Freeman as "Joe Clark" in Lean on Me, 1989 69 4.1 Gregory Peck as "Atticus" and Brock Peters as "Tom" in To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962 101 4.2 Delores Taylor as "Jean" and Tom Laughlin as "Bil ly Jack" in Billy Jack, 1971 I l l 5.1 Robert Donat as "The Mandarin of Yang Ching", Curt Jurgens as "Colonel Lin" , and Ingrid Bergman as "Gladys Aylward" in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 1958 121 5.2 Ingrid Bergman as "Gladys Aylward" saves 100 Chinese orphans in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 1958 127 5.3 Deborah Kerr as "Anna Leonowens" and Yul Brynner as "King Mongkut, of Siam" in The King and I, (1956) 130 5.4 Sydney Poitier as "Horace Smith" and Lilia Skala as "Mother Superior Maria" in Lilies of the Field, 1963 142 5.5 Brad Pitt as "Heinrich Harrier" in Seven Years in Tibet, 1997 145 i 5.6 Peter O'Toole as "Mister Johnston", Tao Wu as the 15 year old "Emperor Pu-Yi", and Joan Chen as "Empress Wan Jung" in The Last Emperor, 1987 151 5.7 Jason Scott Lee as "Mowgli" in The Jungle Book, 1994 152 6.1 Clayton Julian as "Pita/Abraham" and Michelle St. John as "Komi/Amelia" in Where the Spirit Lives, 1989 . 167 6.2 Julie Christie as "Miss Mary" in Miss Mary, 1986 17 vii 6.3 Eddie Whaley Jr. as "Joseph Anthony" and Sabu as the "Young General" in Black Narcissus, 1947 180 7.1 Meryl Streep as "Karen Blixen" in Out of Africa, 1985 191 8.1 Sidney Poitier as "Sir" in To Sir, With Love, 1964 232 8.2 Jason Scott Lee as "Mowgli" in The Jungle Book, 1994 237 9.1 Cary Elwes as "Captain Boone" in The Jungle Book, 1994 265 9.2 Mark Salzman as "Mark Franklin" in Iron and Silk, 1990 273 viii L I S T O F T A B L E S Table 2.1 Summary of Student, Teacher, and Film Positions 75 Table 2.2 Who Speaks for Whom and How in Studies of Film and Education . . 76 Table 3.1 Alphabetical List of Popular Films with ESL 81 ix A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S I am indebted to my wonderful dissertation committee. To Bonny Norton, my research supervisor, for her insistence on voice, her detailed readings and invaluable comments on dissertation drafts, for sharing her insider's knowledge about the academic world, and her time whenever and wherever I needed it. To Stephen Carey for his insightful reading of and comments concerning Out of Africa. To Carl Leggo, whose poetics have inspired me, for helping me see the doctoral process in completely different ways, and for his support in publishing poetry. I gratefully acknowledge a research grant given to me by Bonny Norton from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This was offered following two sequential unpaid leaves from work (a study leave and a maternity leave). I am also grateful for the Joseph Katz Memorial Scholarship from the University of British Columbia during my final year of writing. I also recognize generous support of the Professional Development Committee, Okanagan University-College. I would also like to acknowledge my dear friends Janet Baron, Randall Gess, Phillip Markley, and Brian Paltridge for their discussions, advice, and words of encouragement; Jack Forbes for always providing the tools and spaces for writing; the students and teachers for offering me entrance to their ideas and practices; Rick Goulden, Quentin Hughson, and Bill Thurston for their detailed readings of previous versions of Chapters 5 and 6; Brian Rhodes for his audio-visual support; staff at Extension Library, University of British Columbia for their invaluable assistance in sending materials; and Suresh Canagarajah, Ryuko Kubota, Bonny Norton and Alastair Pennycook for opening English language education and applied linguistics to much needed debates. Thank you all. x D E D I C A T I O N For my son John, who came along unexpectedly in the second year of doctoral work and who has given me an understanding of language learning, loving, and becoming that I would otherwise have never known. xi Chapter 1 I N T R O D U C T I O N : What were the games of truth by which human beings came to see themselves as desiring individuals? (Foucault, 1978, p. 7) It is in the social world that we learn what is desirable, which desires are appropriate for which kinds of people, and which desires are forbidden. (Cameron & Kulick, 2003, p. 131) Whatever else we do, we should be attractive and desirable to men, and, ideally, our sexuality should be given to one man and our emotional energy directed at him and the children of the marriage. This message comes to us from a wide range of sources, for instance, children's books, women's magazines, religions, the advertising industry, romance, television, the cinema . . . (Weedon, 1987, p. 3) i 1 I love going to the movies and have since I was a child. My identity as a white r women ESL teacher has been structured in part through cinematic discourses of race, gender and pedagogical relationships, particularly those in Hollywood and independent films I saw as I was growing up. More recently in the late 1990s, I watched The King and I (1956) with Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner on Japanese public television two years in a row while I was teaching there. My desire to know why a story about a white ESL teacher and an Asian king in 1870s Siam would interest a Japanese audience compelled me to pursue research with popular films with ESL. < In this chapter, I first outline identity work that foregrounds the present study. Following that, I summarize the meanings of desire in education as they relate to this inquiry. The third section introduces two terms from cultural studies that are used throughout the document. In the final section, I map out the study, suggesting its significance and assumptions, and outline the research questions and organization. 1.1 Identity and ESL Social categories of identification such as sexuality, race, and gender were introduced to ESL over a decade ago with Nelson's (1993) article that raised questions concerning gay professional identity. Since then, there has been much work on ESL and identity, summarized by Norton (in press), who first argued for a social understanding of identity and investment and their links to language learning (Norton Peirce, 1995). Just two years after Nelson's article, a special issue of the TESOL Quarterly on identity and language learning edited by Norton (1997) was published. Included here was a ground-breaking article concerning race and non/native teacher identity by Amin (1997). On the heels of this volume was another TESOL Quarterly special issue on critical pedagogies 2 edited by Pennycook (1999). It also took up questions of identity, including Nelson's (1999) work with sexuality in the ESL classroom. The question of race, non/nativeness, and identity in ESL continued to be debated by Amin (2001) and Butler (2001). Meanwhile Kubota (1999a, 1999b, 2001, 2002) was making the case for the discursive constructions of race and racism in TESOL, while I argued for the importance of reflexivity in white teachers' racial experiences in order to locate third spaces between self/other positions (Mackie, 2003). More recently, Norton and Toohey's (2004) edited volume on critical language learning pedagogies features a number of studies on identity. Kubota (2004) argues against the politics of colour-blindness stemming from liberal multiculturalism in TESOL and for more advocacy by white/center teachers for periphery students. Another argument regarding center/periphery locations is suggested by Canagarajah (2004). He advocates the notion of classroom "safe houses that help students keep alive suppressed identities and discourses" (p. 132) in order to support multivocal literacies. Similarly, Stein's (2004) study of South African school children argues for multimodal resources such as photography, doll-making, and oral story telling to engage and foster the multiplicity of languages, literacies-, and identities in a complex setting. Regarding popular culture and identity, Norton's (2000) work with immigrant women in Canada points out the importance of popular cultural knowledge in gaining access to workplace communication. "Eva" , a participant in the study, does not know Bart Simpson (a popular character in an animated American sit-com), and is thus "positioned as someone strange" (p. 130). Eva is silenced through lack of cultural knowledge which positions Eva's interlocutor, her co-worker Gail, as the knower and 3 therefore more powerful than Eva (p. 130). In other work, Norton's (2001) study of teen magazines questions whether poststructural feminism's notion of multiple subjectivities for women has really taken hold outside academia where teenage girls struggle with contradictory notions of identity. In their work with ESL school children and Archie comics, Norton and Vanderheyden (2004) found that comics are both a resource for multimodal reading practices as well as for popular cultural knowledge. This knowledge in turn leads to increased conversation with English first language students and other ESL students. Norton and Vanderheyden (2004) and Duff (2001) urge educators to adopt popular cultural texts as legitimate school material. Concerning popular culture and racial identity, Dolby (2001) and Ibrahim's (1999) studies illustrate how black African students in South Africa and Canada respectively construct black identity through popular cultural texts such as hip-hop, sports and associated superstars. In work with popular films, I have drawn on cinematic representations of ESL teachers to question racial discourses of whiteness (1998, 2003). An implicit comment of the studies in popular culture is that neglecting it as a legitimate resource for identity, desire, and language learning and teaching severely limits theories and practices, and undermines participants' knowledge of the popular. 1.2 Desire and Education I have used the word desire in the above section on identity. But what is desire and where does it come into play in education? The introductory quotes to the chapter underscore the social structuring of desire, "the games of truth" Foucault (1978) questions. The locations of the desirable and desire's boundaries are found in the social world as Cameron and Kulick (2003) note, and more specifically, for heterosexual 4 women, in cultural texts such as children's books, advertisements, cinema and others that Weedon (1987) points to. We learn about desire through popular culture, and it is intimately connected to questions of identity. Indeed, as Dolby (2001), hooks (1996), Ibrahim (1999), Kelly, (1997), Norton (1997, 2000), Norton and Vanderheyden (2004), and Pennycook (1998, 2001, 2004) point out, popular culture may impact more on desire, identity and language learning and teaching than resources and theories in formal schooling. Desire is often associated with lust and while this meaning is helpful to the present study, a broader framework will support the data. In Harper's (1997a) study of multi-racial adolescent girls responding to feminist avant-garde writing, desire is defined as "who one wishes to have" (p. 142) while identification is "who one wishes to be" (p. 142). The alternative texts she offered the six girls threatened their heterosexuality, leading to a desire to construct themselves as young heterosexual women (1998, p. 224) and as seemingly unaffected by gender, race, and class (p. 223, p. 225). However, in Rockhill's study (1987) of adult women learning literacy, desire and identification are not this easily separated. Women in Rockhill's study desired, through education, a better job and a better life. They wanted to move from the working class to the middle class (pp. 344-347). Their desire "to be" middle class women was strongly linked to their desire "to have" a better job. In another study of women returning to school in adult basic education courses, Luttrell (1996) found that what the women desired through their education was to be better mothers, believing that they, as individuals, were the key to their children's successful education (pp. 354-355). Here a literate gendered identity and its effect on children were at the heart of their desire. In 5 Robertson's (1997) study of white female preservice teachers responding to popular films about teachers, she distinguishes between "desire" and "wish." Desire is larger, more insistent than wish; desire is "excitement", "ardor", and "fire" while "wishes are desires gone calm" (p. 76). Robertson's erotic desire compares with Christian-Smith's (1993) study of adolescent and young teenaged females reading romance fiction. Here desire is represented as the romance in the novels that the girls enjoy. Another term for desire, eros, is taken up by hooks (1994) and Simon (1995). hooks argues that eros is a neglected and denied component in teaching and educational studies and that it must be understood beyond its sexual meaning to include the unique passion professors have to unite theory and practice (p. 115) and the love and care hooks herself extends to students (p. 117). Simon agrees that the eros structuring professor/student relationships is under-theorized (p. 91) and unique (pp. 94-95) although his concern is specifically with doctoral students. Simon structures the desires professors have for doctoral students into four categories. These are an act of love in exciting the desire to learn in others, the desire to have an object of love (a mirror of himself), the desire for an intellectual partner, and fourth, the desire for a partner in solidarity with him in political or cultural communities (pp. 96-97). Student eros for teachers is structured as a source of various pleasures professors may excite. Desired professors include those that: confer students with academic credibility; teach the conditions that make learning possible; make students feel at home intellectually and emotionally; and represent in intellectual work the joy and possibility of learning (pp. 99-100). 6 Dyson's (1994) work takes yet another turn in desire with his focus on the body of Michael Jordan, a famous black American basketball player. Dyson suggests that Jordan's body is the object of black desires for athletic excellence and economic wealth yet also for countering the commodification of the black body (p. 123). Kelly's text (1997) builds on Christian-Smith's (1993) three arenas of desire — psychological, discursive, and material (pp. 3-4) — by adding schooled as another dimension (Kelly, 1997, p. 21). However, "schooled" does not necessarily mean at school but rather the disciplining of desire through social institutions and texts. Desire here comes to mean pleasure. In these educational studies, desire has layered meanings that include wish, ardor, romance, eros, and pleasure articulated through education, student and teacher relationships, and the physical body as symbolic. In applied linguistics, Cameron and Kulick (2003) agree that desire does concern the erotic (p. 106), the "ardor" and "fire" that Robertson suggests and that hooks (1994) and Simon (1995) do not reject. However, in their study of language and desire, Cameron and Kulick (2003) also include fantasy, fear, repression, and the unconscious (p. 106), terms that appear to contradict each other. Importantly, desire as constructed and disciplined must be understood as both what is articulated and what is silenced. In the present study, desire is meant as both revealed and silenced fantasy, hope, resistance, and eros. In a general sense, however, the study takes the position, as Cameron and Kulick do, that the most productive way to study desire is to view it in the same way as Foucault's notion of power. Central to Foucault's work (1972, 1978, 1986, 1999) and to the present study is the notion that power is not: 7 divided between accepted discourse and excluded discourse, or between the dominant discourse and the dominated one but as a multiplicity of discursive elements that can come into play in various strategies. (Foucault, 1978, p. 100) In relation to desire, Cameron and Kulick (2003) argue that a study in desire will also necessarily study the relationships of power that subvert, restrain, or express that desire (p. 113). In other words, any relationship, for instance the relationship between teacher and student, between a theorist's critical eye and her pleasure, or between a teacher and a film, is a relationship of power. Focusing on various forms of desire as they intersect and interrupt reel and real identities will enable the study to undermine the essentialized viewer as an E S L teacher or an E S L immigrant to Canada. 1.3 Useful Terms from Cultural Studies In this section I would like to discuss two terms borrowed from cultural studies that I have found useful in exploring popular film and alternative identities to self/other binaries. (See Pennycook, 1998 for a discussion of the postcolonial discourses of self/other.) The terms are panopticon and liminality. The term panopticon was introduced by Foucault (1972, 1999) when he noted that the architectural plans by Jeremy Bentham for 19 th Century hospitals and prisons were panopticons (1972, pp. 146-147). A panoptical building had "a central observation-point which served as the focus of the exercise of power and, simultaneously, for the registration of knowledge" (p. 148). In such designs, the individual patient or prisoner had no visual access to other patients or prisoners because each one was in a room (defined by walls or curtains) or cell. However, each patient or prisoner could be seen by a central observation room or tower. Surveillance was a one-way activity, and also an exercise in power/knowledge. 8 But interestingly, "power [was] no longer substantially identified with an individual who possesses or exercises it by right of birth; it [became] a machinery that no one owns" (p. 156). ESL studies have taken up the panopticon to problematize ESL discourses. Pennycook (1994) suggests that both English and its disciplines of linguistics and applied linguistics were central powerhouses of colonialism (pp. 97-98) while Morgan (2004) identifies the spatial arrangement of classrooms as a panopticon that disciplines learning (p. 162, p. 174). The panopticon as a mechanism for structuring social power has also been taken up by McClintock (1995) in her study of colonial artifacts. She suggests that cultural texts such as photography and advertisements made available panoptical time to British citizens during 19 th century colonialism (pp. 32-39, pp. 122-123). Like the central observation room, photographs became texts for the surveillance and spectacle making of colonized people through exhibits, museums, and travelling shows. The white British viewer was permitted a one-way gaze of the unmoving (unchanging) silenced (voiceless) viewed. Other scholars have also extended the meaning of the panopticon. For example, Chow (1996) furthers the panopticon metaphor in applying it to liberal notions of "ethnicity" and the "ethnic" film, The Joy Luck Club (1993). She suggests that invitations to "ethnic minorities" to recite their ethnicities and lineages are a panoptical interrogation process, disciplining gazing relations (pp. 208-213). Adding another notion of the panopticon, I want to suggest that popular film as a global text is in a panoptical power relationship with viewers. But what do I mean by panoptical power relationship! Power does not abide solely in the film-as-text. There is rather a libration between the film and its viewers who are multiply located. Thus, 9 even the film itself does not and cannot offer a single unified and stable meaning despite its realization. The global availability of cinematic spectacles of western culture, primarily white English speaking America, provides a return gaze for ESL student viewers located globally. The ESL viewer watches a spectacle of the west, and is fascinated, repelled, desirous, or resistant (among other responses) to the images. The spectacle, like the spectacle of colonized people, is powerful. "They" are watching "us." Cinematic gazing here works in radically different ways from anti-orientalist writing concerning white colonialists and their one-way gaze at colonized people. Importantly, in a study of responses from both viewers of multiple races and ethnicities in the globalized early 21st century, the power in gazing takes on more forms than colonizing subject/colonized object. If non-western ESL students are not the uncritical passive students they are sometimes interpellated as (see Kubota, 1999a, 1999b, 2001, 2002; Susser, 1998; Chapter 9, this study for deconstructions of this ESL identity), then what are they making of white people through the spectacle of cinematic images? Chow's (1995) question is relevant here: "How do we deal with the fact that non-westerners also gaze, are voyeurs and spectators?" (p. 13). The question turns the postcolonial gaze of white westerners at racial others around. But this is not a straight reversal of the gaze. Rather, ESL spectators take from the cinematic spectacle that which is already theirs (their difference), and in the process redefine who they are. Here is where the second term is useful. The second and related term is liminality, introduced by the cultural anthropologist, Victor Turner (1974). A limen is a threshold and liminality refers to a transition period experienced by people in change, for example, children moving 10 through puberty toward adulthood, or people living in another culture. Liminality is "betwixt and between all fixed points of classification" (p. 232), and thus marginalized people can experience liminality. Artists and cultural theorists have borrowed from Turner's liminality. In particular, Bhabha (1994) draws on the black American artist Renee Green's use of the museum architecture in which one of her exhibitions was held. She used spaces such as the attic and boiler room to make statements regarding black and white people and the stairwell as the liminal space between them (Bhabha, pp. 3-4). Bhabha takes up liminality to argue for a new cultural subject articulated "at the liminal edge of identity" (p. 179). This liminal space or threshold, what Bhabha (1990) calls the "third space", displaces the postcolonial self/other relationship and sets up new relationships of authority, meaning, and representation (pp. 209-211). Liminality offers language and literacy education a "vital third mode of understanding" (Popkewitz & Brennan, 1998, p. 6) in the dichotomous couplings of teacher/student, white/other, man/women, and viewer/viewed. Bhabha's (1994) notion of liminal identities (and also hybrid identities discussed in Chapter 9) and a transglobal notion of the panopticon for E S L critical literacies refuse the self/other positions of postcolonial discourses where identities are fixed and gazing relations are one-way. Throughout the document, I refer to panoptical relationships and liminal identities. 1.4 Mapping the Study 1.4.1 Significance That a social text like popular film is read globally is of immense importance to a theory and practice of poststructural literacy both because of its placement in E S L curriculum and because of its worlding (Spivak, 1985), a term I discuss in Chapter 5. 11 With increased access to television, videos, and DVDs, watching films has become a powerful and popular way of experiencing the world. Said (1993) suggests that for European readers of Conrad's The Heart of Darkness, the novel was "as close as they came to Africa, and in that limited sense it was part of the European effort to hold on to, think about, plan for Africa" (p. 68). I argue that popular film has an even greater geopolitical impact on viewers than Said's estimation of Conrad's novel. Film images become part of a visual experience of the world while at the same time we may be critical of the film's language, that is, its characterization, script, mood, editing, and meaning, as well as its politics. The separation between, on one hand, the events of life, and on the other hand, film images and stories is more an exchange than a well-defined border. Certainly, as Chow (1995) argues, being a reader means reading the visual as well as the written world. A case in point is the often-heard response to watching on T V the unforgettable picture of two planes crashing into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001: "It looked like a movie," or "I thought it was a movie." Here the T V image of 9-11 may have sparked previous movie images and stories held in memory. Examples of these include the burning and collapsing sky scraper in The Towering Inferno (1974), the terrorist takeover and destruction of a 40-story building in Die Hard (1988), or the take-over of the U.S. President's plane by terrorists in Air Force One (1997). Whatever the viewer's response to the movies, the reel image is drawn upon and interacts with the real (televised) image of planes bursting into flames and the towers collapsing. If the viewer's response to the movie was, "It was just a movie. That couldn't happen in reality," or "That was cool!", then seeing the T V images of 9-11 creates incredulity, 12 confusion as to what is real and what is not, among other responses. Another space where viewer meets the movie image is created, so that the discursive space of the comments, "It's just a movie", or " Cool!", shift in response to the factual event of 9-11. In this liminal space between real/reel, it is more difficult to shrug off the image of films, the bank of visual memories and stories that we may draw on in reference to our day-to-day life. Real and reel negotiate. More everyday examples of this liminality is another often-heard explanation, "It's like in that movie when . . . ." Also remarkable is that students are usually able to complete the previous sentence when my own memory fails to remember an actor's name or a movie title. What is it about films that they are referred to so frequently, that students know American and British actors' names and films? The important issue of access to popular culture has been raised by Duff (2001, 2002), Norton (2000), and Norton and Vanderheyden.(2004). They argue, as noted earlier, that without knowledge of popular culture, ESL learners are positioned outside of necessary language learning sites and relationships to the local community. They advocate for the inclusion of popular culture as part of formal schooling. In the present study, however, access is not the issue. Young adult international students and Canadian immigrants attending a post-secondary ESL program in Canada reported watching movies in English in Canada from four times per year to every day with a mean of 86 movies per year, a mode of 52, and a median of 52 films per year. Clearly, these students had access and knowledge of popular films, and indeed were fans of popular cinematic stars. In addition, available studies on ESL practices with film suggest that films constitute considerable curricular practice in support of progressive literacy, 13 functional literacy, or cultural literacy (Fluitt-Dupuy & Heppner, 2001; Nakamura, 2001; O'Brien, 2002, Tatsuki, 2002; Williamson & Vincent, 1996) with adult ESL students studying in the United States and in Japan. (See Kelly, 1997, pp. 7-20 for more details on types of literacies.) Films have already acquired a definite quantitative presence in adult and international ESL where financial resources and governments permit access. What is missing from these views of ESL multiliteracy practices is not the image or film itself but understandings of how popular films constitute social and cultural relations of power. What I propose in no way denies other literacy practices. Rather, I extend these practices to the recent conception of literacy as multiple in its resources and modes, so-called critical multiliteracies or multimodal literacies (The New London Group, 2000; Norton & Vanderheyden, 2004; Pennycook, 2001; Stein, 1999, 2000, 2004), and to poststructural literacy (Kelly, 1997). What is currently available in the literature on film in ESL education (discussed in Chapter 2) is not commensurate with the geopolitical power that films have and with the knowledge that the students already have of popular films, stars, and directors. The potential of films should extend to the social and cultural constructions of literacy teaching and learning, and of teachers and students as desiring subjects. Film is a rich text that co-creates language teachers and students as social subjects, with particular discourses of desire relevant to education. These at least are my public reasons for the study. No less important, however, are my personal interests in reading film and audience reactions to film. I love the narcissistic pleasure of watching movies, the scopophilia that Mulvey's (1975) 14 groundbreaking work suggests. I will address in Chapter 4 the strength of this pleasure interacting with the formation of desire as a white girl. I suggest that the singular pleasure of narcissistic identification can be both added to and apprehended by viewing film as a socially constructed text with signs and multiple symbolic meanings. Locating the cinematic ESL opens the task of reading film to the reinvention or redesigning of postcolonial discourses in ESL. However, in light of the profound lack of human rights and freedoms for many people such as the slave trade in young women and children or the grossly unethical labour practices in third world countries, it may seem frivolous to focus attention on the luxurious pleasure and promise of viewing films. It is undoubtedly a privileged position. Yet, I would argue that precisely because popular film, especially from the United States, is read globally in cinemas, on-line, and on television, an effort to understand how film co-constructs English, ESL, and E S L subjects is much overdue. 1.4.2 Assumptions Underlying the study are certain assumptions regarding popular film and literacy. I assume, first, that the division between so-called high culture (for example, art house films) and low culture (for example, Hollywood films) is a social construction reinforcing an uneasy hierarchy of taste and class distinctions (Steinberg, 1997). The present work dismantles this assumption by calling attention to the ways in which any sort of film (or other text) is a co-constructor in social subjectivity. A second assumption concerns reading cultural texts or the act of movie viewing itself. Reading and viewing are not simply individual acts. Rather, films intersect with, undergird, or disrupt existing discourses of identity such as race and gender. A case of 15 undergirding discourses is the white supremist popular film, The Birth of a Nation (1915) which fuelled the growing popularity of the Klu Klux Klan, a white supremist movement in the southern United States (Russell, 1997). A person comes to the viewing event and the text as a social being, someone who has been socialized or disciplined into ways of seeing and responding. (Indeed, as I argued above, some may seldom or never come to view popular movies because they have been socialized only into "high" or other cultural practices.) While the amount of pleasure varies from person to person, discernible patterns of structuring and disciplining the text, the viewing, and the ways in which we are disciplined through cultural texts are available. This point is well illustrated by Ellsworth (1988) who examines film reviews of the film, Personal Best (1982). Using pleasure as a parameter for her examination, she makes clear the interpretive strategies that liberal, socialist, and lesbian feminist reviewers use, and finds that different feminists find pleasure in different interpretive strategies. In her exemplar study of women romance readers, Radway (1984) is also helpful in understanding the relationship between readers and their everyday worlds and romance novels. For the white women readers in Radway's study, reading romance was in part a way to resist the constant demands on their time in their social roles as women. In other words, the escape that romance reading offered was structured through the women's gendered and socialized identities. Another interesting study that underscores viewing as a gendered and racialized practice is of white male and female French colonial painters of the harem (Lewis, 1996). Women painters tended to paint the women working in the harem, clothed, with children reading, and dancing for their own entertainment, for each other's gaze. By 16 contrast, male painters of the harem represented women nude or semi-clothed, dancing for men's entertainment, or lounging about. The point is not that one is "true" and the other "false" but rather there are gendered and racialized structures at work which influence the subject matter and how it is represented or how it is "read." What these studies point to is the importance of looking beyond the individual reader's pleasure of viewing to the connectedness between reading/viewing positions and literacy practices. The second assumption, therefore, is that movie viewing is as much or more a social practice of reading as it is an individual pleasure. 1.4.3 Purpose and Research Questions Literacy pedagogy, therefore, needs to account for the multiplicity of ways that people learn to interpret their world (Kelly, 1997; The New London Group, 2000), and the multiple sites of power in which people learn who they are (Brady & Hernandez, 1993; Rockhill, 1993). Critical multiliteracy is an alternative to (Kelly, 1997) or an addition to (The New London Group, 2000) progressivist, student centered literacy. Like The New London Group, critical feminist literacies do not reject student-centered literacies. Instead, they posit them as an important element in voicing personal/political issues such as violence against women (Rockhill, 1993; Stein, 1999), and women's ways of learning (C. Luke, 1998). Norton and Vanderheyden (2004) suggest that educators and parents should re-think meanings of literacy given changes to technology and society (p. 218). The main purpose of the present study is to propose film as a text for such re-thinking. Through an analysis of different forms of discourse, the study offers a contribution to poststructuralist and critical pedagogy where reading film is a site of significant knowledge production and a practice' that decenters ethnocentric reading. 17 The underlying premise here is, again, that popular cultural forms such as film inform and are informed by language learning and teaching. Based on this premise, the study addresses the following sets of questions: (1) Where do theorists of critical pedagogy locate film, film viewers, and themselves? What structures underlie the analysis of film in studies of film and critical pedagogy? Where and how does desire come into play in such studies? How do questions of race and gender figure in readers' analaysis? (Chapter 2, 4) (2) What discursive threads construct cinematic representations of English, ESL and ESL identities in relation to gender and race? How can the practice of close reading relocate such representations? (Chapters 5, 6, 7) (3) What position does film hold as a cultural and pedagogical text? How do ESL teachers and students make use of film? (Chapter 8, 9) (4) How do real ESL subjects negotiate reel subjects? What role do desire, race, and gender play in the interaction of reel and real ESL subjects? (Chapter 8, 9) (5) How do films figure into poststructural literacy? What challenges present I themselves in undertaking a radical revisioning of ESL literacy? (Chapter 10) 1.4.4 Thesis Organization The 10 remaining chapters in the study examine, first in Chapter 2, relevant literature on film and education. Chapter 3 presents the methodologies employed in analyzing the types of data, and describes the subjects and settings. In Chapter 4,1 examine the structuring of desire through cinematic memories from my youth. Chapter 5 examines constructions of various cinematic tropes pertaining to E S L and the cinematic ESL curriculum and its settings in 24 films with ESL. In Chapter 6,1 18 continue the analysis of the films by focussing on the cinematic constructions of teachers and students. Chapter 7 offers close readings of two films with ESL, Out of Africa (1985) and The Jungle Book (1994). M y reading of the films in Chapters 5, 6 and 7 is informed mainly by postcolonial, cultural and feminist studies. In Chapter 8,1 examine the data collected from ESL teachers who watched and responded to two films with ESL, and in Chapter 9 I analyze ESL student data in response to the same two films. Chapter 10 discusses the challenges of using popular films as a resource for critical multimodal literacy. Chapter 11 summarizes findings and arguments of the study and offers directions for future work. 19 Chapter 2 LITERATURE REVIEW: THREE STRANDS OF CRITICAL WORK WITH FILM AND EDUCATION , 1. Strand One The major question in the study is, How has Hollywood portrayed masculinity in secondary male teachers? What cues, signs, symbols, images reflect this masculine portrayal? A secondary question might be, Are there any developing patterns in Hollywood's portrayal of masculinity in teachers? What does this say about our collective image of the male teacher? And, perhaps more important, What does this say about us? (italics original) (Bodnar, 1996, p. 11) 2. Strand Two The larger purpose of this work is to uncover several layers of meaning embedded in popular texts and reveal to teacher and student alike that even commercial Hollywood films are at once polysemic and complex. Time and time again as we watch individual [cinematic American] teachers do battle with the hierarchy, we have the satisfaction (as an audience) of an implied win on some small front while the collective organizations remain largely intact. (Dalton, 1999, p. 3, p. 17) 3. Strand Three Unlike many readings presented within cultural studies, my reading of [the film] Exotica is not constructed primarily from a position of explicitly pleasurable engagement; rather, and more personally problematic, it is prompted by a. fascinated disturbance, which my engagement with the film effected. This contradictory blend of fascination - the eye of the voyeur - and disturbance - the eye of the critic - is important for it re/minds or re/inscribes the voyeuristic gaze as always both without and within, a deeply internalized practice of looking, not easily disrupted by the critical intellectualization of the problematics of pleasure, (italics original) (Kelly, 1997, p. 92) 20 2.1 Introduction In this chapter, I review the literature on film and education. The introductory quotes to the chapter outline the organization of the literature review of film and education into three sections. The sections build on Pennycook's (2001) delineation of critical pedagogy into three strands: critical thinking, emancipatory modernism, and problematizing practices (pp. 4-9, and throughout the book). The first quote from Bodnar (1996) underscores certain assumptions of critical thinking as they relate to films in education. These include, first, the objective and distanced stance of the reader (Bodnar) to his object of study (four Hollywood films), and second, the extension of Bodnar's (white male American) reading of "cues, signs, symbols, and images" to "reflect" "our" and "us" . Bodnar assumes therefore that his reading reflects/mirrors American society (as white and male) and that his singular reading is the legitimate one. The second quote from Dalton (1999) exemplifies emancipatory modernism in her assumption, like Bodnar, that she can "reveal" meaning "embedded" in popular films about American teachers. Yet, she touches on a more poststructural position by stating that cinematic texts are "polysemic and complex". However, she hastens to argue that "we" read different movies about teachers the same way, as local heroes who fail to change collective institutions. While Bodnar and Dalton's quotes are quite similar (detached objective readers in search of a single truth to offer to their essentialized group of readers), they differ in their identification to power/politics. Bodnar's politics are (seemingly) 21 apolitical while Dalton's interest is in locating whether cinematic teachers effect grand social change. Kelly's quote comes from her reading of the film Exotica (1994). Her stance is self-reflexive. In other words, she explicitly states the position from which she reads the film as not like most cultural studies readings of the film and not solely from her own pleasure. Rather, she contends her reading comes from her "selves" as fascinated voyeur and intellectual critic. This type of cinematic reading suits the third strand of critical work, problematizing practice. It differs from the above-mentioned two strands in both the hyper-reflexivity of the film reader, the bivocality of her two selves, and the problematizing of something traditionally silenced ~ pleasure. The chapter is divided into three main sections following the above three strands of critical work. Each section includes: (1) the general tenets and underlying assumptions of each strand I have just briefly introduced; (2) reviews of the film Stand and Deliver (1988) (I chose this film as it was examined most often and from different strands of critical work. A synopsis of the film is provided further on); (3) reviews of other relevant studies on film and education. The studies in this chapter can all be considered critical in that they question to one extent or another and in one way or another cinematic representations. Film is a recent subject of pedagogical research. The bulk of the studies are from the 1990s onward. Studies of film in applied linguistics are largely absent, although a number of TESOL Conference 22 presentations mentioned in Chapter 1 and one from the 2004 A A A L (American Association of Applied Linguistics) Conference are reviewed below. The present study addresses this gap in the literature. The review focuses on studies in which films that represent teachers, students, and education are examined. Questions and possible answers guiding the review are: (1) How do films figure in the writer's pedagogical vision? As a resource for analysis of certain groups of society? As a site for emancipation? For resistance? For remembering? For questioning social processes? (2) What position does the writer take up in relation to the film? J Film critic? Distanced observer? Emancipator from dominant cinematic images? Desiring and reflecting participant? (3) What alternatives to the writer's interpretation of the film are offered? None? Multiple in theory, but only writer's provided? Writer's and other's? Multiple others'? > (4) How are the traditionally silenced topics of race, gender, and desire related to the analysis of film? Silenced? Implicitly related? Explicitly discussed as they relate to the film alone? To the viewers of film? To the researcher/teacher? A hesitation in using this approach to reading the literature is that such borders dividing work is a form of disciplining that detracts from the otherwise potential richness of the 23 academic text-as-discourse, a limitation that Pennycook (2001) himself agrees with (pp. 44-45). In addition, some studies are not clearly one or the other strand of critical pedagogy. The challenge was to read them for their main thrusts while locating certain texts within a space of liminality between two strands. 2.2 Critical Thinking A pillar for liberal and humanist education, critical thinking aims to bring about equality, equal access, and an attitude of similarity toward minorities. The pedagogy is somewhat static in terms of time and agency, that is who or what makes what changes and how. In critical thinking studies of film and education, films hold meaning, that is, the meaning mainly stays within the text of the film. Connections the film may have to wider social practices are generally not made. However, the film may connect to the viewer on an individual or linguistic level. Changes are made available through the teacher and what curriculum is made available. Changes to the learner are expected in terms of learners' (negative) attitude toward minorities or in terms of the language learned from watching a film, for example, vocabulary or idiomatic expressions, on which the teacher has focused. The assumption is that skills for critical thinking can be taught to students through critiquing of various texts such as film. Students should learn to identify the film as a text organized in a particular way. In such critiques, the teacher may ask students to identify the genre of the film, the good guy and the bad guy, the weaknesses such as the acting, dialogue, or ending of the movie, the students' favourite or least favourite scene. The students may be asked to discuss if they have ever been in a similar situation as represented in the movie and their opinions of the issue being raised in the 24 movie. At its most socially conscious, this kind of skill-building may also ask students to pick out the stereotypes of minorities and how the movie accomplishes these. The assumption here is that once cinematic stereotypes have been identified, students will question their own stereotypes. Here students may be asked to counter the cinematic stereotype by finding similarities between themselves and images of stereotyped minorities. In this approach to critical work, the study of film and education is limited in how the film is positioned in relation to the theorist/viewer. The theorist is separated from the film, and the assumption is that the theorist has enough distance from the film to analyze it objectively. For example, a theorist/viewer reads a teaching film in which s/he finds that teachers are imaged in one way or another, say as heroes or incompetent or both. The theorist/viewer situates this single reading as a crucial aspect of teaching students to read films. Students may have different opinions and they are encouraged to voice their opinions, but this is often for skill building practice alone. It is not expected that either the theorist/viewer/teacher's readings or the students' readings of the films will cause any disruption to the class, curriculum, institution or other social venue. The reader is "objectively" reading a text for the purposes of a progressive literacy, a literacy in which students develop language and an awareness of genres, and less frequently, cultural minorities or a particular social group. What is silent in this approach to critical pedagogy is the film's and the viewer's relation to society, or the positioning of film and viewers as social texts/beings. Critical thinking aligns with liberal multiculturalism in which non-white races and ethnicities are celebrated on particular days, weeks, or months of the year (for instance, "Multicultural 25 Week") but where white structures are left in tact. Attention may be given to racial representation in terms of "minorities" discussions. As Sleeter (1993) suggests, the false assumption is that changing white thinking about racial minorities will result in large social changes (p. 158). 2.2.1 Bodnar 's (1996) Stand and Deliver (1988) Before beginning the review of Bodnar's work, some basic knowledge of the plot line will be helpful in reading the review of the six studies of the film. The movie is based on the real teacher, Jaime Escalante (played by Edward James Olmos, nominated for an Oscar), a mathematics teacher in Garfield High in a Hispanic neighbourhood in Los Angeles. Born in Bolivia, and raised in the United States, Escalante is convinced that his unmotivated failing-in-school students have potential. He adopts unconventional teaching methods, including teaching in Spanish, to help the students pass the Advanced Placement (AP) calculus test that will give them university credit. One particular student, Angel (played by Lou Diamond Phillips), is central to the plot line as through Escalante's attention he changes from hood to studious. They not only pass but also receive some of the highest grades in the nation. The testing administration is convinced the students have cheated. Escalante challenges their assumption and demands the students be given a chance to take the test again. On taking the exam a second time, the students receive the same results. The social group that Bodnar (1996) brings awareness to is cinematic male teachers. His examination of the masculinity of four cinematic teachers mingles psychology with particular cinematic cues, signs, symbols and images. It therefore 26 mixes psychoanalytical with sociological visual methodologies (see Rose, 2001, for detailed descriptions of visual methodologies). Bodnar (19996) states that his study EDVWRD JAMES O I M 0 S • I O U DIAMOND PHIUJPS wmem mat» «** a ^ 'Del iver mage 2.1 Edward Olmos as "Jaime Escalante" and Lou Diamond Philips as "Angel Guzman" in Stand and Deliver, 1988 "determines and reports the way things are" (p. 11) through non-participant observation, specifically content analysis which he defines as "the systematic, quantitative description of the composition of the object of the study" (p. 11). He positions himself at a distance from the films and his analysis of them. Positioning his study in this way 27 "denies both its own politics and the politics of language" (Pennycook, 2001, p. 30). The emphasis on "logical analysis" (Bodnar, 1996, p. 11, italics original) and various silences such as alternative viewings, self-reflexivity, and relationships of power locate this study in liberalist critical thinking. Bodnar's detailed interpretation of Jaime Escalante as a masculine symbol offers, however, insights into reading film-as-textual symbol. Bodnar sees Escalante as the archetype magician/shaman and offers several instances of his magic and magical representation. The magician is "the ritual elder who guides others" (p. 51, italics original) and Escalante guides his students through the sequencing of his instruction. The magician has special vision and perspective that the students do not but which Escalante can provide for them. A magician is a showman (p. 52). Escalante comes to his second class in the costume of a cook; he role-plays; he uses his fingers to do complicated mathematical problems. He uses chalk, a symbol of the magician's wand. Using humour, he can change the mood of each student from discouraged or depressed to encouraged and light (p. 53). A shaman is like a magician who is often an outsider and can become an animal with animal powers. Escalante is also an outsider to the school administration and unsupported by them, and makes references to black cats and dolphins in his teaching (pp. 54-55). A second identifier of Escalante's masculinity is desire, or the Spanish word ganas that Escalante uses throughout the film. How does Bodnar relate desire to masculinity? The new masculine hero is not necessarily white, and "displays sensitivity, emotional commitment, and sacrifice" (p. 56). He is a man that gives "tough love" when needed, and is tested. Escalante is Latino, gives his students fatherly advice, 28 works the students hard in preparing for the AP calculus test, teaches 60 hours a week, and after suffering a heart attack, returns to teaching after just two days (p. 57-61). Bodnar examines the relationships between Escalante and other male characters in the film to continue constructing Escalante's masculinity. His brother-in-law thinks Escalante has taken up teaching because he lost his better paying job. His brother could give him a better paying job than teaching, but Escalante insists that he chose to teach. In the new cinematic masculinity, money means less than following desire (p. 62). Bodnar similarly extantiates Escalante's new masculinity by drawing from specific scenes, signs, and dialogues. Male characters' use of silence, confiding their weaknesses in other men, their treatment of women, their use or not of physical fighting, and their perspiration (pp. 62-67) signify the new masculinity in contrast to earlier Rambo-like heroes. In concluding his study, Bodnar hints at poststructuralism when he suggests that educational gender studies like his may no longer be necessary as such notions as masculinity are tenuous (p. 119). Bodnar's reading of Escalante offers a detailed analysis of his masculinity in terms of the magician archetype, and various signs and symbols such as chalk and perspiration. As such, his visual methodology is semiology. Semiology is concerned with social difference and how subjectivities such as masculinity come to be differentiated. His role, like semiologists, is an "objective" researcher and is self-defined as such. Why he chose films and masculinity is not apparent although he is certain that masculinity is socially produced and films are a text in which masculinity is produced. Earlier I stated that his methodology was mixed with psychoanalysis. Yet, Freud and Freudian studies are noticeably absent. I cannot claim this study as making a 29 strong use of psychoanalytical methodology at least not in terms of Rose's (2001) analyses of visual methodologies or in terms of feminist film scholarship (de Laurentis, 1984; Mulvey, 1975; Silverman, 1996). 2.2.2 Review of Critical Thinking Studies Recent TESOL conventions in Canada and the United States have included several standing-room-only presentations on film in ESL indicating the acceptance of film as a resource for teaching. These presentations can be considered pedagogy in critical thinking. Students are asked to perform one of three tasks: (1) to analyze movies in terms of how minorities or cultures are constructed cinematically with the goal of greater awareness of cultures (Nakamura, 2001; O'Brien, 2002); (2) to analyze differences between two versions of the same movie with the goal of developing in students the skills needed to describe, interpret, and evaluate what they see cinematically (Tatsuki, 2002); (3) to relate a movie to a gendered theme with the goal of building listening and speaking skills (Aparicio, 2000; Fluitt-Depuy & Heppner, 2001). In the first task, the assumptions are that the viewer is disconnected to the film's statements about minorities such as gays in the film In and Out (1997) (O'Brien) and cowboys and samurai in The Magnificent Seven (1960) and The Seven Samurai (1956) (Nakamura). Second, the student viewers are assumed to be unaware of their attitudes toward culture and minorities or to have a negative attitude toward them. A third assumption is that through awareness of minorities or social groups, students will think about them affirmatively. 30 In the second task, the viewer is positioned even further away from the politics of the two versions of the film Cape Fear (1962, 1991), the assumption being that the film carries no meanings beyond itself as a text. The students are set up as critics who are learning to see films as resources to be compared and evaluated. The films do not connect to them beyond their development as critics, nor are the films connected to any social structure or institution. The teacher is (unconsciously) constructing students as (seemingly) apolitical film critics. The third task positions the viewer as a body who needs, in this case, to talk or listen in order to develop linguistically. Clips from the film When Harry Met Sally (1989) (Aparacio) act as a tool or resource for such development. Clips, poems and other reading texts are used to develop the gendered (white American) construction of "friendship." The curriculum plans are staged in such a way that little by little, from "warm up" to "final output" in the form of a debate on whether men and women can or cannot be friends, students will be exposed to the theme and express themselves on the topic. Student viewers are interpellated as passive participants until the end when they are asked to perform a debate. The assumption here is that the film is a resource in the development of language, not a resource in questioning the film's premise on gender and friendship. What is represented in the film, that is, the white American male opinion (men cannot be friends with women) and the female position (yes, they can) is less important than the performance of the debate. Similarly, Fluitt-Dupuy. and Heppner's (2001) use of Clueless (1995) leaves unquestioned the cinematic representation of girls in the American high school. Rather, it is the recognition of slang used by the characters 31 in the movie (by way of listening for it in the film) and the discussion of what was funny, shocking or strange about certain scenes that are dealt with in this curriculum. A final and exemplar quantitative study in applied linguistics research somewhat borders critical thinking and the next strand of work, emancipatory modernism. It concerns the fit between the language of American cinematic apologies and "naturally occurring" apologies. Kite and Tatsuki (2004) compared how American reel and real men and women apologize. They found that while there was a goodness of fit in the words spoken, there was not a goodness of fit in which gender apologized. Cinematic men apologized more often than real men. Kite and Tatsuki were skeptical about the naturally occurring data from American men collected by females in that the men, fearing lose of face, may not have wished to apologize in the female researchers' presence. The study is critical in that it does not assume that watching movies will result in "natural" language acquisition in terms of gendered language. Indeed, the study tests this very premise, a premise made by the above TESOL presenters (and likely many teachers who use popular film as a prescriptive resource for gendered and other language learning). In addition, the study draws attention to the construction of gendered language, both filmic and ethnographic. The study's limitations are, first, its definitive examples of what constitutes an apology such as "forgive me", "I am afraid . . . " , "excuse me", etc. To be identified as apologizing, the speaker needs to speak particular words when there are obviously many ways to apologize silently, including silence, gaze, gesture, etc. as well as intimate apologies couples work out between themselves. Second, except for the categories of fe/male, the speakers were not identified. In discussing this presentation with gay 32 attendees of the conference, Gess (personal communication, April, 2004) made the point that he and his husband rarely if ever apologize in the language quoted above. This suggests that both while gender may be a fruitful and powerful method of analyzing certain data for certain reasons, with regard to the language of apology, gender appears to be insufficient, and that a definitive list of apologies needs revisiting. From this discussion of recent presentations, I turn now to two texts about teaching and film that also use critical thinking as an approach to pedagogy. Related to the first task above of analyzing popular films for representations of minorities is Summerfield's (1993) practical book concerned with the use of film "to unlearn stereotypes, to recognize different patterns of communication, and to develop empathy"(p. 4). These goals in turn will encourage commitment and further interest in learning about other cultures and even: a deep sense of a shared fate with peoples of the world - a sense of the interconnectedness of life and of the need for cooperation across all , boundaries of cultural difference to achieve common goals, (pp. 4-5) (italics added) Important to this liberalist approach is learning and questioning cultural differences in order to see the similarities between, for example, races and religion. The locus of power in changing stereotypes is therefore located in commonalities among people, not their differences. Seeing commonalities instead of differences will lead to a humanist sense of empathy and understanding. Summerfield exemplifies her goals by offering her readings of films and suggestions on how they can be used by teachers in areas concerned with cross-cultural study, including ESL. One film she suggests is El Norte (1984), the story of a 33 Guatemalan sister and brother who cross the border illegally to Mexico and then to the United States in order to escape the brutality of the Guatemalan government and send money back to their family in Guatemala. Summerfield suggests particular scenes from the movie that help identify cross-cultural miscommunication. One scene "questions the assumption that cultures with advanced technology are in possession of the better way" (p. 72). In this scene, instead of using the washer and dryer to do Mrs. Rogers's laundry, Rosa, the sister, washes them by hand and lays them out on the lawn to dry. Mrs. it» N © R T Image 2.2 Zaide Guiterezza as "Rosa" in El Norte, 1984 Rogers is baffled and asks Rosa why she did the clothes this way. The suggested question for this scene is, "How does the filmmaker use cinematic elements, such as music, colors, facial expressions, and close-ups, to lend support to Rosa's way?" (p. 73). The students may then write a letter to Rosa or Mrs. Rogers suggesting how to avoid this cultural misunderstanding in the future, and they may also, the next time they see an 34 immigrant, record their thoughts about that person. The question and possible assignments position this work in critical thinking. A liberal line of questioning about cultural minorities makes use of cinematic language in order to reveal, not question, the construction of the minority. The tasks relate to amelioration of a misunderstanding and of the distance (white) American students are assumed to maintain toward (non-white) cultural minorities. The first task does not question the misunderstanding in terms of, for example, Rosa's limited literacy (she cannot read the washing machine) or Mrs. Rogers assumptions about Rosa's literacy. Instead, Summerfield reads this scene as supporting Rosa's hand washing, and through the wording of the question, sets up the students to read the scene in the same way. In the second task, the assumption is that writing one's thoughts about a cultural other will produce less distance from that person. Both these assumptions are tenuous, upholding Summerfield's reading of the scene as the legitimate reading while silencing the essentialized students. While Summerfield's book offers practical suggestions on how to use particular films in class, the final study offers a textual analysis of films with education. Edelman (1983) looks historically at films from 1936 to 1983 classifying the cinematic teachers as good or bad. Good teachers are the protagonists in films such as To Sir, with Love (1967) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). Good teachers are caring, wise, stern yet fair, unorthodox, respected by students, and persistent even in the face of frustration and heartbreak (pp. 28-29). Edelman juxtaposes good male teachers such as Mr. Chips with their female equivalents such as Miss Bishop in Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941) who are often distinguished from the male cinematic teacher by their single marital status. Bad teachers are villains and are exemplified by Miss Brodie in The Prime of Miss Jean 35 Brodie (1969), an elitist whose passions are art, music, and Mussolini (p. 31). Edelman concludes his article by suggesting that the best teachers are those who are loved and who love (p. 31). Edelman reads the films to trace the representation of good and bad teachers. The study's strength is that it looks back on earlier films to draw textual comparisons. The weakness is that he leaves unstated any causality or connection these descriptions may have to contexts such as Edelman as a viewer, national origins of the films, or the various political periods in which the films were released. The result is a discourse analysis whose meanings are free from social practices (Rose, 2001, p. 162). Again, as with the other writers reviewed in this section, Edelman positions himself as an objective viewer, analyst and critic whose own politics are (seemingly) invisible, in turn making the article on cinematic teachers (seemingly) apolitical. To sum up this section, critical thinkers are untouched by the films. Instead, they focus attention on a minority or social group. Viewers therefore become aware of this group. Most of the work reviewed here also leaves readers as a social group intact. When an effort is made to connect the student/viewer with the cinematic minority, it is through posing questions which position the student/viewer as an individual and not as part of a larger group or social practice. Reading critical thinking work means reading the work of a single writer whose identity remains hidden and whose interpretation of films stands out as singular. Work on film and education in the next section similarly sets up the writer's view of films as the most legitimate one. However, as we shall see, the politics of the work is explicit. 36 2.3 Emancipatory Modernism One of the complex grand narratives of modernism is the Marxist story of liberation (Rust, 1996, p, 31). In my simplified version, the oppressed working class become conscious about their position under the oppressor and working together, the oppressed struggle and eventually triumph over the oppressor. In such stories, the temporal and social spaces of liberation fix subjectivity in two separate times, the present and future. Change is located between the present and future and in fact the future only exists through the space of opposition. Without it, there is a never ending (and sad and angry) story of oppression. Opposition creates an improved future. Implicit in this future, however, is the end of the story. Once liberated, subjectivity inhabits a happily-ever-after space. It/change is a temporary stepping stone. It is also only through liberation/the future that a past exists: "Once we were oppressed, but things have changed. Now we are liberated and self-determined." Subjects move from present to future and then from past to present. Movement is unidirectional and temporarily forward. Subjectivity is therefore caught in one forward motion that need i not continue. Herein lies the wonderful contradiction that liberated/free subjects are not free to move discursively either backward or continually forward. The position of the teacher in relation to students is similar in critical thinking and emancipatory modernism. In both, teachers are the primary vessels of knowledge about the film and what it produces. However, teachers employing emancipatory pedagogy will undertake the role of providing knowledge about the oppressive structures in the film or the liberatory nature of the film. Students will come to 37 consciousness about these structures through the teacher's knowledge. How the film structures social groups will be made apparent to students. It is important that in this pedagogy, like critical thinking, there is a singular reading of the film although, again, opinions from students may be encouraged. Students come to see the film as an important text that should (usually) be resisted in terms of its oppressive characterization and narrative or (less often) applauded in terms of its perspective on resisting structures of social oppression or representing ideal societies. The assumption is that once students can see the film in this way, they will be less under the control of the film as a dominant form of culture. Here also the "reality" of the film and the extent to which film reflects reality are questioned. For example, how similar is the film to the real experience of teaching or learning? The emancipatory modernist viewer looks for similarities between the reel version and the real experience. The real experience is often normalized as white, male, and heterosexual. This potential of liberatory education's grand narrative is continually overstated and therefore the studies in this section seem reductive. In the past, I found the simplicity of emancipatory modernism seductive (Mackie, 2003). It seemed an attractive position to assume as a teacher: the liberator/hero of oppressed students. This strand of critical work with film is highly suspicious of the pleasure viewers may find in the act of viewing. Indeed, pleasure comes to mean a form of ideological manipulation, a point made by Joyrich (1995). The emancipatory modernist studies here accept this view and position film as dominating the viewer. It is not a matter of the viewer uncritically accepting the images (although this can also be an assumption), but rather 38 that the viewer is unaware of the film's meanings and messages. Viewers are the viewer, a group that is assumed to respond in the same way to popular films. 2.3.1 Dalton's (1999) Stand and Deliver Dalton's The Hollywood Curriculum: Teachers and Teaching in the Movies (1999) analyzes teacher movies from the past 60 years. Like Edelman (1983) discussed earlier, Dalton classifies cinematic teachers into good and bad. Although she references 58 movies, Stand and Deliver (1988) is one of several films examined in some depth. Dalton positions Escalante as a "good teacher." She sees particular themes that construct him as good: personal involvement with students, teachers learning from students, personalized curriculum, and tension between the teacher and administrators. If her interpretation of Escalante stopped here, this study would be more appropriately placed in the previous approach, critical thinking. However, Dalton goes on to point out that: [a]s [Stand and Deliver] confirms, most political projects in the movies are only marginally political. Escalante wants his students to succeed in the dominant culture rather than to challenge or dismantle that culture. The dedicated teacher helps students learn to take the A P calculus test; he does not question the validity of that test or the validity of the practice of administering standardized tests to students, (p. 44) This position of the film is also Giroux's (2002, p. 91). While "good teachers" often do make curriculums that are better suited to the needs of students, they do not challenge or ' invite the students to challenge institutional hierarchies. Power, in emancipatory modernist understandings such as Dalton's, comes from the top. Yet, as noted in Chapter 1, power at least in Foucault's work is not hierarchical. 39 Dalton's examination, then, suggests that Hollywood's "good teachers" like Escalante maintain the status quo of unequal power distributions, motivating the students to give up everything else in their life in order to make the bar. Dalton builds a relationship between the film and its politics, and this is an important aspect of emancipatory modernism. She sees the movie as a product of Hollywood ideology, "a tool of social conformity" (p. 30). Good Hollywood teachers like Escalante "are, with few exceptions, non-political and are less concerned about social justice than about trying to help their particular students get their own slice of the capitalist pie" (p. 43). Hollywood "good teachers" help the transition from school to the outside world, but they do not participate in "transformations that could radically recreate schools and other societal institutions as agencies invested creating [sic] injustice" (p. 130). A second aspect of her modernist approach is the offering of a single and strong interpretation through her expert univocal lens. She is a professor of communication, a filmmaker and screenwriter. These facts add legitimacy to her interpretation, and suggest that other interpretations are unnecessary. However, and this is a third aspect of emancipatory modernism, the univocality of her work suggests a finite quality to films-as-social production and a finality to her scrutiny. Although she briefly engages with Ayers's (1993) article " A teacher ain't nothing but a hero" (pp. 20-21), and even more briefly with Edelman's (1990) "Teachers in the movies" (pp. 19-20), space for other (critical) lenses is not provided. The final aspect of this study as modernist is the stance Dalton assumes in relation to the film. Like Bodnar (1996), a distance between Dalton and the film is established. The dialogue is one way — Dalton talking about the film. It is also one way in that she does not locate herself in her looking at Stand and Deliver. 40 Although she is also an educator (a modernist emancipator?), references to how Escalante's story and hers intersect are absent. Such silences in her work indicate a modernist approach. The visual methodology Dalton employs is semiology, the study o f signs which can be structured into larger codes or ideologies (Rose, 2001, pp. 70-72). With Stand and Deliver, she finds themes, as stated above, of Escalante as a "good teacher" and couples these with signifiers such as explicit dialogue from the film and Utopian moments between the teacher and students. Such moments satisfy "the audience's need to maintain hope for a better world" (Dalton, 1999, p. 49) and are foregrounded: against an unchanging background o f oppressive institutional hierarchy. While the foregrounded relationship may appear to contradict the backgrounded ideology, the dominant ideology of social conformity is never threatened, (p. 49) Her main analytical interest is in exploring the relationships among Escalante, his students, the school administration, and the testing institution. Dalton's semiology does not employ the reading of specific scenes, costumes, or editing as Bodnar (1996) does. Rather she relies on various signifiers (themes, dialogue, and U t o p i a n moments) to underscore the interpretation. 2.3.2 Ayers's (1993) Stand and Deliver In a similar but weaker analysis o f Stand and Deliver than Bodnar's (1996) or Dalton's (1999), Ayers (1993) draws our attention to the stereotypical cinematic male teacher-as-hero through his univocal analysis of five films. Ayers focuses his attention on the narrative and characterization to see Escalante as decidedly less attractive than Bodnar's (1996) Escalante. Ayers is cynical of this portrait o f heroism where learning 41 occurs only after discipline has been restored, and reel teachers do not represent real ones. With no life outside of his teaching, Escalante is the hero-saint who nearly kills himself in order to teach the students calculus (Ayers, 1993, p. 208). Throughout his analysis, Ayers is concerned with finding what is "actually" (p. 201) in this and other movies. The problem with Escalante's classroom management "is that it is not true" (p. 208), and Ayers fears that viewers, including beginning teachers, will mimic Escalante's classroom practice. What is needed, Ayers insists, is a liberation from school control, obedience, and hierarchy, and Stand and Deliver offers no such liberation (p. 209). As an alternative to popular heroic images, he suggests that outstanding teachers must reach all students, f unlike Escalante. He also suggests they must find common ground with students and their communities and question common sense by breaking rules and becoming political activists. On these last two suggestions, however, he fails to explain how Escalante does not measure up. Ayers believes that films have the power to "feed our collective powerlessness and manage our mindless acquiescence" (p. 209). Here, the oppressor is film and its message, and "we" are powerless and mindless! Except for his critical resistance to cinematic hero teachers, Ayers assumes the audience is a passive recipient of the film's dominant message. The message is both unreal and politically incorrect. 2.3.3 Farber and Holm's (1994) Stand and Deliver Farber and Holm's (1994) interest is in examining, like Bodnar (1996), Dalton (1999), and Ayers (1993), the heroic qualities of good cinematic teachers with respect to public discourse about education. They also look for commonalities among the representations of heroism. They find Stand and Deliver "an exemplary teacher's tale 42 on film . . . that seems both to address hard problems facing teachers and to offer an edifying view of what good teaching can accomplish" (Farber & Holm, 1994, p. 156). Like other cinematic heroic teachers, Escalante faces challenges that he overcomes while the troubled students fulfill their teacher's dream of their success. Farber and Holm's critical comments of cinematic hero-teacher films are that, first, they omit the reality of working in an institution. Again, as with Ayers (1993), the reel is not real enough. Second, cinematic language such as music and the presentation of characters makes available only one response to the story. Nothing is left to think about. " A l l the viewer is left to do is smile at the end" (Farber & Holm, 1994, p. 169). Here again, is the location of film as dominant and the viewer as passive recipient of its happy message. Their final critical comment is that the films serve as wish fulfillment. The wish is the transformation of unsuccessful students to winners and caring teachers into charismatic leaders (p. 170). Viewers know, however, that the wish can never happen but they hope it will. Farber and Holm conclude that because of the simplification of the complexities of education and the lack of the ordinary as relevant in schooling, the film offers little food for thought (p. 171). So even while the film temporarily fills the audience with a predictable feeling, it does not connect schooling to institutional practices. Here again, the audience is assumed to be a unitary figure having a similar response to Stand and Deliver. 2.3.4 Review of Emancipatory Modernist Studies Several other studies of film and education similarly unwrap the ideology of films. Dead Poets Society (1989) with Robin Williams as the teacher Keating in an American all boys private school (Welton), is examined by Cohen (1996). Keating 43 teaches subversively, or so it seems, and counters Welton's curriculum and culture of keeping the boys on track by making them obey orders and repressing their individuality and sexuality. Cohen disagrees with both the popular and academic critiques that . praised the film (p. 404). Ostensibly offering a Romantic liberationist pedagogy where the boys should learn to think for themselves, express their individuality, and seize the day, Keating's pedagogy is never realized (p. 409). What the boys learn is to give Keating what he wants, to aspire to live as he suggests (p. 415). Cohen, like other writers in this approach, is critical of the valorization of a teacher's individual (heroic) efforts. A collective effort to resist and reorganize the school would receive a more favourable reading. The boys do resist Welton's attempt to repress their creativity by re-forming the Dead Poets Society and gathering in the cave to read poetry, dance, play music, and dress up. But, like Dalton's (1999) reading of Escalante, this resistance has no political meaning to Cohen, and Welton is left intact (Cohen, 1996, p. 414). In fact, certain scenes from the movie seem to uphold the Welton boys as more civilized than the American public high school boys whose party the Welton boys attend (pp. 417-418). The film then presents two incommensurate approaches to education, traditional and Keating's romantic liberationist. Cohen suggests educators choose neither one or the other but both (p. 420). Cohen reads the film in terms of the domination the school has over the boys and the lack of change Keating's (uncritical) pedagogy produces. Yet Cohen makes little over the suicide of one of the cinematic students, Neil, whose parental expectations Neil cannot abide. Keating is held responsible for Neil's death, and is fired. Cohen fails to attend to the 44 dangerous power that cinematic liberators/teachers are seen to have and yet are also victims of. A study which somewhat borders emancipatory modernism with problematizing practices is Bauer's (1998) article, "Indecent proposals: Teachers in the movies." Bauer examines filmic images of professional desire according to American presidential eras, namely the Bush era (1980s) and the Clinton era (1990s), to draw out characteristics of English literature teachers. No matter what characterization of teaching is represented, teaching is a sexual proposition (p. 302). In the 1980s Bush era, eros in teaching is about disciplinary intimacy, in for example, Dead Poets Society (1989). Only single men may teach at the private boys' school and no girls are allowed there. Robin Williams's Keating leads the boys toward individualism yet, like Cohen (1996) above, Bauer (1998) finds that individualism is another form of authoritarianism (p. 306). Eros in teaching shifts in the 1990s Clinton era to erotic intimacy. Eroticism is no longer repressed but evident. For instance, in Dangerous Minds (1995) and Mr. Holland's Opus (1995), erotic energy from students toward their teachers is explicit (pp. 307-308). Yet the images of teachers finally and ironically are asexual, unambitious, and even lonely (p. 311). In Bauer's article, the element tending toward emancipatory modernism is the univocality and therefore insistence on the reading of teaching films in this way. He is of the opinion that Hollywood images of teachers become the popular public teaching images (p. 314), so that the audience is again a lone (white male American) reader. While he brings up a topic mainly subverted or tabooed in other modernist studies of film, that is, eros and images of teachers' sexual attractiveness to students, it is another 45 representation of teaching that dominates viewers. However, and here is where he tends toward a problematizing practice, while Hollywood images provide students with ideas about pedagogy (that it is eroticized, that students are erotically attracted to teachers), teachers have the power to create another image for themselves, a non-glamourous image of someone who is committed to the community of the classroom, the value of communal work, discipline, and change (pp. 314-316). So although he is similarly convinced of the Hollywood image dominating the popular public teaching image (p. 314) as other modernists are, he does offer a more plausible alternative to its dismantling than the implicit alternative of reversing hierarchical power or Cohen's solution of adopting both traditional and romantic liberation pedagogies. In contrast to Bauer's reading of Dangerous Minds, Lowe (2001) compares Dangerous Minds with a documentary called High School II (1994). Lowe's awareness of the politics of the films is explicitly stated: they either offer an image of racial equality or support white supremacy (p. 212). He takes up the latter statement, suggesting, like Giroux (2002, p. 157) that Dangerous Minds (based on the autobiography of LouAnne Johnson) is blatantly racist. The white female teacher in the body of Michelle Pfeiffer is the caring individual and the black people she interacts with (the principal, the mother of two of her students) are portrayed as the greatest obstacles to her successful teaching (p. 213). The blacks serve as a foil for the white Johnson whose heroism saves the class of African-American and Latino students. Lowe suggests these representations of race will produce contempt in white viewers for the black principal and mother. Again, film dominates viewers. Viewers, except Lowe who positions himself as the sole insightful reader, are passive recipients of 46 film images. Interestingly, Lowe's concept of film and viewer is similar to Freire's (1970) critique of the "banking" notion of education, where students are empty and need to be filled with knowledge from their teachers. Freire, considered to be the forerunner in emancipatory pedagogy, offered instead a participant role to students and in turn Image 2.3 Michelle Pfeiffer as "LouAnne Johnson" in Dangerous Minds, 1995 teachers needed to be listeners. From the studies in this section, the reflexivity that listening to student concerns may enable is again an absent notion. In a similar but more detailed and powerful reading of Dangerous Minds, Giroux (2002) finds that LouAnne Johnson is the archetype of whiteness offering compassion and consumerism as the solution to educating students who have given up on school (p. 148). The movie is "offensive" (p. 147), "debased" (p. 147), "a pedagogy of diversion" (p. 154). It: reinforces the highly racialized, though reassuring, mainstream assumption that chaos reigns in inner-city public schools, and that white 47 teachers alone are capable of bringing order, decency, and hope to those on the margins of society, (p. 156) Lou Anne Johnson has little interest in the students' lives and intrudes into their personal spaces by unscheduled visits to their homes. She plays old Dylan songs instead of the hip-hop they are interested in. Giroux sees her ignorance of their culture and her insistence on hers as a "form of symbolic violence" (p. 153) in which white teachers can teach without theory, with ignorance toward students' lives, and yet be miracle workers (p. 153). Unlike the previous scholars in this chapter, Giroux suggests the uses the film has for critical pedagogy. It should be read for how whiteness is structured as racial dominance (p. 157), as a way to "interrogate and rupture" (p. 158) the film's ideology, and as a contrast to other filmic representations of whiteness (p. 158). He predicts that white students will resist engaging critically with the normative practice of whiteness, but teachers must be careful to create a space where students can air even "politically incorrect" (p. 159) viewpoints which can be challenged, critiqued, and rearticulated through dialogue (p. 159). Students "need to feel that they have a personal stake in how the discourse of race marks their own identities" (p. 161). This interpretation links the film to ideological assumptions about racial identity. Giroux is interested in having students see this ideology and in changing their raced assumptions about their white teaching identities. Like modern emancipators, the only viewer credited with a critical viewpoint is Giroux, and his is the politically correct one. Not unlike LouAnne Johnson, and somewhat ironically then, it is the white Giroux who will provide the answer for his students' (and readers') lack. Giroux's position in his critical reading of the film is what 48 Mc William (1997) calls "the missionary position" (p. 220), a pedagogue with a "redemptive social vision" (p. 221). Another powerful reading located between emancipatory modernist pedagogy and problematizing practices is Luttrell's (1996) reading of Stanley and Iris (1990), the popular love story of an illiterate white man (played by Robert de Niro) transformed by r a working class woman's (Jane Fonda) literacy teaching. Luttrell offers her reading of the film as part of a larger critique of the gender politics of literacy teaching. She suggests that the discourse around adult literacy teaching (and not unlike some ESL work both with adult immigrants in Canada and E F L teaching) has certain problematic assumptions that Stanley and Iris exemplify. Adult literacy education assumes that it is women's responsibility to teach literacy (because of their "instinctual" loving and caring nature), that anyone who can read can teach literacy, that there are false distinctions between male=rational/women=emotional at work, and that the self-esteem that results from much successful literacy work should not be understood as an automatic outcome but rather an achievement (p. 348). In the film, Iris's literacy work with Stanley is undervalued by various mise-en-scenes where she teaches him to read while doing her household chores like ironing. Literacy work is seen to be another domestic job. Iris's volunteerism is thus interpellated as a labour of love, like raising a child (p. 349). Iris and Stanley's growing love for each other parallels that of a mother's love for her child in, for example, his complete dependency on her in the early stages of his literacy learning (p. 353). Stanley, meanwhile, is constructed around "masculine" interests such as mechanics and science and through Iris's love is transformed from a dependent illiterate to a fully employed . J v 49 literate man who offers to take care of her (p. 357). Luttrell is critical of this one-on-one relationship between Iris and Stanley that the film privileges. The focus should not be on the learner but on his learning process (p. 358). This leads to her radical suggestion , for change in literacy education, that of not privileging the one-on-one relationship beginning with the mother/child bond as the primary source of literacy learning. Luttrell's Stanley and Iris offers interesting observations of literacy. She reads "reality" into the film by building parallels between real and reel discourses of literacy. The reflection, however, is problematic and thus the film represents a negative portrait of literacy, one that should be resisted. Luttrell's thrust is away from the intimacy of literacy and toward a wider social sphere of literacy teachers such as other members of . the family and community. The fact that she does offer suggestions for changing literacy education situates her article toward problematizing practices. Her singular reading, her skepticism of romantic love in the pedagogical relationship, and the refusal to see Iris as the locus of power locate her reading as also liberatory modernist. Turning the focus toward students is Whatley's (1988) examination of several movies that highlight adolescent male students. This text also borders emancipatory modernism with problematizing practices. She looks at how popular films, in contrast to sex education materials in school, construct male adolescent sexuality. Whatley's examination of popular films leads her to several discursive strands concerning male adolescent sexuality. These include: men and virginity where nerds are usually virgins or change from nerd to hero through sexual experience; men's sex drive in which "perpetual heat" (p. 110) describes cinematic adolescents; metaphorical and literal penises in which the assumption is that normal men have a healthy and active one; the 50-function of the penis which is to "nail" (a reference to sexual intercourse that suggests pleasure for neither the man or woman); women as objects where women who are "nailed" gives status to the "nailer" and where women can be traded or given away; the phallus as a car; and power and homophobia where references to men as "girl" or "faggot" are insulting to heterosexual adolescent boys (pp. 109-118). Whatley positions film as "an active shaping force of adolescent sexuality discourses" (p. 118) which educators should challenge. She finds most disturbing the message that men's sexuality equals (economic) power as well as the homophobic construction of heterosexuality. Whatley suggests the films will convince boys that "their sexuality is controlled by raging hormones and expressed in powerful cars" (p. 120) unless critical pedagogy intervenes to make clear the relationships. Here again is the modernist notions of film-as-dominant and of the teacher-as-liberator, freeing adolescent boys from the dominant cinematic constructions of their sexuality. "Heterosexual boys" are a unitary subject, and other readings of the film are absent. Nevertheless, Whatley's text does differ from other modernists in this section. For one thing, the locus of her examination is adolescent boys' sexuality, again, a somewhat taboo or silent topic. She draws attention to specific spoken language from films connected to adolescent male sexuality, for example, "nail", suggesting the importance of language in understanding a complex topic such as sexuality in film and its relation to real boys. The pedagogy she indicates does not silence boys' sexuality but rather entwines it with an analysis of cinematic power. Watching these films as part of the school curriculum, she suggests, many adolescents will not only enjoy the movies but will equally enjoy analyzing the sites of power (p. 129). Analysis of previously 51 silenced and important topics and the acceptance of pleasure in pedagogy are elements of problematizing practices. Another film concerning the construction of students is the movie Exotica (1994) that focuses on the image of the schoolgirl. Two interesting readings of the film are offered. The first by hooks (1996) is in this section and the second by Kelly (1997) is in the next section. The Exotica is a nightclub whose customers and employees serve to weave multiple plot lines. One concerns an Exotica dancer, Christina, who dresses in a school girl's uniform and dances to Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows." Her ex-boyfriend Eric is DJ and MC and always introduces her with the question, "What is it Image 2.4 Mia Kirschner as "Christina" in Exotica, 1994 52 that gives a schoolgirl her special innocence?" Yet, her dance portrays sexual abuse. Christina has a regular customer, Francis, for whom she performs lap dances in her schoolgirl costume, for whom she babysat his daughter Lisa, and to whom she reveals the sexual abuse she suffers at home. Francis's black wife was killed in a car accident and his daughter was murdered, found in a schoolgirl's uniform like Christina's. It is evident that Christina's dance is therapy for Francis and for her as well. hooks's reading is located in liminality. For her, the film represents the normalized practices of cultural hybridity and she immediately recognizes that the film is not set in the United States. It is set "where difference is tolerated and border crossing more a norm than a contrived spectacle" (pp. 28-29), an idealized society, hooks centers her reading around the themes of betrayal and yearning and the inability of the characters to attain what they desire through Christina's dance. Francis, the father and husband, is unable to be the all-protecting white man to his family, and thus turns to Exotica arid Christina in the hopes of regaining the power to protect (pp. 29-30). This of course cannot be and instead he finds reconciliation through Eric who confronts Francis with his loss. Christina's continual re-enactment of sexual abuse through her dance does not satisfy the desire for recognition of her pain. Instead, she leaves Francis's car (the symbolic father) and returns home (pp. 32-33). hooks's reading finds the film unproblematic. (It is important to note, however, that she does not find most films this way.) Exotica is an exemplar text offering the "correct" representations of social identities. Her reading applauds the common thread 53 of desire for connection and the fear of loss for all characters regardless of race or gender. Her reading is critical to the extent that it centers on desire and the struggle of characters to transgress and reconcile loss. The absence of engaging a problematic and the univocality of the reading situate it in emancipatory modernism. 2.4 Problematizing Practices A somewhat umbrella term, problematizing practices, draws on a number of positions to subject construction including feminist poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and queer and critical race theories (Pennycook, 2001, p. 5, p. 42). They question modernist notions of science and language as objective systems and posit a view of society and subjectivity as discursively constructed. Work in this section is also underscored by its interest in multiplicity. One expression of multiplicity is not simply acknowledging that other viewers agree or not with the writer, but rather that there are other views with particular causes and from particular positions. The practice of providing multiple readings is problematic, not in and of itself, but because it necessitates addressing some of the difficult questions inherent in a diverse social group such as "students" or "viewers" or indeed "myself." Multiple readings can be offered in different ways. Some writers offer their reading and then engage with others that are different. In much of the work in this section, the researcher/professor asks education students to watch and respond to movies of teaching. Multiple readings distinguish this section from the previous two strands of critical work where a singular reading of the film or films is elaborated and other readings are absent or made present through an essentialized and unidentified audience. Another way of inscribing multiple readership is by coupling the emotive experience of 54 the film with the writer's (distanced) critique of it. This type of multiplicity articulates the feminist slogan that the personal is political. Writers are also interested in how films are experienced in diverse ways and through diverse and previously absent indices of power, such as pleasure and race. Work in film and education here treats the viewer's pleasure of watching film as a position of power rather than as under the influence of a dominant message although this effect is not dismissed. Freudian concepts of human desire and fantasy structure some of this work while other work draws on liberal, modernist, and poststructuralist theories to make sense of diverse responses to watching films. Importantly, multiplicity here comes to mean that writers do not necessarily position themselves as not modernist, but rather draw on elements of critical work in all its forms. For example, while I read the distinguished cultural critic and critical pedagogue, Henry Giroux, as a fairly solid modernist liberator, some writers here draw on Giroux in their practices of making taken-for-granted processes problematic. . There are also attempts in this strand at self-reflexivity, a crucial aspect of poststructuralist pedagogy, and a point on which emancipatory modernists are woefully silent (Pennycook, 2001, pp. 84-85). Self-reflexivity takes various forms in recent educational work. Lin (2004), for instance, comes to realize the negative effect her high expectations have on busy students through a student comment (pp. 282-284). As a result, she suggests that teachers openly involve students in commenting on their teaching styles (p. 284). Self-reflexivity here means engaging and having students engage in critiquing the teacher with the outcome of changes in teaching style and curriculum content and delivery. For F. Butler (2000), reviewed below, self-reflexivity 55 involves responding quickly to education students' time restraints in completing the research protocols she had set out for them. F. Butler changes her initial protocols so that her project will fit better with the students' busy lives. In these examples, self-reflexivity interpellates students or research participants with power and the teacher or researcher making changes based on that power. Self-reflexivity also comes to mean a critical awareness of one's politics and the limitations of that knowledge, a kind of hyper-reflexivity. For example, in Smith's (1999) work below, she is inclusive of other readings of a film but acknowledges her inability to really accept them or adopt them as her take on the film. In working through issues of race and desire in Chapter 4 of this study and in previous work (Mackie, 2003), self-reflexivity begins with an urgent call to question discourses of whiteness and gender, and recognize how these inscribe subject positions. It is a re-direction of the gaze at others to the gaze at themselves. Writers here, then, attempt to account for differences in readings and to re/read and re/inscribe themselves. 2.4.1 Robertson's (1997) Stand and Deliver Having been passionate about the movies, I have been able to observe the power of cinema to produce the unexpected — feelings and affects for which an account cannot easily be made. (Robertson, 1997, p. 75) So begins Robertson's "Fantasy's confines: Popular culture and the education of the female primary-school teacher" in which she explores data from her class of 12 white women studying to become primary school teachers. Together they have watched Stand and Deliver (1988), and responded to it in discussion and journal entries. From the above quote, the strand of critical work is hinted at. First, Robertson is explicit in identifying where her own passion lies. Second, she poses the difficult task of 56 understanding the structures of women's emotions vis-a-vis films. Third, and contrary to earlier strands of critical work, she observes that film produces "unexpected" feelings. Remember that for emancipatory modernists, the audience's feeling is singular and predictable. Robertson includes her own journal excerpts and excerpts from the students' responses to the film. She attempts to decenter herself as "objective researcher" by drawing extensively on her journal and student responses. Multiple avenues map her position that cinematic representations of teachers such as Escalante affect uneasy fantasies of learning to teach. Robertson draws on Freudian psychoanalysis to develop her case for fantasy's involvement in learning to be a teacher. Thus far in the literature review, there is an absence of Freudian notions of difference and identity. While Freudian theory is well known in psychology, it is not limited to this field alone. Indeed, it is a significant resource for feminist film studies and feminist poststructural work. Feminist work that engages with Freudian notions of'male and female difference applies it to studies of the feminine. Robertson's text addresses this gap in the literature of psychoanalytical perspectives on film and education. How does she involve Freudian concepts in her analysis? She observed that five of the twelve students had their most intense response to a short scene in the movie. In this scene, Escalante's students post a letter of love for him. The scene triggers in Robertson's students daydreams and fantasies of receiving a similar letter of love and devotion. Freud's notion is "that speech performs as a vehicle through which unconscious effects are established" (Robertson, 1997, p. 81). Through certain forms of language such as faltering, trailing off, and dreamy voices, students express their 57 unconscious epistolary fantasies about teaching and themselves as teachers. Important to the fantasy are the various forms of concealment the students enact. Robertson: The senders post tributes to themselves, thus concealing and revealing what cannot be spoken: a desire for recognition and to be the container of that (knowledge) which their (imaginary) students must attribute to them in order to be (themselves-imaginary teachers and children) complete, (p. 83) Asking for recognition is concealed in the act of posting. At the same time, the imaginary students reveal that it is the teacher who has made them complete. In turn, she is complete. The letters are both narcissistic and idealized fantasies of teaching and the teacher and children are idealized partners in the pedagogical act. If Robertson's analysis of the data ended here, it would more appropriately contribute to a critical thinking approach. However, Robertson continues to problematize the fantasy of teaching-as-love, suggesting that the love fantasy can serve as a metaphor in the construction of white female teachers at primary school, a point also made above by Luttrel (1996). For example, women who devote themselves to teaching their love object are subdued and dispossessed of articulating such rights as dignity, compensation and recognition for their efforts (Robertson, 1997, p. 84). Primary school teachers are interpellated in public discourse as having a love and conviction for children that should go beyond demands for more time and institutional and social status. The desire to be recognized contains conflict in the form of concealing the love. The idealized and narcissized fantasy hides this hostility from consciousness, thus creating the ego-ideal (p. 86). The letter serves to nourish the teacher in her self-formation of an idealized identity while at the same time deceiving her by silencing the low status associated with primary school teaching. Robertson's students were aware of 58 and expressed their offense at being subalterned in the school system, and pedagogically, this knowledge can be juxtaposed with the dream of love. Robertson also questions the students' awareness of their whiteness. Here she suggests that while they stated awareness of gendered positions, the students never questioned how their race was imbricated in privilege. Thus, the love fantasy may also serve to legitimate colonial images of teaching where the white teacher knows all and the children are ignorant (p. 87). It also serves to silence another kind of letter, one in which the children reject the teacher (p. 87). By questioning how the fantasies of teaching (here sparked by a scene from a movie) may provide both spaces of pleasure (love from students) yet confinement (concealing important issues of social identity), Robertson turns away from modernist binaries of dominant/oppressed to reposition research subjects/viewers as critical participants in self-construction. Film is an intermediary between the already inscribed body and the reflexive mind, at least in terms of gender. 2.4.2 F. Butler's (2000) Stand and Deliver F. Butler's dissertation is similar to Robertson's (1994) in that they both examine the responses of preservice teachers to three or four movies about teachers. However, F. Butler's purpose is to design and evaluate a module for teacher films in education. She is especially interested in using films as an approach to reflexive practice and social change. She analyzes the data from discussions, questionnaires, journals and written responses to the teaching module. 60 students in an undergraduate teacher education program in F. Butler's home, the Bahamas, provided data. 59 The data concerning the effectiveness of the film module were positive. Students commented that the group viewing of films (where verbal comments circulated), the later discussions, and journalling helped to reflect critically about cinematic teachers, the students' choice to become teachers, the diversity of teaching styles and identities, various situations they may be confronted with in teaching, and the benefits of listening and learning from each other. In reference to Stand and Deliver (1988), F. Butler reports that participants found it to have the most impact on their perception of teaching (pp. 115-116). One reason for this is that it is based on a real teacher. Compare this response to Ayers (1993) and Farber and Holm (1994) who found the film not real enough. F. Butler's subjects also commented that it showed the complexities of teaching, the competencies the teacher needs to be successful, and the nonconforming attitudes teachers must assume in order to awaken students to their potential (F. Butler, 2000, pp. 116-117). Compared to the other filmic teachers the participants observed, Stand and Delivers Escalante was named most often as the teacher they wanted to emulate (p. 122). F. Butler insists, however, that her work with films is not a simple "view and respond" approach. Students also read Hall's (1980) article on preferred, negotiated, and oppositional readings of texts, excerpts from Foucault's (1977) Discipline and Punish, Gore's (1998) "Disciplining Bodies", and her own writing. She also creates collages of cinematic scenes that she sees as problematic, and asks students to reflect upon them (F. Butler, 2000, p. 131). While F. Butler's study is practical, like Summerfield's (1993), in its offering of specific pedagogical tasks, it insists on a depth of engagement with the structures of the film that Summerfield's does not. Furthermore, 60 F. Butler's pedagogy is intertextual in its approach. For example, essay questions assigned after viewing and reading include: Do you find that the school subjects taught, and the way they are taught, are part of a 'disciplinary' apparatus? . . . Does your disciplining ever take the form of an 'imperializing' or 'sovereign' power? How so? . . . What surveillance systems do you find in operation in your school? What behaviors 'on the margins' are these systems designed to monitor and control? . . . Obviously, many people suffer from being in a weak 'relational' position in a power relationship. Do you think that 'power' is always a negative force? Are there'productive powers'? (p. 165) The questions call for reflexivity while drawing on the previous work of discussing and responding to films and articles. In drawing on various poststructuralist texts, Butler's pedagogy exemplifies problematizing practice. Students need to draw on multiple resources including film to answer questions that link themselves to wider circles of discipline, power, and marginality. What is silent in the above two discussions of problematizing practices is the result or effect of Robertson's classroom research or F. Butler's research and pedagogy, except as a research resource. 2.4.3 Review of Problematizing Practices Turning now to other multivocal studies, Page (1991), Trier (2001a, 2001b, 2002), Mitchell and Weber (1999), and Bell (1995) combine their interpretation of films with student responses to films and other texts, and like F. Butler (2000), Trier and Mitchell and Weber offer their practices with film in teaching education courses. Page's (1991) study of 30 women re-entering university draws on Bourdieu's concept of "habitus" as social class (a rather different understanding of Bourdieu) and, like 61 Robertson (1994), Raymond Williams's "structures of feeling" is drawn on to analyze the data. Participants individually watched the film Educating Rita (1983) about Rita, a working class wife and hairdresser returning to open university in England to complete her education, and her alcoholic professor who challenges Rita to develop her own opinions and is in turn transformed by Rita. Data were collected from individual interviews and a group discussion that followed the viewing of particular, scenes. Page is interested in analyzing participant reading strategies. She finds that the re-entry women's readings do not constitute a single interpretive community as in Radway's (1994) group of women romance readers, but rather depending on their different habitus — on what discourses they could access — offer different interpretations of Rita's gendered cultural capital. Working class women, for instance, did not see Rita's hope for the future as through having another man while middle class women, in contrast, believed in the possibility of Rita having a cross-class relationship (Page, 1991, p. 119). The participants engaged with and made sense of those of Rita's challenges that connected to their experiences. Page's reading of their data addresses the multiple social identities the entry women assume: Against a background of a web of familiar relationships that enmesh and restrain a woman in a private, non-public role and function, as daughter, sister, aunt, wife, or mother, divorced, married, or single is the re-entry woman student seeking to enhance her future life choices and options. Stripped of the "comforts" and "protection" of her home, her daily circumstances at school are those of student and/or research/teaching assistant, quite simply a voice "down under" in a position of subordination seeking knowledge, skills, validation, (p. 150) The re-entry women structured their readings of the film through their own experiences in present and past marriages, pregnancy and mothering, interruptions to their schooling, 62 w o r k i n g and studying at the university, and domestic conf l icts . The students, Page suggests, are not s imp ly popular f i l m consumers o f a dominant image. T h e y br ing to the f i l m gendered soc ia l and cultural posit ions that, l i ke R i ta , they are t ry ing to change through education. Page 's text has elements of emancipatory modern ism (for example , essent ia l iz ing class or "re-entry w o m a n " as markers exp la in ing differences i n f i l m interpretations), yet her text is not s imp ly an ideo log ica l reading. L i k e Robertson 's (1994, 1997) work , it attempts to locate the structures o f feel ings the f i l m e l ic i ts and tie these to w o m e n ' s mult i layered identities. T h i s posi t ion o f the reader as already in / fo rmed contrasts w i t h m u c h emancipatory modernist w o r k where the reader is constructed as needy and uncr i t ica l and brought to cr i t ica l consciousness b y the teacher. Another study that draws on the not ion o f habitus is Tr ie r (2002) w h o uses f i l m i n a s imi la r fashion as F. But le r (2000) does i n her teaching. Tr ie r introduces his students to postmodernist notions such as Gee ' s (1996) def in i t ion o f l i teracies (Trier, 2001a) and Bourd ieu ' s habitus (Trier, 2002) through essays or excerpts. Students in his p ract icum teacher education course v i e w a teacher mov ie such as Teachers (1984). T h e y then read and respond to an excerpt f rom Gee or T r ie r ' s interpretation o f the f i l m . \ F i n a l l y , they select a f i l m f r o m a l ist o f teacher f i lms he provides and write a response to it , taking up poststructural notions they have read and discussed. Compare these pedagogical practices o f establ ishing l inks between popular f i l m and soc ia l practices such as l i teracy to Summer f ie ld ' s (1993) work w i t h El Norte (1984) that remains largely between the f i l m text and the ind iv idua l . 63 Like F. Butler (2000) and Robertson (1997), Trier (2001a, 2001b, 2002) provides lengthy passages of student responses illustrating how they have understood the readings via a film such as Teachers (1984). The responses also offer a challenge to, for example, the traditional idea of literacy as a set of skills to be acquired (Trier, 2001a, p. 306), and students refer to the film Teachers and the discussions around literacy when they do their fieldwork and practice teaching and observations (p. 312). Unlike emancipatory modernists who overstate their pedagogy, Trier does not claim that a single project such as these are transformational, an implicit goal of his pedagogy. Yet, the film work continues to be referenced and drawn upon later in the semester, evidence that the students are still working through the problems. Work that border crosses the three strands of critical pedagogy is by Mitchell and Weber (1999) and Weber and Mitchell (1995). One of their suggestions is close readings (1999) where studying and comparing films can bring about awareness of stereotypes (critical thinking) and reveal the social agendas and messages the films support, critique, or reproduce (p. 171) (emancipatory modernism). Questions for close readings include: What are the surface structures of the film? What is it explicitly saying? Who created it? How and why? What are the deep structures and counter-texts (e.g. film reviews)? What are the implicit messages? What images or stereotypes are created, contested, or perpetuated? What room for ambiguity or interpretation does the text provide? How does your (the student's) close reading relate to your experience in education? (p. 173). The questions similarly take up multiple critical positions, with the final two questions articulating problematizing practices. 64 Mitchell and Weber (1999) illustrate close reading by providing one for Dangerous Minds (1995), comparing it to To Sir, With Love (1967), a film Weber reviewed in their earlier book (Weber & Mitchell, 1995). The surface" structures of the films (who the teachers are, who and what they teach, their view of teaching, their portraits of heroic teaching, their rebellion against the curriculum), and the deep structures (clothing, language codes, insider/outsider perspective, their social identities, soundtrack effects) are identified by Mitchell (Mitchell & Weber, 1999, pp. 174-178). Weber continues the close reading by examining the implicit messages of the film through LouAnne Johnson and Sir's teaching styles. Their text (1999) does not primarily concern films. Rather, it questions how teaching identity is formed and how it can be re-invented. This ambitious goal can be aided in part by the task of cinematic close reading. The final study that engages students is Bell's (1995) work with the film Pump Up the Volume (1990) that concerns an alienated high school student, Mark, who is given a short wave radio and starts broadcasting his opinions about life, high school, and the state of society. Bell finds that Mark's views express cynicism and despair, hope and possibility (p. 179) and soon the strict principal wants to shut Mark down. Bell's work has elements of both modernist liberation and poststructuralist pedagogy. Bell finds that the movie does not represent a radical social vision and that although Mark offers a radical critique of American society, his solutions are liberal (p. 201). Bell's reading of the film is similar to some modern emancipators (Cohen, 1996; Dalton, 1999; Giroux, 2002) who see teacher films as representing the status quo. 65 In addition to his reading, Bell (1995) holds conversations about the film with four white student-teachers in an education program after they have viewed it. The data from the conversations suggest to Bell that any hope the film may represent for social change resides within the filmic moment and is not transported outside viewing time. This limitation of the film coupled with the student educators' limited critical sensibilities underscore the difficulty of appropriating popular texts for critical literacy and liberation pedagogy (p. 210). The student-teachers are committed to individualism and do not talk about teachers working together (pp. 221-223). He concludes that: . . . these people in their professional teaching activity will have only marginal success in developing any substantive critical thinking and critical literacy in their classroom practices [because they] have been raised in the same critically barren educational environment as most of us have been. (p. 226) Clearly, cynicism is also in large supply in Bell's research. He uses the four student-teachers (who have not been named or described) to make the point that "they" and "us" have been educated in the same uncritical context. However essentialized and over-determined this point is, it is the least problematic element of the study. A more serious problem of research ethics is at work here. Bell supersedes the participants in the study with his own polemics on the crisis in education, so that the student-teachers are interpellated as individualistic with limited chances at success in participating in critical pedagogy. Nevertheless, Bell's text is also full of the awareness of contradictions and attempts to work through them. Like others (Brannon, 1993; Ellsworth, 1989; Trier, 2002; Weiler, 1991), he finds the gap between the discourse of critical pedagogy and the practice of critical pedagogy incommensurable. Bell (1995) is critical of critical 66 pedagogy, stating that it "remains inaccessible to teacher educators in their classroom practices" (p. 157). He believes that popular films can develop critical literacy and classroom practices that will work against the alienation and uncritical individualism characterizing American society (pp. 160-162). Bell articulates film as pleasure, hope, bodily experience, and contradiction. He believes that the transformative potential of critical pedagogy must be linked'to the politics and practice of pleasure (p. 234), in part by incorporating the physical body in pedagogic practice (p. 236) and by a differently defined relationship between teachers and students (p. 238). Bell has no happy endings or magic potions for what he finds is a crisis in education. Bell, then, his research ethics notwithstanding, adds elements to critical pedagogy that emancipatory modernism does not. These include a critique of itself, cynicism toward both the present educational system and that which emancipatory pedagogy holds out, and the acceptance that viewing bodies are vessels of hope and pleasure. To re-cap the work in this section, problematizing practices thus far illustrate the element of multiplicity in various ways. First, F. Butler (2000), Trier (2001a, 2002), and Mitchell and Weber's (1999) methodology is intertextual, that is, relationships are built between the visual text (the films), written text (essays, excerpts), and spoken texts (discussions). Second, films are connected to multiple social practices: identity formation, emotive processing, literacy, body disciplining, social class formation, and power. Third, student data does not simply confirm the writers' interpretations of films or provide space for student voices, but rather the data present problems (sometimes solved, sometimes not) in the form of attempted understanding of the multiple meanings and expressions students make of films. The next studies within the problematizing 67 practices strand do not work with education students as these previous studies have, but rather juxtapose the writer's response with other readings of film. The first is Smith's (1999) article concerning the film Lean on Me (1989). Morgan Freeman plays the black principal, Joe Clark, who is hired to take over a high school that was once progressive, challenging, and full of white students but is now full of violence, drugs, disrespect, and black students. Smith first presents her own reading in which her reasons for the film's offensiveness are given. Recognizing that singular readings are insufficient and arrogant (p. 27), she provides other readings of the film from African-American parents of students who attended the school in which she was principal, and from black and white colleagues at the same school. Smith reads Clark as a Christ-like father figure, a savior of especially fatherless students, suggesting that single mothers are part of the problem. He expels bad students and fires teachers that challenge him. Such scenes, Smith suggests, construct appropriate educational administration and teachers who are reluctant workers unless an authority figure is present (p. 11-15). The educational system does not need more resources, just better leaders and committed teachers. When this simple solution is put into place, students are then able to pass the standardized tests they need for a better future. Smith finds that the offensive elements of the film concern the constructions of race, class, and gender. African-Americans commit most of the offensive acts, the school changes from a 1960s affluent white school to a 1980s poor black school, and women are part of the solution only to a limited extent (p. 18-19). Smith, like Bauer (1998), connects the film to a presidential era (Reagan), and makes the case that the film "is a dangerous pedagogical and political statement" (p. 20). 68 Smith decenters her reading by providing the remarks of other viewers. She accepts that films do not make a single statement but many depending on the position of Image 2.5 Morgan Freeman as "Joe Clark" in Lean on Me, 1989 the viewer, for instance, the parents of school children. African-American parents of students at her high school read Clark as a "care-giver, a leader, a man of righteous indignation, of power, of action, of god" (p. 22). While the bad guys were black and white, the good guys were exclusively black. The problems at the high school were ones which parents of any race would not want. These parents believed that in the absence of a Clark-type principal at their children's school, the parents themselves had to be vigilant in keeping their children from drugs and other problems (p. 23). Smith's African-American male students found a model in Clark while some identified with one or more of the cinematic students and wanted to be helped by Clark. The African-69 American female students were less enthusiastic about the movie although they also were not bothered by the stereotypes and identified Clark as someone who could help their own boyfriends and as a man they would like to marry. Smith accepts these other views of the film as "the most accessible" of the alternative readings she heard (p. 24). One view that was less easy for her to reconcile was from an African-American administrative colleague. Although his administrative style was different from Clark's, he also encountered African-American students who wanted him to go easy on them because he was the same colour. "Clark gave [the administrator] permission to do so with vigor" (p. 25). Even harder to reconcile were the attitudes of several of Smith's European-American teaching colleagues. These teachers did not identify with the negative image of teachers in the movie. Rather, it vindicated their message that education was important, that parents and students are also responsible, and that administrative due process blocks rather than helps schooling (p. 25). Regardless of how Smith received these other readings of Lean on Me, she learned "that singular readings deny what could be a supremely human enterprise, a conversation that incorporates both head and heart" (p. 30). Smith's text engages with oppositional readings to her own. Instead of silencing them by absence, or pointing out how they are weak and flawed, they enable a dialogue of difference. The different readings provide a much larger space for viewers-as-subjects. That is, viewers may: express ambivalence to the movie (black school girls); desire to be one or more of the characters (black school boys); use the cinematic principal to articulate his own desire (black administrator); find vindication through the film's message (white teachers); find 70 questions of cinematic identity problematic (white principal and writer). Doing so helps construct a complex, disunified readership. Another way of reading films through multiple lenses is given by Joyrich (1995). She undertakes the problem of finding a reading between the binary choice of viewing positions with a film she has loved for many years and teaches — The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969). The two choices open to her (and to a certain extent are particular to her) are the one in which she has been disciplined into, screen theory, which is highly suspicious of the second position, pleasure, and specifically the immense pleasure she takes from viewing The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The latter position she locates within feminist cultural studies in which psychoanalytical notions of fantasy, like Robertson's (1997) text, are foregrounded. Joyrich (1995) attempts to discuss less what the movie depicts and more what the movie has led her to consider regarding pedagogy, namely spectatorship, identification, and pleasure (p. 48). She begins with her pleasure, indeed, fascination with the film, yet within several pages her analysis (given in italics) begins to take over the autobiographical meanings the film has produced. The struggle is to write through the difficulties rather than beyond them. One of the problems Joyrich encounters in her critique is the expendability of authority, namely the theorist, feminist, or cultural critic (pp. 57-58), a point similarly made by C. Luke (1998). Poststructuralism posits multiple positions for subjects who themselves are able of critically reading their world. The function of the theorist is denied because viewers can find for themselves the cracks in the film's representations. In Joyrich's case with The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, she uses the film to teach the structures that reproduce gender, but she also believes she has learned and continues to 71 find pleasure in it (p. 59). By refusing to illuminate the solution to the problem of writing through polarized theories, she offers her text as productive tension between oppositions. An approach similar to Joyrich's is Kelly's (1997) reading of Exotica (1994), the film of the sexually abused exotic dancer/schoolgirl. Like Joyrich's pleasure versus disciplinary gaze, Kelly has a "fascinated disturbance" (p. 92) with the film. Kelly refuses, like Joyrich, to offer up simple answers to complex questions such as: [W]hat are viewers to make of a film that constructs such a direct and disturbing relationship between male voyeurism and the murder and abuse of schoolgirls? What forms of literacy might position young women and men to read and to Challenge such significations and to resignify desire more firmly on their own terms and in their better interests? (pp. 96-97) Instead, she links the schooling of female sexualization (as victims needing to protect themselves) to a discourse countering this (the director's) message. The transformative . potential of the film's message is limited as it suggests that it is the responsibility of schoolgirls/women to counter the dominant male gaze. The film is further limited by not assigning women more empowering, more desiring subjectivities (p. 101). Being able to read multiple texts for the constituents of the social and cultural worlds is the work of critical literacy educators (p. 102) where the schoolgirl as subject can be re-read and re-constructed. Like emancipatory modernists, Kelly situates films as cultural texts that need inclusion in the curriculum in order to identify the film's dominant and uneasy images of subjectivities. Doing so is a step in reconstructing the limitations films hold out. Unlike liberation pedagogy, however, she centers desire and its manifestations such as 72 voyeurism and fetishism, including her own as "fascinated disturbance" in a theory of literacy. Like Joyrich (1995) and Robertson (1997), Kelly (1997) makes problematic the positioning of female and male desire and pleasure. She is also mindful of the limits of her readings. Hers is not the definitive critical take on Exotica, but rather a place from which to ask questions (p. 92). I turn now to two studies of cinematic professors. Long (1996) analyzes popular images of professors including cinematic professors from the 1960s to the 1990s. These she considers as anti-intellectual in portraying professors as pompous, arrogant, mistrustful, unethical, foolish and wacky (p. 32). She contends that cinematic portraits stem from a history of anti-intellectualism in American society that began after the American Revolution. Long draws on, among other sources, an interesting quote from Thomas Jefferson in 1789: State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray with artificial rules, (quoted in Long, p. 33) Films like Quiz Show (1994), the story of a professor who cheats on a T V quiz show, and The Nutty Professor (1963) the story of a silly and nerdy professor, fuel this long-standing American anti-intellectualism. Long recognizes the power of popular film and connects it to the social and political practice of American anti-intellectualism. She positions film as having a strong influence on public opinion where "public opinions and popular culture are mutually reinforcing" (p. 36, italics added). A relationship of mutuality between viewer and viewed suggests a crucial difference between problematizing practices where the viewer is afforded a critical and active role in 73 viewing and emancipatory modernism where viewers are passive and dominated by film. A similar statement about history professors is made by Polan (1996) in contrasting popular film and literary images of history professors. History and historians are minimally present in popular cinema and when history is present, it is without contemporary importance (p. 253). The public assumes that historians do nothing but relate the accomplishments of the deceased. This public opinion leads to historians' invisibility in popular film. Polan suggests that the field of history needs to examine this invisibility "so that it does not blithely continue a descent into cultural irrelevance" (p. 255). Here, the relationship of power between viewers and film is reversed from that which modernists hold out. Public opinion of historians creates the invisibility of cinematic historians. Like Long (1996), Polan (1996) implies an interesting social relation between the public and the popular. Both Long and Polan position viewers in connection to the power viewers have as a collective in public opinion. As mentioned above, this indicates a shift from emancipatory modernism regarding the subject. Now the subject/viewer constitutes public opinion and is not a passive recipient of the ideology of films. Instead, there is a mutual relationship between viewer and viewed, and a collectivity whose power can change popular cinematic representations. 2.5 Summary This chapter has reviewed literature on film and education. It has illustrated and built upon three strands to critical pedagogy (Pennycook, 2001) by providing reviews of the film Stand and Deliver (1988) and reviews of other studies of popular film. The review focused on the positions in which writers in the various strands interpellated 74 Strand of Critical Work Student/ Audience Position Researcher/Teacher/ Writer's Position Position of Fi lm Critical Thinking learner of visual skills objective, film critic text to be critiqued Emancipatory Modernism uncritical, unaware of politics oppressed by film critical, provides text to be awareness of oppression, resisted, liberator dominant Problematizing Practices already formed and critically aware, coconstructor in subjectivity reflexive problem poser, claims own subjective space text used as resource for coconstructor in subjectivity Table 2.1: Summary of Student, Teacher, and Film Positions viewers, films, and in turn themselves. Table 2.1 illustrates these positions. The literature review underscores the variety and dichotomy of critical practice. It is of course inevitable that in raising critical questions about complex social texts such as film, writers and researchers take many routes and sometimes do not know the exact destination. This is particularly so when they involve more participants/readings of the film than their own. Studies which do constitute much of the problematizing practices strand and virtually none in critical thinking or emancipatory modernism. The review has attempted to answer the question, Who speaks for whom and how in studies of film and education? Table 2.2 maps this path. One interesting similarity among the studies is the way in which any approach to critical work takes up questions of race, power and desire. However, they are distinguished in how they frame the questions. To illustrate race and power, let me take up an exemplar study from each 75 Strand of Critical Work Who Speaks? For Whom? For What? How? Crit ical Thinking writer/teacher/ researcher, mainly (white) men undeveloped students, apolitical pedagogy univocally objectively scientifically leaves answers Emancipatory Modernism writer/teacher/ researcher, mainly (white) men uncritical students, ideological pedagogy univocally powerfully resistantly assuredly leaves answers Problematizing Practices writer/teacher/ researcher, student-teachers/ research subjects, students, colleagues, parents of students, personal/political past/present selves, black and white, mainly women already in/formed subjects, pedagogy of difference, undermining polarity multivocally self-reflexively unasssuredly subtly leaves questions Table 2.2: Who Speaks for Whom and How in Studies of Fi lm and Education strand: Summerfield's (1993) suggestion for the film El Norte (1984), Giroux's (2002) reading of Dangerous Minds (1995), and Smith's (1999) reading of Lean on Me (1989). In Summerfield's critical thinking, non-whiteness is implied in her use of "cultural minorities", that is the word "cultural" stands in for the word "racial." In emancipatory modernism, reel whiteness is explicitly stated as racist but real whiteness is again implied through the writer/liberator in Giroux's work and assumed to be uncritical and unaware in white students. Multiple races with multiple readings are explicitly stated and problematized within the gaze of the white reader in Smith's article. In terms of how the three strands take up questions of power, in critical thinking, power is again not 7 6 explicitly discussed but implied to be possessed by the writer and the students vis-a-vis cultural minorities. Power is explicitly located in emancipatory modernism in the film-as-dominant text and implicitly in the writer. In problematizing practices, many reel and real people have power although it is through the power of the white or black woman's pen that more space is provided for multiple others. Desire in various interpretations is another theme running across the three strands. In Bodnar's (1996) critical thinking work, desire or the Spanish word "ganas" comes to mean sensitivity, commitment and sacrifice to teaching (p. 56). In emancipatory modernism, Farber and Holm (1994) and Dalton (1999) read a less powerful form of desire into the audience's assumed feeling, that is, desire is a hope or wish for transformation in education. Bauer (1998) deals explicitly with eros in cinematic teaching while Whatley (1988) looks explicitly at boys' sexuality, hooks (1996) reads the desire in Erotica as a desire to connect with people who have also suffered loss. In problematizing practices, desire is articulated through dreams of love and concealment (Robertson, 1997), through hopes of changing habitus (Page, 1991), pleasure (Bell, 1995; Joyrich, 1995), and fascination (Kelly, 1997). Again, the way in which writers relate to desire differentiates the strands. In the first two strands, desire in any form remains in the cinematic text and may be transferred to the audience (who, remember, is never described but rather normalized as white and usually male). In the last strand, desire can be stated and identified by the writer but often it is experienced by the writer and indeed the writer in part bases her understanding of how desire works by examining her own. 77 I found that the process of reading film is self-informing (and therefore, although not necessarily, decentering) when the reader processes the film in respect to other readers and readings. These "others" may also be one's self in a space of liminality, that is, the threshold or marginal self between two understandings. Reflexively interacting with different readings is more than positioning one's work against other understandings. Rather, it is an attempt both to locate other readings in relation to their writers and accept them as legitimate. This is what may be called reflexive film reading and can lead to a hyper-reflexivity of the reader's gendered and raced location. I found that the overwhelming majority of reflexive film readers was female. I also found that the politics of race and gender were articulated in vastly different ways according to the educator's self-awareness and the awareness s/he brings to the pedagogy of films. In critical thinking, educators read films without acknowledging awareness of their own social and political positions except, perhaps, as "objective" or as having an interest in "minorities." In emancipatory modernism, educators explicitly discuss the politics of the film as politically incorrect representations of an idealized pedagogical vision. Their own raced (and other) positions, however, are left intact while at the same time their readings imply a reordering of racial (and other) relations. Problematizing practices respond to the text in multiple ways: These include multiple readers of a film, the educator's reading from different locations such as personal and professional, and the use of different genres of writing to express viewpoints that may otherwise be silent. 78 Chapter 3: M E T H O D S OF I N Q U I R Y [W]hat is left of the subject once it is decentered, and where are we then to find its agency? (J .But ler , 2000, p. 31) 79 J. Butler's question underscores the revisioning of subjectivity from self/other positions to a decentered, liminal self. The study is an attempt to decenter discourses of self/other by locating structures of identity and desire in ESL. This chapter details the three methods of inquiry undertaken for Chapters 4 through 10 and the various forms of data used to read the locations of identity and desire. Chapter 4 is a self-interrogation in which I am interested in positioning myself as a corpus of cinematic memories. Chapter 10 similarly draws on two experiences in learning and teaching poststructurally. Kelly (1997) has been my main inspiration here. For Chapters 5, 6, and 7,1 attempt an ethnographic reading of 24 films with ESL (Figure 3.1), viewing them through a feminist postcolonial lens. I follow the lead of Shohat (1991a, 1991b) and Shohat and Stam (1994) in reading for cinematic tropes and themes that construct ESL, English, and ESL teachers and students. For Chapters 8 and 9 (teacher and student data respectively), I read for the ways ESL subjects position themselves temporally and corporeally in relation to cinematic teachers and students. Work on the social construction of bodies (Foucault, 1978) and in particular student bodies (Gleason, 1999; 2001) has been influential here. 3.1 Memory Data Part of my project is the decentering of white space by locating whiteness via memories of popular cinema. Like Rosenberg's (1997) study of women remembering their learning of whiteness, I am interested in how whiteness is produced and how memories map onto social texts and discourses of race. The challenge is to decenter whiteness to a liminal space. In such a project, Dyer (1997) cautions that: 80 Title Year Setting Starring Country Anna and the King 1999 Thailand, 1862 Josie Foster Ling Bai Chow Yun-Fat U S A Anna and the King of Siam 1946 Thailand, 1862 Irene Dunne Jean Darnell Rex Harrison USA Black Narcissus 1947 India, 1930s Deborah Kerr Sabu U K Bossa Nova 2000 Brazil, 1990s Amy Irving Antonio Faeundes Brazil E l Norte 1984 USA, 1980s Christina Kokubo David Villalpando Zaide Guiterrez U S A / U K Good Morning, Vietnam 1987 Vietnam, 1960s Robin Williams Chintara SukaDatana U S A Henry V 1989 France, 1415 Geraldine McEwan Emma Thompson Kenneth Branaah U K Indecent Proposal 1993 USA, 1990s Demi Moore Art Cabrera Robert Redford U S A Inn of the Sixth Happiness (The) 1958 China, 1930s Ingrid Bergman Curt Jergens U S A Iron and Silk 1990 China, 1980s Mark Salzman USA/Japan Sun Xudons Jungle Book (The) 1994 India, 1860s Lena Headey John Cleese Jason Scott Lee U S A King and I (The) 1956 Thailand, 1862 Deborah Ken-Rita Moreno Yul Brvnner U S A King and I (The) 1999 Thailand, 1962 Miranda Richardson Armi Arabe Martin Vidnovic U S A Last Emperor (The) 1987 China, 1930s Tao Wu Pete O'Toole France/Italy/ U K Lilies of the Field 1963 U S A , 1960s Sidney Poitier Li l ia Skala U S A Miss Mary 1986 Argentina, 1930s Julie Christie Nora Zinsky Donald Mclntire Argentina/USA Out of Africa 1985 Kenya, 1930s Meryl Streep Keith Pearson Stephen Kinvaniui U S A Please Teach Me English 2003 South Korea, 2000s Angela Kelly Na, Yeung-Ju South Korea Seven Years in Tibet 1997 Tibet, 1930s Brad Pitt Jamvane Jamtsho U S A Stand and Deliver 1988 USA, 1980s Edward J. Almos L . Diamond Phillips U S A Stripes 1981 USA. 1980s Harold Ramis U S A Tarzan 1999 India, 1860s Minnie Driver Tonv Goldwvn U S A Tropic of Cancer 1970 France, 1960s Rip Torn Bernard Taine U S A Where the Spirit Lives 1989 Canada, 1930s A . MacDonald Michelle St. John Canada Table 3.1 Alphabetical List of Popular Films with ESL 81 [t]he point of looking at whiteness is to dislodge it from its centrality and authority, not to reinstate it (and much less to make a show of reinstating it, when, like male power, it doesn't actually need reinstating), (p. 10) To dislodge the centrality of whiteness requires an examination of whiteness as the taken-for-granted, normalized race and its relationship to racial power. Chapter 4 extricates memories I repeatedly recalled as I questioned myself regarding the intersections of learning to be a white woman ESL teacher and popular films. Although many moments and texts were recalled during this period of self-questioning, just four films were recalled repeatedly. They are To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Sound of Music (1965), Harum Scarum (1965), and Billy Jack (1971). The methodology I employed took several months and involved a continual process of raising questions around my subjectivity. The steps in the recall process involved first the extraction of the image or cinematic moment. Rapidly following this initial memory were other memories from the same film or other films. I question the meaning these cinematic images and moments held for me then and now in regards to race, gender, and desires. What desires to be and to have did these movies construct for me? Important to the process of remembering is the notion that memory, too, is something we make, rtot something that is, so that my memories of the films I saw with my sister, my little girlfriends, and my mother may or may not be the same memories they share. I am interested in working in the liminal space discussed in Chapter 1 in order to decenter the white woman ESL teaching subject. Here again, the modernist notion of the essentialized viewer will not hold nor will the notion of the original text, a text with a singular meaning. 82 3.2 Cinematic Data 3.2.1 Fi lm Selection My second source of data is films with ESL. In choosing films to read, I wanted to be as extensive as possible. I therefore determined that any film which represented ESL no matter the length of scene or the significance to the plot would be included. Like Trier (2001b), I wanted to examine any film even if the E S L was incidental. There are several countries from which the films originate, although primarily the United States (15 of 24). Two T V series from Britain are not on the list because I could not find them. One was a 1970s situational-comedy about an ESL evening course in Britain. The other was a mini-series about slavery in Britain. The woman of the house held ESL classes for her servants in the kitchen. She and her servant fell in love. I limited the selection of films to cinematic ESL/EFL and not as another dialect of English. This excluded the wonderful films Pygmalion (1938) and My Fair Lady (1964) in which Eliza Doolittle engages Professor Henry Higgins to teach her upper class British English in order that she may become a British "lady". I similarly eliminated The Miracle Worker (1962), the story of Anne Sullivan teaching Helen Keller and Children of a Lesser God (1986), both about teachers of students with a hearing disability. Although a case could certainly be made that these films involve similar social processes in terms of identity and language learning (for example, Eliza acquires not only upper class British English but also a very different identity), omitting them was more a matter of management than anything. Even at a time when the list was r 18 films, one wise professor suggested I had too many. 83 After making this determination, I then looked at the available films for signs of teaching/learning in order to classify a film as ESL or not. The signs included the presence of a book, blackboard, desk, or other physical sign of teaching/learning. In addition, if a character self-identified as a teacher or student, or if a character asked another character to teach him/her English, these films remained. However, if a movie contained a scene in which one character helped another by translation or pronunciation, but in which there were no signs of schooling as the ones above, then these films were not considered "ESL films." Examples of these films include Rush Hour (1998) when Chris Tucker helps Jackie Chan pronounce and sing in Black American English or in the Indian movie Lagaan (2001) in which attempts are made to learn both Hindi and English. Similarly, the film, The Sleeping Dictionary (2003), in which a young English officer sent to Sarawak on the island of Borneo and a local woman help each other learn the other's language, regretfully receives no attention here. Originating mainly from the United States but also including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, South Korea and the United Kingdom, the films are set in these countries (except the United Kingdom) as well as China, France, India, Kenya, Thailand, 1930s Tibet, and Vietnam. The earliest time represented is 1415 {Henry V, 1989) with 13 of the 24 set between the height of British colonialism (1860s) to its decline (1930s). The remaining 10 films are set from the 1960s to the present century. ESL content may be several minutes in some films, while in others, ESL teachers and/or students are the focus of the work. It is important to note that I did not research data bases for films with ESL. For example, I did not search for Australian films with ESL although they may exist. 84 Similarly, Bollywood (films made in Mumbai, India), a much larger industry than Hollywood in terms of the number of films produced each year, may have produced films with ESL. I reserve these likely and interesting omissions for future examination. The listed films have come from memory, chance television viewings, and suggestions from friends, colleagues, and family. 3.2.2 Methodology The methodology employed for Chapters 4, 5, and 6 is a close reading of films with ESL using a lens of feminist film studies and cultural studies. The ethnography is not defined within classical anthropology that once: looked at clearly defined others, defined as primitive, or tribal, or non-western, or pre-literate, or nonhistorical - the list, if extended, soon becomes incoherent. Now ethnography encounters others in relation to itself, while seeing itself as others . . . The ethnographer's distinctively intimate, inquisitive perspective turns up in history, literature, advertising, and many other unlikely places. (Clifford, 1986, p. 24) The present study is one of those unlikely places. I attempt to read the cultural assumptions of the films regarding concepts of the subject, power, and desire, knowing that the object of my focus, what I see and read into the films, is as much about who I am as it is about what I say they are. I am aware of the contradiction in antiorientalist work that while white westerners intent is to destabilize the western gaze at others, we also reproduce it in the act of such analysis (Chow, 1995, pp. 12-14). What I try to do in the analysis of films is to bring previously silenced topics and subjects into focus. So while the study is by a white westerner, of mainly white reel and real teachers, it is also about undermining ESL subjectivities such as "uncritical ESL students", "the native speaker", and so on. Like Norton and Kamal (2003) who inscribe Pakistani school 85 children as speaking back to western scholars about learning English, the data analysis in the present study locates knowledge and power in previously unseen or absent subjects. To read the films in this way, I watched them repeatedly. The number of times I watched each one depended on their accessibility and the length of ESL shots. The longer the scenes with ESL or if one of the main characters was an English teacher or a student, the more times I watched the movie. I have watched a movie such as Iron and Silk (1990) a dozen times, and I have also used it in teaching. I needed to spend more time on movies with more ESL simply because it took longer to make notes and write dialogue. For those films with just several minutes of ESL and where ESL is not part of the primary plot line I watched them two or three times. These include Stripes (1981), Henry V (1989), and Indecent Proposal (1993). For movies such as Black Narcissus (1947) and Out of Africa (1985) in which there are also only a few ESL or ESL related scenes, I needed to watch them several times in order to dwell within the movie-as-data. Because the plots have as much to do with various forms of desire as with colonialism's failure, it was important to watch them many times in order to relate the image with the social statements that the film was (unconsciously) making. In the case of The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958), I have seen the first half of the movie over 100 times. For a few years during the present study, it was my favourite movie and because I suffered from insomnia, I used it as a pleasant way to fall asleep. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I simply hit the play button and began watching it again. I knew how it ended — the cross-racial couple would reunite after the teacher had risked her life to lead 100 86 Chinese orphans to safety during World War III — so it rarely failed to calm me back to sleep. Once I was quite familiar with the films, I began then to see relationships among them in terms of the cinematic characterizations of teachers and students, the similarities of particular shots, the acceptance and resistance to teaching and learning ESL, the moral degradation of identity loss, the hopeful possibilities that learning English holds out, and how the language of the film helped to construct these. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 are an analysis of such relationships. 3.3 Data from Teachers and Students 3.3.1 Research Setting University-College of British Columbia (UCBC), Canada, is situated in the interior of British Columbia. The subjects were teachers and students in the ESL Department at UCBC, a relatively small institute with an enrollment of approximately 3,000 full-time students. Short courses, certificates, diplomas and undergraduate degrees were offered in this single institution. U C B C was in transition to becoming two institutions, a university and a college, while this document was being prepared. It is the primary responsibility of the International Program at U C B C to recruit, receive, orient, find homestays for, advise, and generally take care of international ESL students once they arrive. The International Program also helps landed immigrants in the ESL Department. The enrollment of ESL students fluctuates at approximately 200, the majority from Asian countries (South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China), full-time and international. Depending on national economies, world politics, and public health concerns (such as SARS), the enrollment increases or decreases. Full-time students take 87 25 hours of non-credit ESL instruction a week, and when they reach level five of a six level program, full-time ESL is 15 hours per week. Credit courses such as Business or English can also make up their program from levels four to six. Students are given a placement test to determine their level in the program and from there, students increase their level by receiving a grade of 60% or more in each of their courses. A level one student could theoretically complete the program in 22 months. To receive a passing grade, students must demonstrate learning through a number of assessments and evaluations such as classwork and homework assignments, quizzes and tests. Like the level one to four students, the ESL teachers are in class for 25 hours per week 10 months of the year. They are identified as "vocational instructors" by the union under which their contract is negotiated. Teaching is their primary responsibility with related duties such as curriculum and test writing. There are no research or other professional expectations under this contract. With a few exceptions, the curricular unit of analysis is theme, driven by one- and two-way interactive tasks. Courses in grammar and pronunciation are organized around discrete point such as verb tense and segmentals. Writing courses are generally organized around genre. The general intent of the program is academic English. The teachers are considered, as the ESL Department is, support in the sense of preparing students to go on to credit courses. There are several cinemas and many video shops in the city in which the data were collected. The one shop specializing in foreign, international, art house and other non-Hollywood videos went out of business the year I collected data. However, much of this video collection was purchased by the university-college and is available to staff and students. The city has a few small film festivals each year. Foreign and other hard-8 8 . to-access films are shown once or twice a month. It is a predominantly white community with the highest number of immigrants (7%) from Germany. First Nation/Indian reservations are within minutes from U C B C and it has a First Nation association, coordinator, programs, and research agendas. 3.3.2 Subjects The 14 ESL student subjects were diverse in their ethnicity, residence in Canada, age, education, and desire in learning English. They ranged in age from 18 to mid-40s. There were 11 females and 3 males. Four were from Japan, five from South Korea, and one each from Brazil, Haiti, India, Iran, and Taiwan. Three were immigrants to Canada and 11 were on student visas. The landed immigrants were female, and the Haitian and Indian landed immigrants had children. The other immigrant was Japanese and had recently married a Canadian. I had not met the students before the research began. Most student participants had studied English for several years including secondary school and university. For some, this was their first semester in an English medium institution while others had been attending the ESL courses at the institution for over a year. Some were taking other university courses with the intent of graduating with a bachelor's degree from the institution while others were returning home in the near future to complete their university degrees or continue working. The Indian student had a diploma in computer programming from India. One South Korean female was studying English education and another was studying English literature in South Korea. Regarding the teachers, I knew all but one of them in the study and socialized outside of work with several of them. The teachers were white and in the age range of mid-forties to mid-fifties. Seven were female, one was male and one described himself 89 as male "unless I'm being F A B U L O U S " Except this subject, the teachers had children ranging in age from 10 to 30 years old. A l l lived with partners. Two learned German as children, and one of these was born in Austria and moved to Canada when she was five. One was born in Britain and moved to Canada as an adult. A l l of them had some second language ability that ranged from beginner to advanced. Six had researched or taught in non-English speaking countries for extensive periods of time. The other three had vacationed outside of Canada and one of these had been raised in an English milieu in Quebec. They had taught ESL for a minimum of 10 years, a maximum of 20, and an average of 15 years. They had various academic backgrounds. Four had a bachelor's degree in education with another one in ESL. One had a bachelor's degree majoring in film studies with a diploma in TESL. Another had a bachelor's degree in arts and a TESL certificate. One teacher had a master's degree in curriculum, and one had a doctoral degree in anthropology. As a highly experienced subject group in teaching ESL, they contrast sharply with the subjects in Bell (1995), F. Butler (2000), and Robertson's (1997) work with preservice teachers, and Page's (1994) work with re-entry women (Chapter 2). I refer to the teacher-subject group as "expert teachers" due to their extensive ESL teaching experience. 3.3.3 F i lm Selection For this part of the study, I selected two films for viewing from the list of films with ESL (Figure 3.1). The students' time was limited to the scheduled class time, an hour and 50 minutes. For that reason, I needed to choose films that were shorter in r length so that the student subjects and I could watch them within this time limit. I had 90 several films that were more than two hours long so these were rejected. I wanted to include films in which ESL was a considerable part of the plot and characterization. This protocol again eliminated several films. I wanted the films to be as recent as possible because students had complained about viewing films in class that were "old." I wanted the students to engage with the films, so I chose ones that had been made in the 1990's. Again more films from the list were omitted. This left Tarzan (1999), The King and I (1999), The Jungle Book (1994), and Iron and Silk (1990). I eliminated the first two because they were animated movies with children as the intended audience. The other two were PG (parent guidance) rated. That left Iron and Silk, an independent film in which Mark Salzman, the real teacher, plays himself as Mark Franklin teaching in China. I felt sure that both teachers and students would engage in this film. The other film, The Jungle Book, I was less sure of as it has a young target audience. This version of The Jungle Book is live action, not animated as in the 1967 children's version of the same name. It is also very different from the animated version. For example, in the animated version, Mowgli (the Indian boy raised in the jungle by animals) remains a young boy but in the version I chose he is a young man and learning English and romance are important to the story. I thought that because the students were young themselves they would relate to Mowgli and Kitty, the main characters of the movie. As it turned out, even the student in her 40's enjoyed the movie and made many interesting comments related to identity. Only one student was not happy with this choice but not because it was immature. With the teachers, however, two of them used the fast forward button while watching, another watched it sporadically as she made supper, and another had seen it with her children before and 91 did not watch it again for the study. Since there was a lack of interest in some teachers, I would consider the time element as secondary to age appropriateness in a future audience study. The two films held other interest for the study beyond the protocols above. They showed both traditional and alternative ways to learn language, and this proved to be an interesting point for the student subjects. There was a male teacher in one film and a female in the other. It was important not to have two of the same gender as I was interested to see how, if at all, identification would be gender related. And while they were each based on a book, one was autobiographical and the other fictional. This also was an interesting point of contrast. 3.3.4 Data Collection In order to research human subjects except for oneself, the ethics committees at the two institutions involved had to approve the research protocols. Approval of the research protocols had to be received in order for the project to begin. Once that process was complete, I began collecting the three forms of data — questionnaire, interview, and discussion - and analyses of these data make up Chapters 8 and 9. To select the volunteer students, I approached the teacher of the advanced level listening/speaking ESL course. I chose the advanced English level in order that language would be as small a barrier as possible to collecting sufficient data. To glean interest in the project from students, the teacher of the course broached the project in his class. Students seemed interested. He then asked for volunteers to participate in the study and all agreed. If they did not want to volunteer, they were given the option of study time. (See Appendices A, B, and C for the consent forms.) Their participation 92 was not assessed as part of any grade or assignment related to the course and the teacher was not present during the film viewing or data collection. The teacher was able to re-design the curriculum so that film viewing could take place during class time in the classroom. This was necessary as many of the students had very limited time outside their courses and assignments. Approximately half of the students participated fully in the data collection. Some of them watched and discussed only one movie. Some watched part of the movie and did not discuss it but did the interview. What kept them from full participation in the study was their commitment to other courses they were taking such as Business and English. I included in the study those students who at a minimum watched and discussed or were interviewed about one movie. They first completed a questionnaire (Appendix D) about their background with movies. We then watched each movie and held a one to two hour group discussion after each movie. (See Appendix E for the discussion and interview questions.) After listening to the tapes of the discussions, I then interviewed each student, clarifying or inviting them to elaborate on'their discussion and questionnaire comments. The interviews varied in length from 15 minutes to 40 minutes. The discussions and interviews were taped and transcribed. The data collection took place over a two-week period. As for the teachers in the study, the co-chair of the department introduced my research project in a general way at a staff meeting. She mentioned that I was interested in inviting the participation of as many teachers as wanted to watch and discuss two films, complete a questionnaire, and be interviewed. Nine teachers of the 13 present at the meeting agreed to participate in the study. (See Appendices A , B, and C for the 93 consent forms.) In our initial discussion of the project, the teachers thought it would be more convenient if they watched the films privately in their home whenever they had time. They watched them alone, or with partners or children, and a few of them watched while doing something else or used the fast forward button. Like the students, the teachers had limited time to commit to film viewing and discussing. The discussions took place on campus, first in a meeting room, then in a classroom. A time convenient for most teachers was arranged for the discussion of the first film, Iron and SUk (1990). We met in a meeting room for over an hour. The teachers had viewed the film within the last week and completed the questionnaire earlier that week (Appendix F). Seven teachers participated but one of these participated by writing out her comments as she could not attend this discussion. I began the discussion of each question by reading out her comments first. For the second film viewing, The Jungle Book (1994) and discussion, all the teachers participated. We met in a classroom after each teacher had previewed the film. I interviewed all but one of the teachers in their offices and in the case of one teacher, in the cafeteria. The teacher I was unable to interview was busy with a hectic schedule. The data collection from the teachers took place over a two-month period. 3.3.5 Data Analysis To analyze the data, I used a software program for qualitative data called N4 Classic. N4 stands for NUD*IST revision 4 (Non-numerical Unstructured Data * Indexing Searching and Theorizing). Revision 4 is the student version, and is less powerful than others but was more than adequate for the study. I also had a bound copy of the data. I began the analysis by reading the bound copy and listening to the tapes. 94 Reading the data raised questions and these I could answer more quickly by using N4 than by searching by hand or by the "find" button with word-processing software. N4 efficiently pulled together data that in turn helped me re-focus. I am aware of the argument against using such software for qualitative data analysis. It can distance the researcher from the richness of the data. However, in this case, I was the sole investigator, watching the movies with the students, listening to and interviewing the participants. I was still able, therefore, to read the quality of their responses. I read the data discursively. By that I mean I was looking at where they located, positioned, or interpellated popular film in relation to learning/teaching and identity. I read for the ways in which identity and film were discussed or denied, dreamed and desired, described and debated. As I stated in Chapter 1, it seems clear that popular film holds a position of power, but how does this power work? Where is it? How is it resisted? I held these questions in mind throughout the analysis. I first drew primarily from their questionnaire data to find where they located popular film culturally and educationally, and how they self-identified as ESL students and teachers. These data make up the first part of Chapters 8 and 9. The remaining parts of the analysis are arranged according to the discursive themes I read from the data. However, I found difficulty in "capturing" the movement of the data. The word itself can mean seizure, yet discursively read data is difficult to pin down. It seemed that the moment I patterned the data, the less enlivened it became, and the more counter data appeared. It was a curious dilemma, and one that I believe other researchers must grapple with. The problematic is the cynicism of "the truth" of the subject coupled with the stagnancy of relativeness. For example, although I have 95 described the teacher population as white and expert, this overarching identification could not hold the differences in how they exercised power in their life as it related to teaching or the power of film images to engage them in change. At the same time, the differences were so many that I became discouraged in my desire to construct a meaningful theory. The neatness, the categorization that represented security and foundation refused to present itself. It was through these moments of frustration and discouragement brought on by modernism's insistence on the grand narrative that I began to understand how the politics of difference underscores poststructuralism. Between the grand narrative of modernism and the diversity of positions informing problematizing practices was, again, that liminal space. 96 Chapter 4 C U L T U R A L M E M O R Y , F I L M , A N D D E S I R E To recognize the social and cultural status of the category 'white', which most often seems natural to white people, involves conscious effort on the part of white women. (Weedon, 1999, p. 176) . . . memory work is not just a means of sharing personal experiences but a way of investigating how and what we choose to remember; how these choices are socially, politically, and linguistically informed; and how we might remember differently. (Schenke, 1996, p. 156) 97 4.1 Introduction Weedon and Schenke's quotes propose making conscious naturalized self-knowledge and doing so through questioning memory so that we can locate ourselves differently. The present study attempts this by drawing on multiple sources of data and ways of examining them. In this chapter, I question how films have informed my identity as a white woman ESL teacher. Meaningful cinematic memories from between the ages of seven to 14 constitute the analysis of four films. I want to suggest that the past has claims on the present (Bal, 1998), that challenging and positioning one's memories of critical experiences productively contributes to theories of poststructuralist pedagogy, specifically in both the hyper-reflexivity of some poststructuralist discourses and the multiple and changing positions subjects inhabit. Questioning one's gendered and raced identity has also been taken up by Chalmers (1999), Dyer (1997), A. Luke (1998), Mcintosh (1988), and Mclntyre (1997). In Dyer's book, White, he begins his examination of photographic and cinematic images of whiteness by turning the lens on himself as a white man and his early experiences with racial difference. A . Luke's article concerns learning to be an Asian male in part through social texts like movies while Mcintosh focuses on the discourses of fe/maleness and whiteness she reads in academia. In Mclntyre's study of white teachers' discourses on whiteness, she discusses some of the challenges in learning about her whiteness through the study. Like this previous work, I too am interested in how I came to be a white woman and the constituents of that identity as represented in films. V 98 In this chapter, I examine four films and how they helped to construct social positions of race and gender, and contributed to particular desires in language teaching. The memories were elicited by asking how my identity as a white women ESL teacher had been structured by popular films. The chapter is organized into four sections defined by: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Sound of Music (1965), Harum Scarum (1965), and Billy Jack (1971). 4.2 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) I was spellbound in my theatre seat watching To Kill a Mockingbird and identified completely with Scout (Mary Badham), a girl of my own age, gender, race, and pixie haircut, who narrates the story from an older age. Scout's single father/lawyer (Gregory Peck) unsuccessfully defends a black man, Tom (Brock Peters), accused of raping Mayella (Collin Wilcox), a poor white woman. Despite Atticus presenting evidence that Tom could not possibly have raped Mayella, Tom is found guilty, and he is murdered as he leaves the town for his imprisonment. The story unfolds in Alabama in the 1930s, mainly over the summer holidays, and Scout and her slightly older brother, Jem, watch the trial, play outdoors, taunting and later befriending their reclusive neighbour, Boo. The story encompasses two narratives, that of the trial and of the relationship with Boo. The central questions in the story revolve around race, gender, and difference, all through the eyes of a girl my age who looked like I did. The relative sameness of my body to Scout's was an important conduit for identity formation. As A. Luke (1998) points out for Asian men, the absence of cinematically similar bodies to the viewers' can create an invisible and demasculinized identity (p. 85). There are several interesting threads from this movie that contributed to my 99 associations of gender, race, and class and entwined these with various forms of desire. I admired Atticus. Not only was he a patient father, he was also firmly against the racial prejudice of the community. For me, he became "the great white father" (hooks, 1996) appearing to be more generous and noble than the poor white men while the black man, Tom, depends on him for his freedom. It seemed obvious that Atticus was right and the racism the poor white community demonstrated was wrong. The poor white community was "the bad guy" mainly because of Mayella's father's lying of the events and Tom's murder. At the same time, I felt sorry for Mayella because she was obviously being controlled by a mean father who beat her and then made her blame and publicly accuse Tom, a man that she secretly desires. Tom is indeed big, strong, and polite. Tom testifies that Mayella embraced him while she testifies that she asked him to stop and help her with some chores. Like Scout, I was in awe of the trial where Mayella is made to tell in court her story of being raped by Tom, a scene very similar to another imaginary rape of a white woman by an Indian man in A Passage to India (1984). In both, the secret and shameful desire of a white woman for a dark man is transformed into a rape fantasy which is then made public by white men through an intensely emotional trial behind which the community has rallied. To Kill a Mockingbird was released in 1962, a time when white supremacy in the United States was threatened by the Black Liberation movement. The story of Mayella's rape by a black man stands in for the threat confronting the white community. The film juxtaposes various forms of desire and in doing so, sets up raced, classed, and gendered divisions: the desire for racial justice against the desire to oppress black people; Mayella's desire for Tom against her father's desire to control her; Tom's desire 100 to be a "Southern Gentleman" and help Mayella against Atticus's desire to help Tom. Image 4.1 Gregory Peck as "Atticus" and Brock Peters as "Tom" in To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962 That this film has remained in my memory and was recalled repeatedly as I questioned the learning of whiteness speaks to the power that film has as a form of pedagogy. I trace my own white longing to empower oppressed people to this film. Certain postcolonial tropes also spring from this early cinematic experience, and underpin this desire. These include, first, the class- and gender-based trope of moral superiority constructed through the lawyer as "great white father", a defender of black equality using eloquent and articulate speech, patient in teaching his children various moral lessons yet strong enough to shoot a rabid dog. This image of the middle class white respectable father is juxtaposed with Mayella's father, a man from a lower class, 101 an unemployed drinker whose incestuous relationship with his daughter is hinted at as well as his physical abuse of her, a man who shows disrespect and curses. Second is the trope of interracial desire as dangerous. Mayella's responsibility as the oldest child is to look after the younger children while at the same time, her father neglects her except through abusive acts. Tom, as someone who often passes by her home, is familiar and desirable. Tom sees she needs help, indeed feels sorry for her even though she is white, and wants to help her. Yet these responses to each other result in shame or death. The context in which I viewed this movie is also influential in the film's impact on my developing sense of race. I saw the movie in a small city in Yukon, Canada. I was born and raised in northern Canada, and my racial privilege developed in opposition to the unprivileged position of First Nations people. Later in the same year as I watched To Kill a Mockingbird, I had a second lesson in race. M y older brother's bicycle had been stolen, but he knew where it was, so my father drove him there, and I went along for the ride. This was the first time I saw a First Nations community up close as their housing was always separated from white housing in the four northern communities where we lived. M y dad, brother, and I drove through what was then called "Indian Flats", the flat part of Whitehorse beside the river. (It is now called "The Flats" and is no longer an Indian residential space). Like the black residences in To Kill a Mockingbird, many First Nations people lived separately from the white community. The houses were mostly small, unheated, with broken windows, open doors, and the roads unpaved and pot-holed, a "third world" community within a "first world" country. The bike lay in front of the open door of one house. A dark boy, my brother's size, stood and watched from the doorway as my dad put the bike in the trunk. No words 102 were exchanged. Both the film and the contact with a First Nations community were critical incidents in my constructing race. They associated in my mind "Indianness" with otherness through poverty, theft, and voicelessness in the case of First Nations people, and sexual attraction, wrongful treatment, death, and the failure of the white man to rescue or provide safety in the case of men of colour. I did not learn to hate First Nations people, but to feel sorry for them. I did not learn to hate people of colour but to associate them with victimization, helplessness and sexuality. These early critical incidents began to entwine race with desire. They associated in my mind the dark/male other with poverty and racial inequality and injustice, and the white/self with privilege, sexual desire, and the desire for social justice. The racialized other became attractive, poor and at the mercy of white privilege, yet a man able to offer and take. My white female identity mixed sympathy for the dark/other with a desire to help him while being attracted to his resistance. Mayella's poor whiteness similarly evoked sympathy for her untenable position yet disdain for her denouncement of Tom. 4.3 The Sound of Music (1965) By the time The Sound of Music and the following film, Harum Scarum (1965), were released my family had moved "south", to the city of Edmonton. Here there were many more cinemas than in Whitehorse and it was also the first time we had a television. I saw The Sound of Music at the Saturday afternoon matinee. Like To Kill a Mockingbird, the theatre was full. Julie Andrews plays Maria, a postulant at an abbey in Salzburg whose abbey life does not seem to suit her. The Mother Superior suggests she take work as a governess for the Von Trapp family. A widower, Captain Von Trapp 103 (Christopher Plummer) has seven children and is courting the Baroness whom he hopes will take over from Maria. Maria mothers the Von Trapp children, teaching them songs and comforting them. The children love her and soon their father too falls in love with her. The young Maria and the older Captain marry, and the Baroness, who does not like children much, drops out of the picture. Meanwhile, Captain Von Trapp is being coerced into joining the Nazi party. Maria and the Captain realize they must leave Austria, and following their final singing "performance, they escape, heading over the mountains. The movie helped to construct two important tropes relevant to teaching English. The first was the unquestioned presence of the English language in the world. I knew the story was set in Europe, but because the story unfolded in English with little or no attempt at even a German-Austrian accent let alone subtitles, I accepted unquestioningly the natural presence of English-only in the film. I interpellated and constructed this nation and its citizens not so much as English speakers (I did not question that their mother tongue was English), but rather as "just like me". Not only did Maria and the others speak in English, but also they sang in English. English-as-everywhere/anywhere was the taken-for-granted trope. The language of the world was my language, no question. I explore this problematic further in Chapter 5. The second trope was articulated through Maria. She was the character I identified with even though I was closer in age to the younger children. As the governess, her role was to teach the children, and her "lessons" were very connected to the children. She was encouraging, fun and entertaining, and much of the lessons took place outside. She was full of sympathy and empathy for them. She understood their 104 circumstances from their point of view. She had a strong sense of their emotional states, and their different ages and stages of desire. She was the all-knowing, all-seeing governess/teacher. This powerful eye of Maria was combined with motherly love^for the children, made even clearer by the juxtaposition of the Baroness's cool distance. The teacher-as-supermother became the unquestioned standard. In this all-knowing position, Maria is able to defend the children's misbehavior and advocate on their behalf to the Captain, their father. She tells him what the children need from him, and he listens. She is rewarded by their love and affection and a new social position, that of a married woman to a handsome and respected man of considerable means. The cinematic heterosexual romance here made available a "pattern of desire" (Davies, 1993) I was able to take up. Maria's transformation from postulant/school girl to woman is apparent through her change of body language, costume and gaze at the Captain. The character of Maria, her transformation, and her curriculum were very appealing to my young self. The memory of that matinee movie cannot be separated from a small but thrilling incident that occurred while I was watching the film. A boy my age was sitting beside me. During the film with my arm on the armrest, he accidentally covered my hand with his! Realizing my hand was already there, he quickly apologized and put his hand back at his side. In the dark, we briefly looked at each other, and for a moment, my imaginary world held just him and me. I laugh now as I think of that girl, being touched if only accidentally while the cinema was filled with a powerful story of love, transformation and resistance. The cinematic subjects of The Sound of Music were contributing to my identity as a young girl longing for womanhood. 105 4.4 Hamm Scarum (1965) I was at the age for sleepovers and after one of these we went to the Saturday matinee to see Elvis Presley in what recent reviews on (keyword: Harum Scarum) insist is the worst Elvis Presley film ever made. But we were just little girls swooning, giggling, and sighing in the cinematic presence of the star we loved. Critics we were not. Set in a Middle Eastern country called Babilstan, Elvis plays Johnny Tyronne, a teen idol on a good-will mission. Johnny's recent movie in which he rescues a Middle Eastern country from the bad guys is shown to an audience of royalty, officials and diplomats in order to build diplomatic relations between the United States and Babilstan. However, soon after the screening of the movie, Johnny gets kidnapped and the kidnappers try to force him to assassinate the King of Babilstan. The King's brother has hired the kidnappers. He escapes with the help of a traveling dance troupe of thieves. On route, he meets a beautiful woman and they fall in love instantly. She is the King's daughter but Johnny does not yet know that. When she learns he is going to kill her father, she runs away to warn her father. Johnny helps the King instead of killing him, and in the end, the lovers are reunited. I was thrilled to be sitting in the front row of the theatre with my girlfriends. We were on our own and the sleepover mom would pick us up after the movie. We were very excited to watch Elvis. We were particularly delighted when he sang a song to one of the dancing troupe's adopted children, a girl of about our age: "Hey little girl, you sure look fine. I'd like to take you home and make you mine." None of my friends, I am sure, loved him as much as I did. Not only was he handsome and sexy, but my mother had told me that when I was born, the doctor said I looked like Elvis Presley 106 because my hair was black and combed back like his. My mom was offended but later when I heard this story, I was thrilled to have looked like Elvis, another instance of female identification with an attractive powerful male. In the scenes involving singing and kissing, we could not contain ourselves on the seats but slid onto the theatre floor, covering our giggling and moaning mouths from a combination of embarrassment and rapture. He really was the King, and we really were just girls. What strikes me about this particular Elvis movie is the exotification of the Middle East, very much part of the visual discourse of Said's (1979) orientalism. The exotification was accomplished through signifiers in the mise-en-scene, that is, through set design, costumes, the arrangement and movement of figures, the spatial relations (who is obscured, who looks dominant, and so on), and the placement of objects which have become important within the narrative . . . . (Turner, 1988, p. 60) The female characters were costumed in / Dream ofJeannie clothing (a popular American sit-com of a genie who helped her "master"). The bottoms were sheer, wispy and loose, the tops bra-like. The men wore turbans, long flowing gowns, loose pants and a sash. The women had long dark hair. The harem was located in the palace. It gave me the impression that harems were a waiting space where the women waited to be summoned by the King. They had little to do but take care of Johnny when he was there. This discourse of the harem as an exotic, erotic, and luxurious time and place remained until I began reading in feminist postcolonialism. Ahmed (1982), Alloula (1986), Grewal (1996) and Lewis (1996) offer postcolonial critiques of the visual harem as it has been represented by white men and women in postcards, travel writing, and paintings, respectively. Mernissi's (1995) insider's autobiographical account of her 107 Moroccan harem girlhood similarly repositioned the colonial/postcolonial harem of my young imaginary. Harem women laboured. Even though they had servants, much of their time was taken up in domestic work. In films with ESL, the harem as a space of language learning is taken up in Chapter 5. Unlike the previous films, Johnny's story offered up several meanings of travel to far away lands. Travel was full of adventure, danger, singing, romance, and fun. That so many of the harem women were attracted to Johnny suggested, like To Kill a Mockingbird, the coupling of racial others with desire and interracial love. Johnny, the white man, is positioned as the hero who rescues not only women but also a nation. Of Harum Scarum, Shohat and Stam (1994) state that it projects a puritanical obsession with sexuality . . . [where] the harem images offer an "open sesame" to an alluring and tantalizingly forbidden world, seen as infinitely desirable to the instinctual primitive presumably inhabiting all men. (p. 161) A l l this brazen masculinity unfolds through the medium of English. Like The Sound of Music, little or no attempt is made to incorporate Arabic or even an Arabic accent into the mise-en-scene. Again, the world communicated unquestioningly in English. 4.5 Billy Jack (1971) When the credits began rolling for Billy Jack, my mother began to walk out of the cinema, but I did not want to leave. I wanted to know who had made this extraordinary movie, but much more than that, my teenaged self wanted the movie to go on. Entering the film story, I felt at home there. It filled me with a sense of how powerful resistance can be and how this can be achieved through schooling. "Freedom School" was started by a white pacifist woman, Jean (Delores Taylor), on an Arizona 108 Indian reservation. The students or "kids" were from the reservation but there were also Chicano, black, and white kids from the town who were living in a difficult home situation or who, for other reasons, chose to go to Freedom School. Many of the girls were my age and had long straight hair parted in the middle exactly how I wore my hair. The central character, Billy Jack (Tom Laughlin), is a Metis and ex-Green Beret back from the Vietnam War to live peacefully on the reservation. Jean and Billy love each other and are both committed in their own ways to protecting the school from persistent attacks by the racist community that also fears and hates "dirty" hippies. When a pregnant hippy white girl of fifteen runs away after her father beats her, Billy finds her exhausted on the reservation. The white sheriff suggests she stay at Freedom School. The girl, sheriff, Jean, Billy, and the white doctor who attend the girl, decide to keep her whereabouts a secret so that her father, the deputy sheriff, will not find her. The secret gets out, however, and the deputy sheriff/father with the influential, wealthy and racist Pocor father and son behind him encounter Billy, the kids, and Jean several times throughout the movie. Most of the encounters are violent, with Billy using his martial arts skills, his rifle and his keen sixth sense to defend the kids, the school, Jean and even the wild stallions on the reservation. Jean protects the school by providing spaces for the students to talk about their values and perform theatre related to social issues of the time. Jean is raped by Pocor's son who also sexually molests another woman. He murders an Indian boy whom his father suspects is the father of the deputy sheriff's daughter's unborn child. Jean begs the only witness to her rape to keep it a secret from Billy because she knows that his violent temper will be provoked. Billy's keen sixth sense leads him to 109 know about the rape and he kills Pocor. Billy is severely beaten, shot in the stomach, and in the last scene arrested and taken away to jail, but not before he and Jean have negotiated the continuation of the school for another ten years with Jean as the "directrice." Billy Jack continued to entwine my identity with race, desire and, more specifically than To Kill a Mockingbird, with visions of how education could be. I again had the "great white father" in the figure of the antiracist sheriff. However, since he was "old", his stature paled in comparison to the attractive, protecting, and strong Billy who was certain of his values but was nevertheless on a path of learning. Jean was a . powerful white woman because she was the "directrice" and because of her passionate commitment to antiracist schooling and her alternative pedagogy such as letting the students guide the curriculum, insisting on creativity, performance, role playing, and street theatre. She was a committed pacifist, feminist, and a loving mother-type, attractive in her tight pants, long blonde hair, and mild voice. Unlike the girl, Scout, in To Kill a Mockingbird in which the racism and anti-racism unfold despite her, Jean actively resists the racist community that surrounds Freedom School. At the same time, her pedagogy builds the confidence of kids that, because of racist society and their resistance to it or their particular circumstance, may lack self-esteem. Native traditions are central to the curriculum. The kids participate in or observe various aspects of native culture such as a cremation and a snake initiation. Jean is also aware of Billy's position in relation to the community (people there fear him, some respect him), to the kids at Freedom School (they love and admire him), to his continued apprenticeship in Indian culture, and to his male/warrior identity. 110 Image 4.2 Delores Taylor as "Jean" and Tom Laughlin as "Billy Jack" in Billy Jack, 1971 Near the end of the movie, when it seems clear that Billy is going to be killed by the white police and Pocor's followers, Jean expresses her feelings towards him. She loves him, cannot imagine the school without him, but cannot understand why he has set himself up to die, why he can't give himself up and face a jail sentence instead of death. Her words turn the eventuality of his death around, opening up the scene for a negotiation between what she and Billy want for the school and what the police want from Billy. It is resistance in different ways: Billy resists what he calls the white way (giving in) while Jean resists the inevitability of his death by suggesting that death is the easy way out and the struggle is in keeping the school going. Here is a representation of a white woman not only in sympathy with and attracted to racial others but working with them to re-work racist structures. This was great stuff for the teenaged Ardiss. Jean and Billy made an incredibly attractive couple. Their biracial love once more suggested this possibility for my own 111 future. But more than that was their combined and contrasting commitment to producing knowledge and identity by beginning with who the students were corporeally, spiritually, and culturally. Such representation is not unproblematic, however, as it produces an essentialized native subject as inherently spiritual and connected to the natural world. Then, however, I was full of longing for that same recognition. Some of my teachers did incorporate forms of narrative and performance but within the constraints of a large suburban school. Until this memory work in learning whiteness, I had not realized that Billy Jack had become a cult movie. I should have realized that fact as there are often copies of Billy Jack for sale close to where I live, on the Westbank Indian Reserve in British Columbia, Canada. There is also a web site, Because it has cult status, Billy Jack again speaks to the strength of film-as-pedagogy, and underpins my later interest in antiracist pedagogies of freedom/liberation and resistance. 4.6 Summary and Comments This section has responded to the question, How have films contributed to my identity as a white woman ESL teacher? I revisited four films from my childhood recalled repeatedly as I questioned myself. I mapped out memories and impressions of the movies with knowledge from feminist film studies, postcolonial studies, and poststructuralist pedagogy. Doing so enabled me to pull out discursive threads relevant in learning white womanhood and teaching racialized others. These themes are: (1) non-white men as strong yet needing protection from whites or protecting themselves, sexually restrained but desirable (men), sexually assertive (women); (2) whiteness as great white father/mother, hero, antiracist; 112 (3) poor white men as guilty, racist, abusive; poor white women as vulnerable; (4) white woman teacher as motherly, understanding, compassionate, committed, advocate, antiracist, vulnerable; (5) pedagogy as passive resistance, listening to learners, loving, playful, negotiating; (6) transformation through romantic love, commitment, struggle; (7) white feminism as working with not working/or racial others (Roman, 1993, p. 82), awareness of sexist language, active pacifism; (8) English as unquestioned standard in the world; (9) heterosexual romance as an inevitable and welcomed event. Why were these films recalled and not others? First, remember that my question was quite specific: What popular films contributed to the construction of my white female teaching identity? The specificity narrowed my memory to particular films where race and gender were particularly important. Second, there was some event or impact surrounding each movie, what Bal (1998) calls "an emotional aura" (p. viii) that made these memories precisely memorable. In these cinematic memories, To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) coupled with entering a First Nations community, a boy's touch during The Sound of Music (1965), the sleepover event coupled with Harum Scarum (1965), and the intensity of Billy Jack (1971) provided an event-full presence of the films. Significant, too, is the easy identification to characters that looked like I did and were my age. "Looking like I did" meant in large part the colour and length of hair. Could a girl/young woman's hair be a factor in identification? According to Weitz (2001), how American women wear their hair is quite strategic. She points out that in white and non-white women's resistance to cultural norms of femininity or in their 113 accommodation of them, hair was used to gain power. Sameness of hair enabled me to access the character, for example, Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, and witness like she did, the racist society against which her father fought. (More on hair and cinematic identification is discussed in Chapters 5 and 8.) Another reason these movies were recalled was the impressionable age at which I saw them. Like British juvenile literature of the late 19 th and 20 t h centuries that emphasized empire to its impressionable audience (Chaudhuri & Strobel, 1990), the cinematic curriculum of my youth has held in many j ways. Fifth, the familial context in which I was raised is significant. M y parents were left leaning politically, and by the time I was an adolescent, my mother, abandoned by her husband, became a (reluctant) liberal feminist. Thus, I was a witness to my single mother's struggle for control and identity. I have argued that viewers have available to them a number of positions in response to cinematic images and narratives. M y argument in this chapter underscores the position that a young and impressionable girl responded in the way that was expected by the social practices of a particular time and place. Through the seemingly innocent practice of a young girl going to the Friday movies or Saturday matinees, much more than entertainment is happening. A world of racialized and gendered desire is settling in and making itself comfortable. The body becomes a palimpsest written over with images and narratives that both secure and compete with each other. An example of securing is the naturalization of the English language in the world through the movies The Sound of Music (1965) and Harum Scarum (1965). An instance of competing images is the power yet vulnerability and victimization of white women in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and Billy Jack (1971). I argued that the location of desire can be 114 found in visual texts such as films that are witnessed at impressionable ages. A white and feminized subject emerged in relation to racial others. I saw them but I was racially invisible. The subject I am now constructs a cultural memory of the films that will differ from women looking through different lenses. Revisiting these films, I felt acutely, like Joyrich (1995), my past selves as viewers, my doubles, and the act of recall destabilizing the subject the films helped to construct. Turning the gaze upon myself may be understood as furthering the knowledge of "postcolonial white womanhood" rather than of furthering knowledge of "subaltern postcolonial womanhood." This is not my intent. Rather, it seemed necessary to question my own formations of identity in order to understand more fully others' such as the students' and teachers' identities in Chapters 8 and 9. To draw solely on and make public how I interpret what other people say of themselves, in this case what teachers and students say about their teaching and learning in relation to popular film, without also thinking and making public my own formation as an ESL teacher, was morally problematic. To make objects of, for instance the teachers, was untenable not only because of our relationships as colleagues and friends but also because as a feminist I have long questioned the researcher's position as objective. I believed I could understand more fully the process of becoming white through the cinema if I too was an active participant in the inquiry, making my self into an object of my own gaze. Hall's (1997a) question, "Can identity itself be re-thought and re-lived, in and through difference?" (p. 43) is relevant here. While I could make arguments for either answer, I have addressed the answer "yes" in this chapter by attempting to make visible racialized and gendered threads of subjectivity as they relate to popular films. 115 Chapters CINEMATIC METAPHORS FOR ESL: DISCURSIVE ELEMENTS The "English eye" sees everything else but is not so good at recognizing that it is itself actually looking at something . . . It is strongly centered; knowing where it is, what it is, it places everything else. And the thing which is wonderful about English identity is that it didn't only place the colonized Other, it placed everybody else . . . Identity is always, in that sense, a structured representation which only achieves its positive through the narrow eye of the negative. (Hall, 1997b, p. 21) To catch sight of how the camera is reproducing not just an image but the imperial imagination in action as it captures the "colorfulness" of the other, might further break down the colonial hold on education. (Willinsky, 1998, p. 154) 116 5.1 Introduction Hall's quote makes the point that a centered (British/English) identity whose white male history mapped the world is unable to locate itself in relations of looking at others. Willinsky's quote addresses the project of undermining such colonial looking relations and underscores the purpose of the following three chapters, a hopeful contribution to the decolonization of E S L pedagogy. This chapter differs from previous examinations of popular films and education reviewed in Chapter 2. Many of the 24 films I read here have not been considered in educational studies of popular film. The King and I (1956), El Norte (1984), Stand and Deliver (1988), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), and Indecent Proposal (1993) are the exceptions, and extended and powerful interpretations have been offered in the case of Stand and Deliver (Ayers, 1993; Bodnar, 1996; F. Butler, 2000; Dalton, 1999; Farber and Holm, 1994; Robertson, 1997). As Stand and Deliver has already had considerable attention in this document and as the ESL students are not the focus of the film, I only mention it in passing in this chapter. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) has also been read by Giroux (1994). I do take up both the film and Giroux's reading later in the chapter. Other films with ESL are only briefly noted in previous studies of film and education such as The King and 1r (1956) in Dalton (1999). The chapter therefore redefines the genre of "teacher films" or popular films in education. Similarly, many studies in interpreting multiple films concern exclusively American films and mainly blockbusters (Ayers, 1993; Bauer, 1998; Dalton, 1999; Farber and Holm, 1994; Giroux, 2002; Trier, 2001a; Whatley, 1988). In work where a single film is examined, these also tend to be American blockbusters (Bell, 1995; Cohen, 117 1996; Long, 1996; Smith, 1999). In contrast, this chapter examines films from several countries that are both Hollywood mainstream, for example, Indecent Proposal (1993), Out of Africa (1985), and Seven Years in Tibet (1997) and independent films such as Miss Mary (1986), Tropic of Cancer (1970), and Where the Spirit Lives (1989). Independent films and films made in non-English speaking countries are still popular in the sense that they continue to be broadcast on television and are also the object of academic study. For example, there is a chapter devoted to the film Miss Mary (1986) in a book about the director of the film, Maria Luisa Bemberg, and her work (Kantaris, 2000). Another example is Please Teach Me English (2003) which was popular in South Korea but not accessible in theatres and shops where I live. Including such films repositions them alongside Hollywood/American films. In this way, non-Hollywood films are interpellated with more power than the absence afforded to them in previous studies. As well, by including a diversity of films with ESL, different forms of power and ESL identities are also made available. Second, as the majority of the films are set in British colonial times (13 of 24 are set between the 1870s and 1930s) and in countries of British interest (Canada, China, India, Kenya, Thailand), I looked to postcolonial studies to help me understand how films produced ESL subjectivities. Indeed, depicting colonial times in colonized lands or not, the films are rich in postcolonial discourses of self/other. Whether set in 1980s Los Angeles {El Norte, 1984) or 1860s India (The Jungle Book, 1994), binary identities of self/other, teacher/student still comprise constructs such as Pennycook (1998) describes: white/black, emptiness/absence, cultured/barbarian, adult/child, and cleanliness/dirt (pp. 47-65). Many of these relationships are readily available in films 118 with ESL, yet, importantly, characters do not always fall neatly into these binaries. In addition to postcolonial studies, and unlike most previous analyses of film and education, the present study also engages with cultural studies and feminist film studies to further a theory of poststructuralist and feminist E S L pedagogy. This chapter is organized into two sections. In the first, I look at colonial tropes available in films with ESL. In the second part, I focus on the setting and content of the ESL curriculum. Questions guiding the examination are: What cinematic metaphors for E S L are available? How does the language of the film help to construct these metaphors? What spaces do ESL and ESL subjects inhabit in teaching and learning? What is being taught? 5.2 Metaphors and Tropes for ESL 5.2.1 The Worlding of English I suggested in Chapter 4 that movies set in non-English speaking countries such as Hamm Scarum (1965) and The Sound of Music (1965) underpin a powerful and ubiquitous presence of English language. Spivak's (1985) term, worlding, is helpful here. Worlding is a process of othering colonized people and their land. When colonialists entered other people's countries, their discourse about the land and its people produced themselves in self-other relationships, for example, as civilized/barbaric, and the colonized land as empty and uninscribed (a point I discuss below). Extending Spivak's term to the worlding of English in popular films with ESL, a particular position for English is produced, that is, the unquestioned position of English language in the world, or the worlding of English. This is a problematic trope for its inherent cultural mis/representation. The worlding of English cinematically is so 119 widespread that, like whiteness, it goes unnoticed. Except for films made in non-English speaking countries, Bossa Nova (2000), Iron and Silk (1990), Miss Mary (1986), and Please Teach Me English (2003), English with few or no subtitles is spoken by everyone, regardless of first language or knowledge of English. A second issue is the lack of sub-titles. In addition to the frustration of not having access to what non-English speakers say, not providing translation for them assumes that what they say is unimportant. This serves to void colonized/ESL people. Cinematic ESL students learn to speak quickly, already know English, or are silent so that the audience hears almost exclusively English. The rare ESL teacher speaks the local language but seldom uses it. When there is a communication difficulty for lack of language knowledge in or out of the class, the assumption again is that the student or non-English speaker must make the effort to use English more accurately. Most often, when the white teacher is in a non-English speaking country, the teacher's monolingualism is located as natural and adequate as everyone else speaks English, and if they do not, they should. English then is produced as inherently superior by its sheer presence over the silence of other languages. This trope is also problematic for the analysis of who is teaching what to whom. For instance, Ingrid Bergman plays the "real" British lay missionary, Gladys Aylward, teaching in 1930s China in the Hollywood movie, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958). Chinese is" spoken very little although Gladys is shown eagerly learning Chinese. When she goes to the countryside and teaches songs and asks the village children and adults to read the next book, she uses English. Is the film audience to imagine that she is speaking in Chinese? Are we to think it is a Chinese book she hands 120 out? Or (and this is the assumption I believe the film makes) is she teaching them in English to sing English songs which they do indeed sing later in the movie? According to Rowbotham (1998), teaching hymns was among the selected religious work women could do. Yet, according to her biography (Burgess, 1957), Aylward "spoke the language as fluently as a native" (p. 97). Hollywood is infamous for its historical inaccuracies, yet as I argued in Chapter 1, cinematic narratives and images may complete viewers' knowledge about something inexperienced such as the work of a lay missionary in 1930s China. Image 5.1 Robert Donat as "The Mandarin of Yang Ching", Curt Jurgens as "Colonel Lin", and Ingrid Bergman as "Gladys Aylward" in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 1958 121 When Chinese is spoken in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, it is most often done so by white actors playing Chinese or Chinese-Europeans, another racialized Hollywood strategy. Although Hollywood sometimes now hires actors from the country in which the film is set, they still speak English and subtitles are seldom provided when a language other than English is spoken. Similarly, in Seven Years in Tibet (1997), the conversations transpire in English with a few words of Tibetan here and there. Indeed, Harrer, the teacher to the Dalai Llama, is represented as resenting his colleagues fluency in Tibetan and rather is successful in minimal use of Tibetan. Again, the reel Harrer does not reflect the real man. According to his autobiography (1994), he was fluent in both spoken and written Tibetan and must have used Tibetan, at least initially, when he taught the Dalai Llama. The point here is that even when real English teachers are fluent in other languages, the cinematic representation is monolingualism. The English monolingualist is the standard, normalized identity of ESL teachers, and English the standard for the world. An exception here is Iron and Silk (1990), Mark Salzman's movie about himself teaching English in 1980s China. Teacher Mark has studied classical Chinese at an American university and he learned to speak Chinese by working at a Chinese restaurant in the United States. Teacher Mark's competence in Chinese is stated as well as displayed in conversations with Teacher Pan, his wu-shu teacher with whom he seldom needs Chinese explained or repeated. His Chinese ability and understanding of wushu is in stark contrast to Teacher Mark's students who, he says, sing the wrong song at his farewell party. One critical reading of the language pedagogy in the film is that it is Teacher Mark, the American, who learns both Chinese and wu-shu very well while his 122 Chinese students do not, and that the film positions the American as more capable in comparison to the Chinese. However, another critical reading takes up the teaching side of pedagogy: it is the Chinese teachers and their methods that excel at their profession and the American who does not — he learns well because he has excellent teachers and conversely his students learn little because Teacher Mark is not a very skilled teacher. Lather's (1992) question, "How do our efforts to liberate perpetuate the relations of dominance?" (p. 122), is relevant here. The first reading, in its attempt to be critical, necessarily reinstates or recenters the superiority of the white westerner. The second reading moves the peripheral Chinese to the center and renames them as powerful and capable. Again, it is not a question of which reading is correct and which one is not, but rather which reading speaks for whom, why, and under what conditions. 5.2.2 Freedom The learning and teaching of English as freedom from certain social restraints and freedom to participate in knowledge and conditions identified as desirable is another trope. Both teachers and students are implicated in the freedom from/to trope. English teaching abroad enables white women freedom from the constraints placed upon them in Britain where employment possibilities were limited in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Chaudhuri and Strobel, 1990; Rowbotham, 1998; Tinkler, 1998). The cinema has frequently addressed this freedom for colonial women, although Shohat (1997) notes that the reverse (Asian and African women traveling to the west) is much less common (pp. 196-197). Cinematic representations of colonial ESL teachers include the mythological figure of Anna Leonowens as portrayed in the four film versions of the book Anna and the King ofSiam (Langdon, 1944) where she is able to support herself 123 and her son in Siam by teaching the King's children and wives. In these films, her freedom is in marked contrast to the royal harem women who are represented as oppressed and limited (Donaldson, 1990; Kaplan, 1995; Mackie, 1998). Yet the story unfolds around her efforts to make the King provide a house for her outside the palace, a place she finds confining. Similarly, in The Jungle Book (1994), Kitty, the daughter of a British army officer, finds that by claiming the role of English teacher, she escapes the constraints of her confined upbringing in British-India. In Black Narcissus (1947) and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) we have two portraits of Christian teachers of English who find their calling away from the patriarchal structure of church and England where their access to higher status work is limited. Baroness Blixen of Out of Africa (1985) is contrasted with other white European women in the movie. She works with and cares for the black workers and their families and does work normally reserved for men (Kaplan, 1997, 88-91). In two films set in the 1930s, Miss Mary (1986) and Where the Spirit Lives (1989), the white women have freedom to leave their homes to teach in a r place where they believe they are needed. In Where the Spirit Lives the teacher's experience at the Indian residential school leads to radical shifts in recognizing her raced and nationed roles in the oppression of her students' lives. A contradictory trope to ESL teaching-as-freedom is portrayed in teachers of diasporan students set in the 1980s and 1990s in the United States where teaching ESL is a last resort. Stripes (1981) and Indecent Proposal (1993) represent teachers as losers, with no particular interest in ESL except as a job. English teaching holds out no ticket to freedom, and, indeed, it is undertaken only as a desperate last resort. In Stripes, the teacher quits his adult education teaching job to become a private in the U.S. army. 124 Similarly, in Indecent Proposal, a young married couple's relationship is threatened after they accept an offer of a million dollars from a wealthy man if he can have a night alone with the wife. While the wife is trying to build her life again, she takes an evening job teaching citizenship classes to immigrant students. It is only when she has lost everything that she begins teaching ESL for citizenship. In a film set in 1960s France, Tropic of Cancer (1970), a writer with no income moves from Paris to the countryside to take a job teaching English in a boys' school. In these films, teaching English is a desperate last measure when other sources of income are lost. However, it is different for diasporan students than for their teachers. In El Norte (1984), Stand and Deliver (1988), and Indecent Proposal (1993), the students have access to work, money, pride, higher education, and citizenship. In Indecent Proposal, the American classroom for citizenship is decorated with large posters of American money. The millionaire in pursuit of the wife/teacher pulls up in a limousine. The students at the back of the class are impressed with this and comment in Spanish (again not translated). After the class, the millionaire says that the students are "nice people", that "they want the dream." They too are in search of the streets-paved-in-gold notion the cinematic United States offers immigrants. The story is that once English is learned, success will follow. The freedom to/from trope is also evident with ESL students who either claim for themselves a freedom through English or whose freedom by learning English and being associated with the English speaker is claimed for them. Students are free: to be "a civilized man" ( The Jungle Book, 1994), from being "a little people" (The Last Emperor, 1987), from foot binding (The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 1958) or to grow a much needed garden (The Inn of the Sixth Happiness). 125 The i l l us ion o f E n g l i s h as economic and soc ia l f reedom is made apparent i n several f i lms . Regard ing students, i n El Norte (1984), the sister dies f r o m a disease she has contracted after a rat bites her i n the o l d sewer pipes she has c rawled through between M e x i c o and the U n i t e d States. In The Jungle Book (1994), M o w g l i , the jung le boy turned man, rejects B r i t i s h culture as does K o m i / A m e l i a i n Where the Spirit Lives, a story about the forced ass imi lat ion o f Indian ch i ldren to white Canadian culture. In these f i lms , non-whi te male and female students see through the v e i l o f f reedom. Here, postcolon ia l travel stories, as hooks (1998) argues, have different headings: migrat ion, re locat ion, enforced ass imi lat ion , and homelessness (p. 48). F o r c inemat ic white w o m e n teachers, their f reedom, too, is l imi ted . M i s s M a r y , despite her pub l ic appearance, is a lonely , repressed co lon ia l subject, punished for not staying w i th in her co lon ia l role. K i t t y , the co lon ia l daughter i n The Jungle Book (1994), soon learns that the romance, developed dur ing E n g l i s h lessons w i t h M o w g l i , threatens the men around her, and she is also punished by be ing sent back to Br i ta in . The f reedom Sister C l o d a g h (Black Narcissus, 1947) may have expected as M o t h e r Super ior i n the H i m a l a y a n nunnery soon dissipates as the sisters' o w n passions surface. 5.2.3 Heroic Duty Portraits o f E S L heroes are accompl ished through the mise'-en-scene, d ia logue, camera shots, H o l l y w o o d stars, and other s igni f iers w h i c h , taken separately or together, portray students as ch i ldren , l a c k i n g , needy, diseased, and dirty. In turn, the other hal f o f the b inary is constructed: teachers as l iberators, car ing and administer ing affect ion and love, or d isc ip l inar ians i n f l i c t ing necessary punishment to accompl i sh the c i v i l i z i n g miss ion . Teach ing subjects rise to the many chal lenges set before them i n the f i l m 126 narrative. English education is imaged as being the duty of teachers, and as the mission of missionaries and other colonizers, particularly women. This identity for women had been solidly constructed by both British women travelers and missionaries and circulated not only among women readers of popular texts in Britain in the late 19th century but also in royal circles in Siam (a point discussed further on). Indeed, a portrait of heroism emerges in some films. Jodie Foster as Miss Anna in the most recent film portrait of Leonowens, Anna and the King (1999), does nothing less than rescue the entire Mongtuk kingdom from civil war, in part by strategically placing fireworks that thwart the King's enemy. Gladys Aylward of The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) rescues 100 orphans by leading them over a mountain pass and across Image 5.2 Ingrid Bergman as "Gladys Aylward" saves 100 Chinese orphans in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 1958 127 a river in China while the Japanese bombs fall. As with Aylward's real proficiency in Chinese, the film again denies her "reality." Apparently, she rescued 200 orphans (Burgess, 1957). Teachers are fulfilling a duty, either to Christianity by converting students or to Empire by civilizing students. Part of the audience's viewing pleasure in this heroism is narcissistic or scopophilic (Mulvey, 1975). The audience, ESL teachers or otherwise, enjoy an identification with the often glamorous and heroic portrayals of ESL teachers by stars. They/we save lives, barely escape death, tutor powerful students, are desired by students, and help "needy" and grateful students. Stars have always figured as ESL teachers, from Ingrid Bergman (The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 1958), Deborah Kerr (Black Narcissus, 1947; The King and I, 1956), and Julie Christie (Miss Mary, 1986) to Peter O'Toole (The Last Emperor, 1987), Sidney Poitier (Lilies of the Field, 1963), and Brad Pitt (Seven Years in Tibet, 1997). Stars signify various meanings to viewing audiences, and these meanings are related inter-textually (McDonald, 1995, p. 83). That is, our identification is not only with the cinematic teacher heroically performing her colonial duty but also with other knowledge of the stars, for example, their other movies, politics, sexuality, and so on. 5.2.4 Romantic Desire Romance and desire is of course a common trope in many ESL films. If the pleasure of viewing liberators and rescuers is not enough, these heroic feats are accomplished while a romance with a local and/or powerful male is blossoming. In Henry V, the King of England (Kenneth Branagh) is united with his future wife, the daughter of the King of France (Emma Thompson), once King Henry has won the Battle 128 at Agincourt in 1415. She has prepared for their meeting by having her lady-in-waiting give her English lessons. With Aylward (The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 1958) and Leonowens (Anna and the King, 1999), their teaching/liberating concurs with a romance with a Dutch/Chinese army officer and the King of Siam, respectively. The Hollywood version of Aylward has the promise of her and her Dutch-Chinese lover united at the end of the movie. According to her biography, however, her man was Chinese and after saving the children, she lost interest in the idea of marrying him (Burgess, 1957). In the case of the four versions of the Anna Leonowen's story, the films were based on a novel by Margaret Landon (1944) that in turn was based on two books by Leonowens, The Romance of the Harem (1873, reprinted in 1991) and The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870, reprinted in 1980). Historians still debate the accuracy of her books, and the films do not resemble her books apart from dates, places, names and general circumstances. In regards to the cinematic and literary romance between Leonowens and the King, it is purely fictional. Interestingly, the romance becomes greater as each successive film is released. The first film in 1946 represents only a slight tension between them. The video cover has Leonowens in a collared blouse done up to the neck and pinned closed with a brooch and ribbon. In the next film, 1956, the dance scene is suggestive of interest in each other. In this video cover, Leonowens is wearing an off-the-shoulder pink gown with cleavage. By 1999, in the live action version, they are kissing and falling in love, and the video cover shows her naked from her neck to her chest which fades into a sun-blazed Siamese setting. The 1999 animated version returns to the 1956 dance scene with Leonowens back to a pink off-the-shoulder dance gown but no cleavage. 129 Image 5.3 Deborah Kerr as "Anna Leonowens" and Yul Brynner as "King Mongkut, of Siam" in The King and I (1956) In terms of her employer, King Mongkut, it is significant how the four video covers represent him. Most importantly, in all but the animated version, he is behind Leonowens. The first two Kings were played by Rex Harrison (1946) and Yul Brynner (1956), two white Hollywood actors. In these covers, they stand above Leonowens. In the live action 1999 cover, Chow Yun-Fat, a Chinese actor from Hong Kong, is lower 130 than Foster and significantly smaller than her and the other King Mongkuts. Only in the animated version do the King and Leonowens stand side by side at approximately the same height, taking up approximately the same amount of space on the cover. In all four covers, he wears a jacket or shirt that has a mandarin collar so that little if any skin is shown except his face. The exception is the animated King who is naked under his open jacket. Questioning the racial signification of the covers suggests that Leonowens is the superior character in the three live action versions but in particular in the 1999 version. Films like these are full of historical inaccuracies, but films mainly aim to entertain, not to reflect reality (Turner, 1988, p. 3). Historically accurate or not, films may cause us to change, may inspire us, and may also deepen our beliefs in whatever is familiar. In this case, ESL is interpellated with interracial desire. Romantic liaisons also occur between students and teachers, as in Tarzan (1999) and The Jungle Book (1994) both set in 19 th century India. The romance is discouraged by white British men, and attempts at controlling the couples' desire is at first successful. Controlling real contact between white women and Indian men became more important to colonial white men after the 1857 Indian rebellion against the British in India. Whether or not it was justified is questioned by Sharpe (1993) and Tuson (1998) . In the end, however, the cinematic student and teacher are united in Tarzan (1999) and The Jungle Book (1994). In Bossa Nova (2000) too, the teacher and her student fall in love and, despite obstacles, are together in the end. The romance between teachers and their students or other characters, however, also ends in disaster, with both of them being punished for their desire. In Miss Mary (1986), the teacher is seduced by one of her young charges and the next day is fired for it. 131 Sublimated white desire is a theme running through the story of nuns who try to transform an ex-harem 8000 feet in the Himalayan Mountains into a nunnery complete with a dispensary, school, and class for girls. The setting of Black Narcissus (1947) brings back memories of the Mother Superior's previous romance in Ireland. Another nun, Sister Ruth, falls in love with the only white man in the film, a Mr. Dean who appears in short shorts and an open shirt and lives for pleasure. His costume juxtaposes their nun's habit and complete coverage of their body except face and hands. Sister Ruth fails to renew her vows and runs to him in a dress and make up. He wants no part of them, saying he loves no one. She, too, is punished cinematically for her defiant position and openly passionate desire, and is killed in an accident. In the late 20 t h century settings of China (Iron and Silk, 1990) and Vietnam (Good Morning, Vietnam, 1987) the romantic efforts of American male suitors of local women are unsuccessful. In Iron and Silk (1990) Teacher Mark's interest in a Chinese woman is made impossible in a similar way as Good Morning, Vietnam's (1987) teacher, Chronauer, played by Robin Williams, who desires one of his students. Both women know that their status at home will be unfavorable when their white suitors return to the United States. It is their resistance to the white male American English teachers that frustrates the teachers. More about such resistance is discussed in the next section. 5.3 Cinematic ESL Curriculum 5.3.1 Curriculum Settings The typical classroom with a blackboard, and/or other teaching technologies (discussed further on), chairs or floor sitting space, and perhaps desks is the common 132 setting for most of the films either inside a building or out. In this section, however, I look at the wider setting of first, the land and how it contributes to a certain interpellation of the teacher and students, and second, the uses, both past and present, of the room itself. The first setting is the strikingly similar "land of nothing", or terra nullius, in three films, Miss Mary (1986), Where the Spirit Lives (1989), and Out of Africa (1985). The importance of this trope to colonization is stated by Pennycook (1998): The view of the emptiness of colonial lands was officially described in the doctrine of terra nullius, which denied the very existence of people in many countries, (p. 55) (italics in original) The filmed land is feminine and virginal (Paulston, 1996, p. xxi; Shohat, 1991b, pp. 51-52), available for the civilizing mission of mapping and English language and culture. Filmic language portrays terra nullius in the camera angle, depth of field, movement, dialogue, music, and mise-en-scene. Spivak (1985) argues that the fictioning of the colonized (Indian) land as uninscribed simultaneously writes the colonizer as Master and the Indians as other. She notes that: the necessary yet contradictory assumption of an uninscribed earth which is the condition of possibility of the worlding of a world generates the force to make the "native" see himself as "other." (p. 133) Spivak's use of "contradictory" signals the fiction of terra nullius. The land, indeed, was not empty. As I shall argue below, the cinematic terra nullius creates other fictions for English education and its subjects and objects. Miss Mary (1986) is an independent film by the Argentine director, Maria-Luisa Bemberg, and is largely autobiographical of her life as a child in a wealthy family raised by British governesses (Burton-Carvajal, 1999, p. 339). Miss Mary was Bemberg's 133 fourth feature-length film, her first being in 1981 made just before her sixtieth birthday (p. 331). In Miss Mary, Bemberg offers a critique of patriarchy and the ruling Argentinean class. Julie Christie plays Miss Mary Mulligan, the British governess to three children of a wealthy Argentine family. Miss Mary arrives in 1938 from Britain by boat and train to a small country train station, and is driven to the family's Tudor mansion in the country. The land is pampas, quite bare of people, buildings, animals and activity, except the car transporting her to the mansion. The genealogy of the pampas as "empty" and "unpopulated" is traced to an early 19 th century description by the Argentine traveler, Sarmiento (Pratt, 1992, p. 186). For Bemberg as well, the pampas represented "the metaphysical landscape of nothingness" (Burton-Carvajal, 1999, p. 342), and in this nothingness, there is an anonymity, and the illusion that whatever happens goes unnoticed. In the absence of a social panopticon, mental and sexual repression takes place in this family, as well as a sexual encounter between Miss Mary of her charges, the son of about 18 years. Real sexual relations between nursemaids and governesses and their male charges were not uncommon, as was sex and sexual abuse between the nursemaids and governesses and their male employers (McClintock, 1995, p. 85-87). Miss Mary's curriculum is prescribed by the philandering father of the household, who above all wants a healthy dose of Christianity and his daughters well-supervised, but it is also partly constructed by herself, as a British colonial woman subject. Her liminal space is thus constructed through her social power via her Britishness and her repression by both an idealized colonial womanhood and the repressive patriarch (Christie, 2000; Kantaris, 2000). Through daily instruction in and 134 outside of the classroom, Miss Mary's charges learn English at the same time as they learn to say their prayers in English and learn upper-class British culture to which the ruling class of Argentina aspired. The stereotype of the superior British woman working with non-British people (heathens) was already well established in British popular culture through women missionaries and their writing (Rowbotham, 1998). In her Victorian and imperial snobbery, Miss Mary is both the perpetrator of repression toward her charges, but also a victim of repression as a female employee of a strong patriarch. The opening scene depicting terra nullius in Where the Spirit Lives (1989), a Canadian film, is strikingly similar to that of Miss Mary (1986). Miss Kathleen Willenberry, played by Ann-Louise MacDonald, also arrives by train in the province of Alberta, Canada, also in the 1930s, and is also taken by car, this time to the King George V Indian Mission School, a two-story brick building. Like the Tudor mansion where Miss Mary lives and teaches, the Indian Mission School where Miss Willenberry teaches and lives is also the prairie, in the middle of nowhere. Again, such filmic language produces a colonial discourse of a virgin land, a frontier where the country is quite uninhabited, natural, and undeveloped, giving the impression that nothing happens there, and is available for anything. Miss Willenberry's curriculum is also prescribed by the patriarch, this time the Reverend of the school, but it is also ingrained with her own white woman's values. Again, in this terra nullius, away from the watchful eye of a wider society but in part inscribed by that society, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse occurs. Historically, as with the liaisons between governesses and their charges, dangerous liaisons between residential school employees and aboriginal students took place through the 135 government-sanctioned process of forced assimilation. Battiste (1986), Chrisjohn and Young (1997, pp. 40-60), Grant (1996, pp. 269-275), and Kelm (1998) describe the residential schools and the insistence on "English only" as a large part of the cultural and linguistic genocide which was enacted upon Canadian First Nations people. The forced removal of children of the Doukhobor Sons of Freedom in 1957 and Japanese internment of children during World War II are two other examples where ethnic and racial minority children have been forced to submit to Canadian school policies (Gleason, 2001, p. 190). In Out of Africa (1985), Meryl Streep plays the real Baroness Karen Blixen, a European owner of a coffee plantation in Kenya around 1913. Again, the opening scene is a particularly interesting example of the colonized land and people as represented by emptiness and absence. The camera views the Kenyan landscape panoramically with the train traveling through it. The sun rises and sets, creating a romantic, natural sense to the country. The land is empty, with no people, homes, animals, fields, or farms. The master trope of the colonized land as feminine, as female body, as "the dark continent" is readily available here (Shohat and Stam, 1994, pp. 148-151). Kenya is a virgin land, untouched by any (white man's) hand. It is in a pure state of nature, a bare and open frontier. Unpopulated, it is therefore available for exploration, exploitation, inhabitation, and English education. The train, carrying Blixen and her many and expensive possessions, stands in for the phallic penetration of which so much white masculine colonial discourse is a part. The train stops. The camera then focuses on the white man, Finch-Hatton played by Robert Redford, who empties his bounty, two white elephant tusks, onto the train. 136 When the train starts up again, Blixen asks, "Aren't you boarding?" Finch-Hatton i replies, "No, I'm going on." Blixen asks incredulously, "On? To where?" while glancing out to the land as if there was no where he could be going. He knows the virginal country has much to offer the hunter, but she sees nothing but emptiness. Kipnis (1993) compares this Kenyan landscape in the film to the American frontier (p. 202). It is this trope of terra nullius, a land with nothing, that helps interpellate Blixen's duty as providing English language education for the Kikuyu who live on and work her land. Finding an empty land and then developing it with a coffee plantation, it is not much of a stretch to finding people empty of culture and language and fulfilling her duty to teach them English. Blixen builds a one-room schoolhouse on her property, and finds a missionary to teach basic English. In order to help viewers affirm the civilizing and Christianizing project of colonial education, the land is depicted as void. The buildings where the E S L lessons take place arise out of blank space. And whatever takes place there is unknown to people outside the school. Anything can happen and no one will know. In this sense, terra nullius signifies again the possibility of exploitation but the anonymity and justification for doing it. Viewers are invited to enter the cinematic identities of ESL by way of the camera-as-panopticon. Remarkably, whether in Argentina, Canada, or Kenya, the teachers or school owner arrive to a land void of people and activity. The voiding of colonized land by the camera establishes for viewers, a devaluation of the country and its people. It is a powerful image, and sets up viewers (and Miss Mary, Miss Willenberry, and Baroness Blixen) for the instruction/imposition of the language and cultural lessons that follow. 137 The harem is another non-traditional setting for English lessons in Black Narcissus (1947), the four versions of the Anna Leonowens story, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958), and The Last Emperor (1987). In Black Narcissus, the nuns teach in a palace once occupied by a harem-owning mogul. References to the previous harem abound, and these contrast sharply with the sexual tension and repression of the nun's "harem." Here race and gender are distinguished by black male and female promiscuity through wall paintings and white female chastity in the habit and work of the nuns. As mentioned earlier, the location of the school has a disturbing effect on the sisters. The Mother Superior looks back nostalgically at her previous lover, and Sister Ruth is jealous over what she sees as the Mother Superior's attention to the British Agent. In the live-action versions of Anna Leonowen's teaching life (1947, 1956, 1999), the harem is portrayed as a space where the King's wives engage in gazing at Anna, a spectacle in her hooped dress and bonnet. In the closeness to other women, Anna, the widow, shares her longing for her husband with the King's wives. However, within the harem there is a hierarchy. Anna becomes part of this hierarchy when the first wife asks for her help with the King. While the harem wives can influence him, their power is diminished in comparison with Leonowen's. Here, race is distinguished by a hierarchy of influence, access to knowledge, and social status (wives versus a paid employee). Similarly, in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958), the Mandarin's concubines at first make fun of Aylward, but later she wins over their respect too. The Mandarin is displeased with this, as Aylward's western influence and ideas of women's roles extend to the Mandarin's concubines. He asks her to stop giving them a voice. When harems 138 are part of the film setting, then, desire is sublimated to other pursuits. The white woman teacher's identity is built through her independence, intellect, activism, influence, and chastity while the non-white women of the harem are imaged as desiring her access to power and knowledge. In these films, harem-as-classroom offers the audience a juxtaposition of good girl/bad girl politics. Although not a harem, Emperor Pu Yi ' s polygamy unfolds in the rooms of the palace, where only men including his diplomat tutor, Mr. Johnston (Peter O'Toole), may enter. Otherwise, eunuchs attend to the Emperor. Here, the classroom is also a place where his tutor, like Leonowens and Aylward, exercises much influence over Pu-Yi. Mr. Johnston overrules the Chinese authorities in the Emperor's life. Mr. Johnston is portrayed as asexual and when the Emperor asks if he has a wife, Mr. Johnston is taken aback and answers, "No", as if there were no other answer. This again contributes to the colonial notion of undersexed whiteness/oversexed otherness. In part, the harem and polygamy and those confined therein also contribute to the freedom trope with the teachers able to come and go against the confinement of racially othered students. 5.3.2 Curriculum Content The question of content involves how the cinematic curriculum serves particular colonial and postcolonial representations of ESL subjectivities and English itself. I discussed earlier the Christian mission of some cinematic ESL teachers. Here, teaching English language is teaching the word of Christ, the Bible and the world of Christianity, which, through British colonialism, had much control. Cinematic missionary teachers and those associated with teaching Christianity have students work their way from sounding out letters of the alphabet and words (Out of Africa, 1985; Black 139 Narcissus, 1947; Tarzan,l999; The Jungle Book, 1994) to the performance of recitations, songs, prayers and hymns (Miss Mary, 1986; Where the Spirit Lives, 1989; Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 1958), to reading silently and out loud (Where the Spirit Lives, Inn of the Sixth Happiness). This is by no means a cinematic curriculum of the past. There are indeed dozens of web sites and other promotions through language schools and even large, international conferences such as TESOL to teach English and Christianity (Pennycook and Coutand-Marin, in press) in the real and present world. The control of the cinematic Christian curriculum was administered variously from individual missionaries such as Gladys Aylward, to the principal of the school in Where the Spirit Lives (1989). In the case of Out of Africa (1985), Baroness Blixen arranges for a missionary to teach for free in her little school. The ruling domestic or national patriarch either rejects the Christian curriculum, as indicated in a letter from King Mongkut (discussed in the following chapter), or demands it as in Miss Mary (1986). When Miss Mary is having her initial meeting with the father of the three children she will teach, he insists on particular content: P: I want you to teach them a little bit of everything: English, history, needlework, art, etc, but above all I want them well brought up and closely supervised. M : May I say, Senor, that all the young ladies I have brought up attained a state of marriage in an eminently suitable condition. P: You're a Catholic I presume. M : It's in the contract. P: I also want lots of religion. M : Yes. P: Religion keeps women out of trouble. M : (nods in agreement) He links Christianity to the virginal condition he expects his daughters to have when they marry and makes Miss Mary responsible for this. Indeed, men cannot be i 140 responsible for virginity because, as he also states, "No woman is safe as long as there are men around." I think it is important to see Miss Mary arid the other women in the film as both repressed by such patriarchal control and also empowered by it. It is a contradictory duality adhering to many women in the films, and one I take up further on in the chapter. It is also important to understand the relationships between Christianity and desire and how these are gendered and raced. These include the desire to fulfill colonial duty by holding out an identity of chaste, clean, orderly, controlled and controlling, and linguistically and culturally superior. Imperial women and colonized women too were rewarded for such behaviors through employment opportunities and the possibility of a better life socially and materially. Contrary to the insistence of Christianity in the curriculum, Aylward's companion, Colonel Lin (Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 1958) argues the uselessness of proselytizing hungry Chinese people who only want a bowl of rice, and then laugh at her after they have eaten it. Yet, she persists in her commitment to offer mule train men a bug-free inn, a hot meal, and a Christian story while they eat. Another film that links Christianity to racial divisions is Lilies of the Field (1963). Set in Arizona in the early 1960s, and shot in black and white, Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier) plays a carpenter on a road trip to the west coast of the United States. With just a few dollars left, he accepts to do some repair work for Mother Maria, the head of a group of four white nuns from East Germany, Austria and Hungary who escaped over the Berlin Wall. They are poor and cannot pay him, but Mother Maria does not tell him that. Instead, after he finishes the work, she insists that he eat supper with them (an egg and a piece of bread and water) and stay the night because the next 141 day she has more work for him. That evening, they continue studying English with a phonograph and a Berlitz-type program of listening to phrases in German, then English and repeating. He offers to speak English for them, and he begins with the word "black", pointing to black things including his skin and contrasting it to their white skin. He also introduces southern dialect (e.g., "ya'll" for you all). When someone calls him a "gringo" which is Spanish for white man, he replies, "Gringo. I don't know whether that is a step up or a step down." From the beginning then, Smith foregrounds his blackness and brings awareness to its construction through various scenes, both funny and serious. Smith and Mother Maria battle over control of his wages (he wants to be paid but she has no money), commitment to Christianity (he carries a mini Bible and can quote from it, but does not go to church), the construction of the chapel she wants (he Image 5.4 Sydney Poitier as "Horace Smith" and Lilia Skala as "Mother Superior Maria" in Lilies of the Field, 1963 142 begins, quits, but eventually finishes it), behavior she does not like (he sleeps in and drinks alcohol), and who gives the orders and who obeys (they both call each other "Hitler".) She believes he has been sent by God to build the chapel. He rejects that notion. Instead, he takes on the job of the chapel to change the racist idea of the only white male character in the movie, the owner of the nearest building materials and equipment store. Smith is a carpenter and can operate heavy earth-moving equipment. The owner calls Smith "boy", a racist term for black men, and suggests that he could not have the ability to be the contractor for the nuns' chapel. In fact, until this meeting, Smith was on his way to the west coast, but changes his mind when he notices the obvious racism. It is the racial gaze of the white man that motivates Smith's desire to complete the chapel, teaching nightly English lessons at the kitchen table. Mother Maria wants to identify Smith as the black carpenter sent by God, but Smith's interest in the chapel is representing a black identity of know-how and competence. In Out of Africa (1985), Blixen "hires" a missionary to teach English in her school. The black students' voices are heard after the missionary teacher has them repeat the alphabet from the letter "g" to "w" and then "g for girl." Years later, he has worked up to the sentence, "he - - eats - - elephant." However meager this lesson is both in terms of pedagogy and viewing time, there is an opportunity for asking who controls what students say, and who benefits from their learning. Here, the answer is Blixen. As well as the world of Christianity and its many associations, the cinematic curriculum makes tremendous use of various technologies for teaching. Teachers have maps, magazines, slides and projectors, sports equipment, books, bicycles, blackboards, 143 flash cards, phonographs, tape recorders, cameras, coloured chalk and even the accoutrements for high tea through which lessons on British manners are taught. Such objects signify the advanced intelligence and development of the civilization and country of the English teacher while suggesting that once English is acquired through these objects, such advancement and freedom will be available to the students themselves. The most evident educational object is the map. Mapping the world was another of colonialism's projects, a way of gaining panoptical space of the Empire in a single visual image, an idea similar to McClintock's (1995) panoptical time in reference to the colonial construction of the evolutionary family Tree of Man (p. 37). Mapping colonized land was also a way of worlding (Spivak, 1985) the land. Once it was known and visualized, it could be controlled. In the cinematic English classroom both colonial and postcolonial, maps are lessons in imperial knowledge and superiority (the four versions of the Anna Leonowens' story, and Seven Years in Tibet, 1997). They are also a way to dream of escape from its brutality (Where the Spirit Lives, 1989). In Anna and the King (1999) and The King and I (1999), Leonowens presents the world map as a surprise and a privileged piece of curriculum. This map, she tells the class, will replace the old map of Siam. The King's son opposes the world map's representation of Siam as not the center of the world and too small (Anna and the King, 1999). A shoving fight ensues between the Prince and Anna's son. In the end, the map stays, and by the end of the movie when the King is bedridden and the son must take over, the Prince is eager to stop Siamese customs such as everyone bowing in the presence of the King. Accepting 144 the map of the world, like other curricular technologies, represents the necessity of progress vis-a-vis colonialism and letting go of the encumbered and limited past. Another interesting example of mapping is Seven Years in Tibet (1997). Heinrich Harrer, the Austrian mountain climber played by Brad Pitt, escapes a British Image 5.5 Brad Pitt as "Heinrich Harrer" in Seven Years in Tibet, 1997 prison camp in India during World War II and enters Llasa, the capital of Tibet. He is hired to survey the city, another mapping assignment. Harrer teaches the Dalai Llama world geography by drawing a flat map of the world on the classroom floor and in ajar puts the names of countries from which the Dalai Llama must pick and place correctly. Harrer similarly uses a globe to teach him about world time zones. The Dalai Llama has a film projector and films but no theatre. He asks Harrer to build one for him and Harrer 145 powers the projector using an old car. He is the one who knows how to use these machines including the film projector. According to Harrier's autobiography of this time of his life (1994), it was the Dalai Llama who was skilled in all things technical. The real Dalai Llama had already taken apart and put together the film projector (p. 249). The reel Dalai Llama asks and in some scenes begs Harrer to teach him more. The lessons often begin with Harrer's question, "What else do you want to know?" Harrer, as the panoptical teacher, provides the answers to everything except matters of the heart, that terrain reserved for the Dalai Llama. In the documentary Seven Years in Tibet (1956) made by the real Harrer and Dalai Llama, the Dalai Llama has asked Harrer to film him in a ceremonial procession. The Dalai Llama upsets western colonialism's gazing relations between self/others by looking directly at the camera and therefore the audience. Earlier in this chapter, the trope of romantic desire was discussed through the various romantic liaisons teachers and students have with each other and with others. The content of the cinematic curriculum underscores this trope through direct sexual content (The Last Emperor, 1987; Tropic of Cancer, 1970; Tarzan, 1999; The Jungle Book, 1994; Miss Mary, 1986). However, the sexual content of the films must be understood through the discursive space in which it is produced. Let me begin with Tropic of Cancer (1970). The writer, Henry Miller, must take an E F L job teaching conversation in an all boys' school in 1960s Dijon, France, a place he says is ^ 'so dismal, so chill, so gray." He is without any means, borrowing money and meals from friends and lovers and their husbands. The job offers room and board but no salary. Rip Torn 146 plays Miller and overvoices the film with excerpts from the novel of the same name (the novel is set in the 1930s). Completely unprepared for teaching, he begins his first lesson by asking the students, "What shall we talk about? Anybody have anything they want to talk about?" The class is one-third empty, and the boys are slumped over on their desks. The class is decorated with pictures of elephants. In voiceover the viewer hears, "Poor kids." Thus begins the following lesson on the subject, the "physiology of love". T: Let's consider how the elephants make love. Pachyderms although they are pretty heavily built, they get pretty spry when a male gets a bone on. S: A bonne on . . . ? T: Some animals have a bone in their penis and hence this expression, " A bone on." (Writes it on the blackboard.) Ss: (Laugh.) T: Happily, according to Gourmont (writes the name on the board), this boney structure is lost in man. Now think what would happen if ya' had half the human race walkin' around with a bone on. Ss: (Laugh.) In the next lesson, the classroom is full and the students are attentive and sitting up. This lesson is question day, and many hands eagerly rise to ask the teacher a question. S: Sir, yesterday you was telling us about the whale. T: Yeah, this noble beast has a penis two meters long. (Gestures.) Ss: (Laugh.) S: C'est pas vrai. (It's not true.) T: Yes, that's quite true, my boy, and that's only in repose! Ss: (Laugh.) (Take notes.) S: And the kangaroo has two? T: It's a double penis. One for weekdays and one for Sundays. Ss: (Laugh.) T: (Laugh.) 147 It is the male-focussed sexual content that transforms the class from a dull room half full of disinterested boys to an enlivened place where the boys are eager to ask questions about various animals' anatomies and all through the medium of English. The availability of the scene cannot be understood without looking into the discursive context of its production. First, it is set in France, and in popular discourse, the French have something inherently sexy about them. This intertextual knowledge positions the above classroom scenes as viable in that discursive space. Second, Miller is known for the amount and directness of sexual content and coarse language in his writing. The novel on which the film is based was banned for 27 years in the United States. This focus is brought to his cinematic English class, and to his now enthralled and captive audience of French adolescents. The cinematic Miller is obviously enjoying himself too, and indeed, the curriculum and the boys' response to it are the only pleasurable times he spends in Dijon. Knowing that he cannot speak what is really on his mind (his lovers in Paris), he draws on what is at hand (pictures of elephants) to engage the boys and himself in the unspeakable. However, the minute he has an offer of a job in Paris, he leaves on the next train. This portrait of an American ESL teacher is in stark contrast to the colonial portraits of Miss Anna (The King and I, 1956), Miss Willenberry (Where the Spirit Lives, 1989), and Mr. Johnston (The Last Emperor, 1987) who are dedicated to teaching and whose pleasure with the students comes from popular practices of singing, music and sports. The audience expects or permits, through the discursivity around the film, that Miller's teaching will be explicitly about sex and colonial men and women teachers' lessons will not. 148 However, returning to colonial settings of The Jungle Book (1994), Tarzan, (1999), and Miss Mary (1986), other cinematic white women teachers have a contradictory way of showing their sexual interest. It is men of different races, cultures, status, and age who make the first request and the white women who immediately refuse. Their refusal in language is problematic as it contradicts their obvious interest in the men. Their interest can be understood variously through, first, the disciplined expectations of the audience (i.e. "we" have come to expect/want sexual tension), and second, different signifiers such as gazing into each other's eyes, touching, previous scenes of longing, disinterest or resistance to cultural expectations, "love at first sight", delight at meeting him, and his attention to her. Shortly after the man's expressed interest, the women too express their interest in the man. In Miss Mary's case, it is only a matter of seconds. It is a case of a voiced refusal that nods to her prescribed colonial subjectivity as asexual (not like "them"), yet undercuts it by silent language to the contrary. Cameron and Kubick (2003) are helpful in understanding this contradictory message. In their study of sexual refusals in heterosexuals and homosexuals, they point out that there are uses of "no" that do not indicate straightforward refusal, and indeed, are another way to say "yes." A poem helps to illustrate this point: Refusal i have said no at the moment of desire ^ the word spoken, the silent wish betray me ( at once the desiring body at once the body upholding 149 my (still colonial) sex and your question - no? and your body desiring thrusting the coupling of pleasure with power Such uses of "no" are part of a "ritualized move in a game, used to signify a formulaic resistance whose function is, precisely, to be overcome" (pp. 39-40) or a "cultural tendency to eroticize power differences" (p. 40). The cinematic teachers vessel both the power that colonial whiteness inscribes them with (upholding an asexual subject expressed vocally) and their sexual desire expressed in various nonvocal ways. The viewer likewise expects both the refusal and the intimacy that is on the near horizon. Indeed, it is the coupling of these contradictory messages that creates the sexual tension. However, in other cinematic spaces, refusal really does mean "no". Regarding non-white women and sexual interest depicted in colonial times (The Last Emperor, 1987; The Jungle Book, 1994), they offer no such ambiguity. Rather they initiate and develop the sexual encounter. It is the Chinese Empress who knows how to be intimate. She has learned it from her American tutor, Miss Windsor. In The Jungle Book, the Indian woman enters immediately the kissing proposition invited by Mowgli's father. Such cinematic discourse of the "oriental woman" constructs a sexualized subject. In anti-orientalist writing, critiques are made of the construction of the "strikingly sexed" (Uchida, 1998, p. 162) oriental woman in the United States. Uchida suggests that, "Asian women are confined to the two roles of either the Lotus Blossom 150 or the Dragon lady and never play complex characters" (p. 167) in films and other forms of popular culture. For The Jungle Book and The Last Emperor, a similar argument can Image 5.6 Peter O'Toole as "Mister Johnston", Tao Wu as the 15 year old "Emperor Pu-Yi", and Joan Chen as "Empress Wan Jung" in The Last Emperor, 1987 be made for the women as sexualized in relation to her Chinese husband (The Last Emperor) or in relation to white women (The Jungle Book). The Chinese bride and 151 Indian woman fulfill the expectations of their cinematic men, themselves constructed as asexual (Chinese) or sexual (Indian). Against the constructions of Asian men as asexual, A. Luke (1998) reads the Hawaiian-Chinese-American actor, Jason Scott Lee (Mowgli in The Jungle Book, 1994), as sexualized. A. Luke: Until I saw Jason Scott Lee onscreen in the 1990s, I hadn't seen a sexualized image of the Asian male that looked real to me, or that looked like me, an image of the kind of boys and men that we might become, who we should hang out with, the kinds of partners, lovers and families we might encounter, (p. 85) Here, Mowgli's sexual interest in Kitty is read by A. Luke as a welcome change from Image 5.7 Jason Scott Lee as "Mowgli" in The Jungle Book, 1994 152 other images of Chinese-American men. These include the Asian men in The Joy Luck Club (1993) as "non-emotive, repressed and desexed props" (p. 85) and Chinese-American men as "the Good Chinaman portrayed as subservient, loyal, trustworthy to white males in power and the Bad Chinaman portrayed as greedy and violent" (p. 85). While Asian men are made asexual and therefore nonthreatening for white men, cinematic Asian women are made sexual (Uchida, 1998). It is important to see the discussion of popular cinematic representations of Asian women and men's relative sexiness within a context of gender and racial power relationships. In other words, it is not that an asexual identity is undermining and a sexual identity is powerful, or vice-versa. It is rather how and for what purpose such identities and their concurrent power are constructed. For example, cinematic Asian men's asexuality undermines their power whereas colonial white women are powerful in part because of their asexuality. Whether set in colonial or postcolonial time, the cinematic ESL curriculum entertains both teachers and students. From The King and I (1956) and its catchy tune, "Getting to Know You", to a game of American baseball in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), the curriculum makes students and teachers happy. They sing, dance, listen to music, tell jokes, watch movies, tease each other and have parties. American teachers are often*Very funny, as in Good Morning, Vietnam when Chronauer teaches 1960s American hip talk. In Stripes (1981), the soon-to-be-American soldier teaches his smiling students a popular song. Miss Windsor, the American tutor of the Empress of China in The Last Emperor (1987), has taught the Empress the quick step, a dance the Emperor hopes his new wife knows as he is eager to learn it. The Chinese adult students in Iron and Silk (1990) perform a song for their departing teacher, a rendition of "Jingle 153 Bells." Indian students in Where the Spirit Lives (1989) perform songs at the Christmas party for the white audience. Viewing such performances through a postcolonial lens, the interpellations of the ESL curriculum articulated by students again underscore the racialized dimensions of the continuing ESL project. Non-white students are generally receptive to the curriculum-as-entertainment. The struggle of learning to speak is at best an aside in most movies. Rather, the English curriculum is fun. The intent of the performances instantiates both the learning of language and acceptance of postcolonial discourses while simultaneously silencing others. For instance, Pu Y i , the last Emperor of China, is severely restricted and kept ignorant by his tutor and others such as the Lord Chamberlain, the Japanese, and the Governor of the re-education camp (Rony, 1988). Pu Yi ' s tutor, Mr. Johnston, introduces the Emperor to western education and ideas of political reform while encouraging his interest in western popular culture, sports, and clothes. Despite the Emperor's desire to learn more about the student protests against the Republican government's decision to give territory to Japan, Johnston keeps him ignorant of a curriculum based on the Chinese political realities such as the revolution outside the Forbidden City. Rather, he is sympathetic to the Emperor's desire to leave the Forbidden City and speak his mind while keeping him interested in things modern, popular and western. Despite the singing and sports, it is the failure of Japanese imperialism in China, British colonialism, and American imperialism in Vietnam that are the underlying themes in The Last Emperor (1987), Black Narcissus (1947), Out of Africa (1985), Where the Spirit Lives (1989), and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). Furthermore, the 154 torments of the cultural and linguistic curriculum for both colonized and colonizer is portrayed in Where the Spirit Lives, Black Narcissus, and Miss Mary (1986). 5.4 Summary In this chapter, I have drawn on cultural, feminist/film, and postcolonial studies as well as biographical texts to help me locate several overarching cinematic metaphors for English and ESL. They include: the naturalization of English in the world; the freedom, romance, and civilization that mark English as a currency for those who have it; and the possibility of a "rescue hero" identity for a teacher. I have also tried to locate the postcolonial discourses for cinematic classroom space and ESL curriculum. The common threads linking the curriculum were the never-seen-before (by students) content and delivery including Christianity, various technologies for teaching and learning such as the map, sex and sexual passion, as well as entertainment. Two settings for the curriculum were common. These were terra nullius and the harem. Several arguments are made in this chapter. The first is that both Hollywood films and independent films make use of similar postcolonial tropes and themes such as terra nullius. Both the Argentinian feminist filmmaker, Maria Luisa Bemberg, and the American director, Sydney Pollack, made use of terra nullius to make similar statements. Both independent and Hollywood films also represent white women's oppression by white men. The point is that trying to analyze films by distinguishing between Hollywood and independent films, by constructing them as opposites to one another in order to hail one over the other, creates another hierarchy of cultural forms. The chapter also made the argument for a critical reader that can read from various locations within the text, for example, Iron and Silk (1990). By identifying with 155 the learners in the film, I read Mark, a student of Chinese and wu-shu, as a far superior learner to the Chinese learners of English. However, by identifying myself with the teachers, I could read Mark as an inferior teacher of English and in contrast Teacher Hai and Teacher Pan as superior teachers. The question here should not involve the "correctness" of the interpretation, but rather, the purposes served by each. Another argument was made for disrupting cinematic stories with biographical stories in order to make the point of the constructedness of both. On one hand, we have reel identities of, for example, a monolingual English speaking missionary in China who falls in love with a Dutch-Chinese colonel and who rescues 100 orphans. I contrasted this story with Aylward's biographical story of a bilingual woman who rescues 200 orphans and decides against marriage to her Chinese army officer in favor of independently moving around China. The point of such contrasts is the disruption of the cinematic and limited identities. I also argued that the cinematic desires to teach cannot be separated from colonialism's project of controlling the world religiously, linguistically and culturally. Teachers work in service to colonialism. However, I also argued that other desires propel them to step outside of their service to colonialism. An example here is the desire white women teachers have for control over their own lives, outside of colonial patriarchy. 156 Chapter 6 POSTCOLONIAL DISCOURSES AND CINEMATIC ESL IDENTITIES Racial social geography, in short, refers to the racial and ethnic mapping of environments in physical and social terms and enables also the beginning of understanding of the conceptual mappings of self and other operating in white women's lives, (italics original) (Frankenberg, 1993, p. 45) A pedagogy that explores the subjective embodiment of desire and the mobilization of desire in and through social forms and practices will inevitably confront its own claims on eros. (Kelly, 1997, p. 124) 157 6.1 Introduction Frankenberg and Kelly's quotes underscore the attempt I am making to map the cinematic structures of ESL race and desires. This chapter continues to read cinematic ESL, this time more specifically regarding the representation of students and teachers. The questions guiding the reading are: How do films position ESL subjects? What cinematic language helps to construct them? What relations of power and desire constitute ESL subjects? The chapter is divided into two main sections. The first discusses the rituals, coming-of-age experiences, and resistance of ESL students. The second main section examines teachers and their backgrounds and desires to teach, the spectacle-making of white teachers, and finally teachers and gender. 6.2 Representations of ESL Students 6.2.1 Rituals and Initiations One of the most compelling rituals is that of cleaning the students before English lessons start. Cleaning is their first initiation to the world of English language and culture. They are dirty and black in contrast to the teachers' cleanliness and whiteness. Cleansing is performed on students not by them. There is no privacy here, suggesting that bathing is somehow new to the students, that they do not require privacy for what would be considered by the teacher as a private act. The comedie, playful bathing of Mowgli by Kitty and Dr. Plumfort in The Jungle Book (1994) contrasts sharply with the brutal, concentration camp-like hosing of the Indian student, Komi/Amelia, in Where the Spirit Lives (1989). Similarly, when the lay missionary Aylward in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1956) adopts an abandoned Chinese baby by the side of the road, Colonel 158 Lin questions her ability to look after it. She replies that there is nothing more to looking after a baby than cleaning, clothing and feeding it. Of course, she has her Chinese servant to help her with this. In these scenes, cleansing signifies ESL as a step toward Christianity and being a civilized English-speaking subject. After cleansing comes re-clothing. Students' old clothes are replaced by new and clean dress. In Where the Spirit Lives (1989), Komi/Amelia gets a gray dress, Mowgli (The Jungle Book, 1994) and Tarzan's dirty loincloths are replaced by clean Indian clothes and western men's suit and tie respectively. Indeed Morton (1993) notes in comparing the cinematic Tarzan with the literary character that due to his loincloth, the Tarzan on film has low status and is unable to speak well because a clothed western man speaking with a near-nude western man makes conversation uncomfortable, even impossible (p. 108-109). In the above cases, new and clean western dress creates social expectations about and conditions for language learning. They learn to speak only after they have been clothed like westerners. Similarly, the illegal immigrants who leave Guatemala to work in the United States in El Norte (1984) replace their traditional Indian clothes with American style clothing, and the Emperor of China in The Last Emperor (1987) similarly abandons his Chinese silk robes also for western suits. Through such dramatic costume changes learning English is again implicated with transformation, a liberation from the dirty, old, encumbering past in favour of the clean, new, comfortable and present world'of English. Students are similarly initiated to the presence and power of English through haircutting. In a dramatic scene in The Last Emperor (1987), the Emperor Pu Y i himself cuts his queue, the long braid worn by men in China. His decision has been influenced 159 in large part by his English tutor who encourages him in all things western and "modern." It is an encouragement to leave the past behind, and to live in the presence of western modernity. Real queue cutting or not signaled the contest between remaining traditional (keeping the queue) and becoming modern (cutting the queue). Godley (1994) argues that part of the reason for cutting the queue was that overseas Chinese complained that foreigners derided their queues. In Where the Spirit Lives (1989) , Komi/Amelia's hair is cut for her at the residential school in Alberta, Canada. She weeps as her hair drops to the ground, signaling a loss of her own power, culture, and identity. These cross-cultural costume changes signal the possibilities of entering other cultures. Sometimes the changes are beneficial and wanted, at least initially, with the desire to change brought on by western influence. Other times they are rejected as the clothes have failed to permit entrance in the dominant white world. In a quite different context in Henry V (1989), as noted earlier, the daughter of the King of France (played by Emma Thompson) is prepared by her French lady-in-waiting to meet King Henry (Kenneth Branagh) for the first time. She asks her lady-in-waiting to teach her English. While cleaning, dressing and combing the princess's hair, the maid teaches her the words for hand, finger, and nail. Later, when Henry talks to her privately to propose marriage, she is only able to follow a little of his English. Nevertheless, she is prepared enough to agree to marriage. Another cinematic initiation is that of renaming students. Students are renamed by teachers or other school personnel, as when Astokomi randomly becomes Amelia (Where the Spirit Lives, 1989), an initiation she has no choice in. Yet in Iron and Silk (1990) , the students ask Teacher Mark to give them new names. This scene in the film 160 certainly held true for my own experience in teaching English in 1980s China. Students wanted us, their teachers, to give them western names and to call them by these names, but how we were to do this? When their Chinese name sounded like a western name, as in Lin/Lynne, we chose Lynne. When this failed, we looked at the student and then sometimes a person we knew would come to mind. Thus, I gave the name "Elvis" to a Korean-Chinese student I had because his thick dark slicked-back hair and long pale face reminded me of my ex-cinematic heartbreaker. I have questioned my Chinese students in Canada regarding who, now, gives them their names? Their "native" English teachers in China still hold this power, but it is also now a name they choose themselves. How? Most often self-naming is through the students' associations with a western film star and less often by phonetic similarity. Is it simply a change of name, or are other social re-identifications at work? Thompson (2004) argues that binomality impacts social mobility, and that in the case of Korean-Americans, binomality is a struggle over social identification, allowing entrance to membership in a community and creating distance from other communities. Norton (2004, April) suggests that binomality is "a window on other issues." These issues include the worlding of English as an international language and English and transnational identities. In cinematic binomality, English naming moves from an initiation that is forced to one that is desired, from disempowering to celebrated. But students are not the only ones to be renamed and not the only ones who are redressed. In Seven Years in Tibet (1997), when Heinrich Harrer finally arrives in Llasa, Tibet, his clothes are filthy and hair unkempt. Unlike the students above who are given a new identity, he is returned to his former identity after bathing, shaving, hair cutting, 161 and donning newly made western clothing. Gladys Aylward in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) must dress in Chinese clothes before she is allowed to go to the market. However, this new costume does little to hide her identity as she is still seen as a danger to a Chinese child she tries to console in the market. Later, Aylward receives an embroidered Chinese silk dress from the Mandarin she works for and who respects her. She wears it to a dinner he has arranged with the town council, a dinner at which Captain Lin, her love interest, will be present. In the Chinese costume, (she is recognized at once as beautiful, and Colonel Lin declares his love for her. In Iron and Silk (1990), the students insist that they not call Mark Franklin by his first name alone although he prefers that. Instead, they "solve a contradiction" by calling him Teacher Mark. Similarly, other teachers are referred to by their title Mr. or Miss followed by their given names, as in Miss Mary (Miss Mary, 1986) and Mrs. Anna who is also referred to as Sir (The King and I, 1956). There is a difference, however, between the above cinematic representations of students as heathens and in need of cleaning, clothing, haircuts and Christianity and those students who are Buddhists. The Dalai Lama in Seven Years in Tibet (1997) and King Mongkut's children in the four versions of the Leonowen's story are Buddhists. They are already clean and brilliantly clothed, their hair is neat and their living areas are immaculately clean. Importantly, their teachers, Leonowens and Harrer, are not juxtaposed with the students in terms of cleanliness (although as I stated above, Harrer has to be returned to his previous look after living in the forest and mountains for several months). Rather, difference is constructed in the teachers' wealth of valuable knowledge about the world and its technologies and the students' ignorance, although 162 they are powerful leaders. In the Anna Leonowens's stories, Anna advances by finally getting the brick house outside the palace the King promised her in a letter to her. In Seven Years in Tibet (1997), the Dalai Llama teaches Harrer much about being with people and in the world, so that, for example, Harrer comes to see the importance of being a father to his son. 6.2.2 Coming of Age Students seek out their English teachers to help them enter womanhood and manhood. Komi/Amelia, the Indian student in Where the Spirit Lives (1989), comes of age during her first year at the residential school. As soon as she begins menstruating, she tells Miss Willenberry, the teacher who has befriended her, and asks her for "the white ritual to become a woman." The teacher responds with, Well, there is no ritual, Dear. That sort of thing is all a part of your old ways. You're a Christian now. Now listen, say a little prayer of thanks to God, and go and see the nurse. She'll tell you all about what to do. But Komi/Amelia, not yet a palimpsest overwritten by white language and culture despite Miss Willenberry's tutelage, asks another Indian girl to help her perform the ritual that she remembers from her village. Jaine (1991) writes that for the Canadian Eastern and Plains Indigenous people, the onset of menstruation was acknowledged and young women were "respected as possessing the power to sustain life" (p. 38). When no Native knowledge was available for this rite of passage for Native women, children were afraid and embarrassed (Gleason, 1999, p. 125). Before beginning the Native ceremony, however, Komi/Amelia asks Jesus to forgive them if it is wrong. By performing the ceremony, she contests the gendered and racial subjectivity Miss Willenberry demands of her, insisting as she does throughout the film, that her Native identity be recognized. 163 Like Komi/Amelia, the eldest girl in Miss Mary's charge begins menstruating, and the younger girl calls for Miss Mary, not the neurotic and distant mother of the girl. After Miss Mary explains that she is a woman now and can have children, the girl/woman is full of joy and suggests celebrating her entrance to womanhood with a party. But Miss Mary chastises her, saying that she must not tell anyone or talk about her menstruation, and she must stay in bed despite the girl's insistence that she feels fine. Miss Mary denies her her emotions, and instead ingrains in her gendered and classed values of empire. This discourse of menstruation as something to hide, to be silenced, to manage has also informed western womanhood historically through television and magazine commercials (Al-Khalidi, 2000; Luke, 1997). In contrast to this instruction in female imperial values, the son's coming-of-age in Miss Mary (1986) is handled somewhat differently. Family tradition insists he go to a brothel on his 18 t h birthday for his first sexual experience with a prostitute his uncle has arranged. Sickened by the experience, he turns to Miss Mary with whom he has been infatuated since her arrival. She would send him away, but he persists and she agrees. In her arms, the boy/student becomes a man, and she turns from governess to lover. But the neurotic mother sees her naked son sneaking back to his room, and in the morning, she dismisses Miss Mary. Following his philandering father who has also made a pass at Miss Mary, the son as next-in-line patriarch of the family and now an adult, feels it is within his right to approach his governess sexually. Similarly, coming of age means a first sexual experience in The Last Emperor (1987). The Emperor wants to be a "modern man" and expresses this desire in various forms in the first half of the movie. Like Miss Mary's boy/man and the arranged 164 prostitute, a marriage has been arranged for the Emperor, and it is expected that they will be intimate on the evening of the marriage. While they are kissing, he hears the ladies-in-waiting taking off his and the Empress's elaborate wedding clothes. The Empress knows they are disrobing them but he does not. He opens his eyes and looks bothered. The Empress says, "If Your Majesty thinks it is old fashioned to make the rain and the wind with a stranger, we can do like a modern couple to begin with." She stands up, puts out her hand, and says, "Good-night." He shakes her hand, bewildered, and replies, "Good night," as she walks away. Her tutor, the American Miss Windsor, has taught her about all things western. In Black Narcissus (1947), the young Indian General has been attending the nun's school to learn French. On the way to school, he sees the nuns' Indian helper, Aiya, beating a young woman, also a student at the nun's school. The student has stolen a chain from the nunnery to wear around her neck. Aiya insists he take the whip and continue the beating himself so he can start "to become a man." He wants no part of this beating and instead gives the young woman one of his own gold necklaces. In these scenes, gender and colonial ideals cannot be understood separately, but rather are interdependent. With the girls, the teacher and governess try to control them with colonial ideals of femininity. Circuitously, Miss Windsor's tutelage of the Empress similarly controls the marriage night. However, Miss Mary's desire is in conflict with her colonial ideals, and is unable to fulfill her feminine and class duty of turning her male student away. In terra nullius, the expression of joy around menstruation is silenced, and the expression of sexual desire in a dangerous liaison is seen and punished. 165 The Prince, similarly refusing to fulfill his duty in becoming a man, refuses to whip the young woman. 6.2.3 Resistance English education, teachers and imperial discourse are also rejected and resisted by students! They cast off the imposed, superimposed, and impostor illusions that English offers and remain in or return to their communities. Mowgli (The Jungle Book, 1994) and Komi/Amelia (Where the Spirit Lives, 1989) want no part of their forced enculturation. After suffering humiliation at a British military party, Mowgli literally strips away layers of clothing as he runs away from the formality and brutality of what he sees as British manliness. If being a man means killing animals for sport, then Mowgli will be an animal, yet he knows he is not. This scene was an emotional one for the students and teachers of the study, as I shall discuss in Chapters 8 and 9. Komi/Amelia's own resistance takes several forms. As mentioned above, despite Miss Willenberry's insistence that recognizing womanhood is something from her past (and therefore to be forgotten), she performs one anyway with the help of her girlfriend. She also speaks her native language at school, an act that was strictly forbidden. In reality, Haig-Brown (1988) notes that the primary stage in the Canadian government's cultural genocide of Native peoples was the elimination of Native languages where school punishments such as pushing sewing needles through students' tongues if they spoke in their language were routine (p. 11). In Harper's (1997b) historical overview of difference in Canadian education, she similarly points out that it was both language and religion that First Nations people were required to give up (p. 193). Total assimilation was the stated policy regarding Canadian Indians. Yet, "the 166 institutional environment did nothing to prepare students for assimilation" (Haig-Brown, 1988, p. 16). Komi/Amelia's resistance must be seen in this light. She is not simply a representation of a "bad student." Rather, she represents the struggle for survival and resistance to a system of racial injustice and genocide on which the acquisition of English and the loss of Indian languages completely depended. When Komi/Amelia discovers that the woman who supervises the girls is sexually abusing her girlfriend, another routine practice (Gleason, 1999, p. 128), Komi/Amelia questions her about it. As a result of the abuse, her girlfriend hangs herself, and Komi/Amelia runs away. The cinematic First Nations resistance parallels resistance to residential schooling that Native Image 6.1 Clayton Julian as "Pita/Abraham" and Michelle St. John as "Komi/Amelia" in Where the Spirit Lives, 1989 167 people in Canada have always exercised (Archibald, 1993; Haig-Brown, 1988; Persson, 1986). Resistance in the form of reports of such sexual, emotional, and physical abuse in real residential schools continues to be brought to light (Haig-Brown, 1988; Jack, 2000). Miss Mary's charges also offer resistance to her in the form of pranks and refusals. For instance, the older girl refuses to give her name to Miss Mary. Soon after arriving, the two girls present her with a welcome present, a bottle of "Argentine perfume", as Miss Mary later refers to it. When she smells it, however, she realizes that it is urine. They always check under the bed for monsters, a superstition that Miss Mary disapproves of but that their mother has taught them. In Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Tuan (played by Tung Thanh Tran), the ESL student, resists the U.S. army/disc jockey/teacher's sexual desire. Soon after Chronauer arrives in Saigon in 1963, he sees Tuan and follows her to her ESL class. There he bribes the teacher to let him take over the class. The story entwines Cronauer's unsuccessful pursuit of Tuan, his continual resistance to army authority about what he can and cannot play and report on during his morning program, and his friendship with Tuan's brother, Trinh (played by Chintara Sukapatana), a member of the Vietcong resistance. She continually resists his attempts to be alone with her. Giroux's (1994) reading of Good Morning, Vietnam and of Tuan, however, views her differently. I would like now to take up now an extended criticism of Giroux's reading of Tuan as it pertains to themes I am developing, namely, resistance and the reader's location of power in cinematic ESL. Giroux draws primarily from western Marxism to argue for a radical theory of pedagogy where resistance to dominance is a key 168 theoretical underpinning. He reads many teaching films (for example, Giroux, 1994, 2002), and while he suggests that critical pedagogy offers multiple readings, he offers none beyond his own (Weaver & Daspit, 1999) even when he instantiates critical pedagogy with his own classroom practice with films (Trier, 2001b). Giroux's reading of the film relies on essentializing the characters, constructing them as unitary and negative figures. At the same time, and somewhat paradoxically, he wants to offer a counter discourse to the one he believes is the dominant discourse. For instance, Giroux (1994) reads Tuan as: nearly invisible except as an object of lust and desire. Though she refuses to date Cronauer, her identity is completely constructed within his patriarchal gaze. Her refusal is not expressed as a form of resistance to American imperialism or to relentless assaults of Cronauer's sexism, but to the Vietnamese custom of civility. Tuan refuses to become romantically involved with Cronauer because her family and community frown on such behavior by Vietnamese women . . . Tuan is portrayed as a tragic character who has to repress her desires because of the inconvenience of the war. Tuan becomes nothing more than a stick figure, a Barbie doll that merely testifies to the frustration, heterosexuality, and virility of the lonely American hero. (p. 40) The problem with this positioning of Tuan is the powerlessness with which Giroux interpellates her given the trope of ESL teaching-as-desire and that desire is a powerful resource for identity formation (Kelly, 1997; Robertson, 1997). Tuan holds much power over Chronauer. In fact, it is the power of her beauty that incites Cronauer to follow her to her English class and bribe the teacher into letting him take over. Giroux understands Tuan's refusal of Cronauer's interest as simply following Vietnamese custom and not as resistance to American imperialism. Yet, it is precisely her desire to hold to Vietnamese culture and her community and not accept American cultural practices that position Tuan with power. The fact that her brother is a member of the Vietcong resistance 169 indicates Tuan's attachment to Vietnamese independence. Perhaps, for Giroux, it is her white and feminine clothing, soft voice, and petite stature that belie her resistance to American imperialism. Giroux (1994) locates Tuan's desire in sexual attraction to Cronauer, repressing her desire for him because of the war. My reading of Tuan's desire, as I have stated above, is to hold up Vietnamese culture in regards to dating and thus refusing, like her brother, American culture/imperialism. Furthermore, I see no indication that she is attracted to Cronauer. She does go on chaperoned dates with him but more out of his insistence than attraction to this big, hairy American buffoon. As for Tuan being "a stick figure, a Barbie doll", without her as with Vietnam itself, Cronauer's (America's) tragic story would never have been told. Tuan and her brother act both overtly and covertly in defense of what is theirs. The story is certainly told through the white American male viewpoint — "within his patriarchal gaze" — but herein is also Giroux's (critical) reading. Agency is afforded to Cronauer but not to Tuan or her brother Trinh. For Giroux (1994), the film "erases any sense of collective agency or responsibility and builds its narrative structure around the emotional and heart-rending experiences of the isolated, alienated American resister" (p. 40) while my reading finds power in others. Movies are made with specific audiences in mind, and here an American liberal male audience was the probable target. I identified with some of the teaching scenes. There I recollected some of my own classes similar to Tuan's. In the main, I bonded with characters who legitimized the illegitimate: Tuan making Chronauer follow her rules and thereby legitimating Vietnamese independence; Trinh standing up for Vietnam; Garlick (Cronauer's helper) laughing at his ridiculous 170 commander; Chronauer playing popular music to the troops and reporting on Vietcong bombings, both acts against the rules. I saw Tuan and Trinh as strong, elegant, c/overt, and fierce and Chronauer as a not too attractive yet very funny if somewhat goofy guy. What lens am I looking through here? The question needs asking at some time in the assignment of power and resistance vis-a-vis the romance trope. M y point is the importance of recognizing where one places one's desire. What is apparent are Giroux's two versions of the film and of Tuan: that which he believes is the "dominant" reading and that which he speaks about (the critical reading). That there may be readings that understand the characters in ways other than Giroux's is not apparent. I am arguing for critical studies of cultural texts or human subjects that locate "dominant" discourses and the changes to such discourses as much as they locate subaltern, subversive, and other discourses and changes there. Such studies undermine the polarity of power distribution in dominant/other relationships, identifying as they do so an othered character with agency. For instance, who would, say, a female student from Vietnam choose to identify with — a character with no agency, as in Giroux's Tuan, or a character who has power, as in Mackie's Tuan? The answer of course will not always be one or the other. It may also be both or neither. The point is that choosing to construct others as invisible and powerless is a reading from a particular position. Another example of resistance is from an interesting scene in Iron and Silk (1990). One of Teacher Mark's students responds to a picture Teacher Mark is holding up to the class. It is an atom bomb being dropped on Japan. The teacher is using the picture to practice past tenses. The students question Teacher Mark about his feelings 171 toward his country, knowing that the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Japan. Teacher Mark answers that most people think it helped save lives by bringing the war to an earlier close. The student counters that the Chinese had already won the war against the Japanese in China. This instigates a discussion about what media, capitalist or communist, provide the truth. One could read this student portrayal as a naive product of communism or as critically engaged with a visual curriculum. Is it a question, again, of smorgasbording possible readings of the text, choosing which appeals the most? Or is it reading difference as complex and multiple, no matter how soft the voice or how imperfect the English? This section has taken up the latter question. It is also significant that resistance takes place outside of the text. In response to a request to film Anna and the King (1999) with Chow Yun Fat as the King of Siam and Jodie Foster as Anna Leonowens in Thailand, the film board of Thailand refused to allow production of the film. It was felt that the King was portrayed falsely as a brutal buffoon and the revisions to the script still did not change that representation ("Thailand Rejects", 1998). The 1946 version was allowed but the following 1956 version with Yul Brynner as the King and the animated musical of 1999 were and are still banned from Thailand. In response to the banning, a web site,, was constructed by Thai students in English at the Sriwittayapaknam School. On a class trip to Singapore, the students saw the movie and bought all the versions of the film (another form of resistance). The web site presents the facts of Anna Leonowens's life and the fictional representation of her life, reviews of the two books she wrote and reviews of the four films. It invites readers to comment on the books, films, web site and the controversy of the banning. The 172 banning and the students' web site are two forms of resistance to the Hollywoodization of history and to the act of banning as censorship. The recent banning of the Leonowens story follows the real King's own banning of Christianity in her curriculum. In a letter to Leonowens, King Mongkut gave clear instructions about what she may have thought was her mission: And we hope that... you will do your best endeavour for knowledge of English language, science, and literature, and not for conversion to Christianity; as the followers of Buddha are mostly aware of the powerfulness of truth and virtue, as well as the followers of Christ, and are desirous to have facility of English language and literature, more than new religions. (Leonowens, 1873, p. 19) And indeed, there is no overt instruction in Christianity in the movies. It is more her self-righteous imperial position in contrast to the King's brutality and ignorance that the film board of Thailand may have found insulting to their contrary knowledge of the King. 6.3 Representations of E S L Teachers In this chapter and the previous chapter, cinematic teaching identities have been indirectly constructed through the discussion of the colonial and postcolonial tropes they uphold, through that which the students are not, and through their role in articulating the curriculum. In this section, I focus on the teachers' identities in terms of their professional and personal backgrounds, their desires in teaching, the processes of being othered, and gender. 6.3.1 Backgrounds In terms of their backgrounds, white colonial females holding teaching positions are two imperial daughters, three missionaries, a governess, and five teachers while a 173 mountaineer, a missionary, a doctor, two scientists, and a diplomat make up the white male teaching force in imperial settings. ESL speakers also teach English in Seven Years in Tibet (1997) (Harrer, the mountaineer), Black Narcissus (1947) (an Indian boy translator and a female Indian student), and The Jungle Book (1994) (Mowgli's father). White women's primary colonial duty pertains to the upkeep and maintenance of the students' bodies and souls, enculturating them into imperial and Christian discourses while doing so in English. For white men, a wider array of occupations and backgrounds predominate their colonial duties, and teaching English is secondary. From the setting of the 1960s onward, white female teachers are a real estate agent and a teacher. White male teachers are a writer, a sinophile, an army DJ, a university graduate, and a teacher. Two non-white male teachers are portrayed in Stand and Deliver (1988), a Bolivian immigrant to the United States, and in Lilies of the Field (1963), Sidney Poitier plays a black American builder. Both men and women teachers are single, except for Escalante in Stand and Deliver (1988), and there are single mothers — the widowed Leonowens, and Aylward in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) who adopts five children. 6.3.2 Desires to Teach Desires to teach are variously motivated. In colonial times, the upholding of Christianity and British colonial values underpins the desire to teach. As discussed in Chapter 5, colonialism opened up the world for white women to work, travel and have adventure and romance within the limitations that colonial discourse constructed for them. When teachers step outside colonial boundaries of womanhood, they are punished or find themselves being (unwantingly and unnecessarily) protected by white men. 174 However, they may also challenge and resist colonial roles for them and succeed in their mission. Aylward in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) is an example here. Because she is not educated and worked as a parlour maid in Britain, the head of the British Mission in London will not send her to China, saying that she is not qualified in any way that China needs. She works at several jobs, saving enough money to travel to China on her own. Once there, she helps to start the Inn of the Sixth Happiness in a remote mountainous village. The idea is to offer mule train drivers a clean and bug-free kaan (communal bed) and a hot meal while entertaining them with stories of the life of Christ. When she is successful in China, the same man that refused her in London, apologizes to her and offers her a high post in the mission. It is crucial to understand her success in light of the reel failure of the Chinese to look after themselves and their children. The individual white missionary, then, is the hero, not the Chinese resistance to Japanese imperialism. Similarly, Baroness Blixen in Out of Africa (1985) pushes the boundaries of acceptable work for colonial women. By owning, operating, and defending her own farm and school in Kenya, she could be considered by liberal feminists to be a cinematic model of feminism. However, viewing the movie through a postcolonial lens, the movie and Blixen's updated portrait seem more a scapegoat for colonialism's failure. She loses everything — her farm, her servants, Denys Finch-Hatton (her lover played by Robert Redford), her health (her ex-husband gives her syphilis), and her possessions. A l l of these she has attempted to control, including Finch-Hatton who leaves her after a quarrel over him not staying home enough. Kipnis (1993) states that the film is "a series of running jokes at [Blixen's] expense" (p. 202) who is portrayed as "diseased and 175 demanding" (p. 199). Certainly, Blixen's desire to have "her Kikuyu" learn English is another way to exercise control, as I discuss in Chapter 7. Colonial white men's desire to teach, on the other hand, is motivated by professionalism as in Dr. Plumfort's interest in teaching Mowgli. Dr. Plumfort suggests Mowgli will be a fascinating study in language learning. The scientist in Tarzan (1999) is similarly interested in gorillas, but when Tarzan makes himself known, he thinks Tarzan, too, would make a splendid specimen. These interests, while seemingly innocent and objective science, also tie the colonial project of collecting, studying and displaying colonized people and their worlds to discourses of race and othering. Harrer's interest in Seven Years in Tibet (1997) is a combined need to support himself in Llasa and to gain status through his association with the Dalai Llama. 6.3.3 Teachers as Spectacles There are several cinematic moments when white ESL teachers are othered in their colonial settings. When Tibetan, Chinese, and jungle people first meet their white teachers, they find the teachers curious. Harrer's blonde hair is a source of fascination and amusement for the young Dalai Lama as is Leonowen's hooped skirt. The King's wives try to look under it to see if she is really shaped that way. Aylward, despite her costume change from European to Chinese, is chased by angry Chinese women when they see a white woman, "a foreign devil", helping a child. Emperor Pu Y i scrutinizes the look of Mr. Johnston when they first meet, as does Tarzan of Jane who pokes at and touches her. In Iron and Silk (1990), Teacher Mark tries to disguise himself when he sets out to say good-bye to his Chinese girlfriend. He dons sunglasses and a medical mask. Here is the frustration and loneliness in being othered. For example, Teacher 176 Mark asks his Chinese tutor if she thinks he is ugly, if he has a big nose, "da bi." She replies that she thinks his face is three-dimensional. Despite Teacher Mark's sinophilia, his race identifies him as an outsider and in turn frustrates his access to Chinese culture and love. This scene, too, was significant for the students' viewing, as I discuss in Chapter 9. Importantly, othered white teachers mainly exist momentarily as a curiosity. Through their superior knowledge, heroism, technology, and so on, their othered status is a mere cinematic moment, usually for fun. Although Miss Mary and the family she works for are the same race, she is a cultural outsider and very lonely. After her first day, Miss Mary writes a letter to her mother, weeping and sipping something alcoholic. The letter is completely false, painting a much rosier picture of her arrival than she really had. She tells her mother that the whole family was there to greet her at the train station, when it was only the brother of the patriarch. She writes that the girls are friendly and delightful when they have been cruel and dismissive of her, and that the whole family danced the tango on the Image 6.2 Julie Christie as "Miss Mary" in Miss Mary, 1986 177 deck outside in the moonlight when they did not. She is perhaps interested in giving her mother what her mother would like to think about Argentina and her daughter's life there. She wants her mother to think that she has been accepted as one of the family, and not positioned as a somewhat lowly outsider. 6.3.4 Teachers and Gender The othering of white women also takes place through their gendered (and colonial) identity. Their space is domestic even after traveling to a foreign country. They live where they work. The space is thus divided into private quarters (usually the women's bedrooms) and more public spaces of classrooms, harems, kitchens, and chapels. In a sense, these women teachers are homeless, like other women who work and live in another family's home, often without their own families or friends (McDowell, 1999, p. 90). With late 19 th century women, their clothing of nuns' habits and hooped dresses with hats provide a sense of personal space about them. They generally love the students, like a mother or romantically, and provide food, shelter, clothing, medicine, and education for them, whether the children want it or not. When students resist white enculturation (Where the Spirit Lives, 1989; The Jungle Book, 1994; Tarzan, 1999), white women are sympathetic yet ineffectual in changing the conditions. They are positioned between the white male patriarch and the students in terms of power. They relay their opinion and support of students to white men (head of school, fathers) but they are powerless to implement any changes. When there is no patriarch, as in Out of Africa (1985), Blixen controls the school, among other things, but, as I argued above, she loses it all in the end due to circumstances she cannot control. 178 The position of power white women inhabit between patriarch and non-white students is an interesting and contradictory one. At the same time as woman-as-colonial figure articulates particular subjectivities such as civilized, she resists the very order through which she is identified. Colonial women repress and control, yet are repressed and controlled. Their desires (for love, companionship, and independence) conflict with the priggish, distant, and domestic subjectivity in colonialism. Meanwhile, weapons and war underscore masculine identities. Explicit teaching of weaponry is the basis for two cinematic lessons in The Jungle Book (1994) and Black Narcissus (1947). In the first instance, Mowgli has a lesson in English weaponry and warring from Captain Boone, Kitty's fiance. Boone gives Mowgli a tour of the weapons room. He teaches Mowgli the names and uses for various weapons. At the same time, he tells Mowgli that the British kill animals for sport, not to eat them. This conflicts with Mowgli's jungle rules in which animals are killed only to be eaten. Mowgli finds Boone's values incomprehensible. In Black Narcissus, the nuns are faced with a classroom full of children who speak no English or Hindustani. Added to this challenge is the fact that the General who used to live in this palace/harem turned nunnery, has offered to pay anyone that will go to the school or the infirmary the nuns are establishing. A disagreement among the Sisters ensues: Sister Ruth: The schoolroom's overrun with children. With nothing unpacked yet, no one understands the language, there's too many of them anyway and they smell . . . they look very stupid to me. Remember they can't speak a word of English or Hindustani... Sister Honey: The brothers [priests had earlier tried to establish a school there but failed] left a blackboard in the school. I ' l l draw things on it in coloured chalk and they can tell me their 179 name for it and I'll tell them the English. And I can take their names and ages and they can register. Sister Ruth: You can't call that a lesson. The Mother Superior agrees that this is a good place to start. Joseph Anthony, a bilingual young Indian boy, is assigned to help out in the classroom. Later, he Black Narcissus, 1947 teaches a lesson that Sister Honey has drawn on the board in chalk. He points to each picture and has the students repeat the words: canon, warship, bayonet, dagger, and gun. It seems an odd lesson considering it takes place in an ex-harem/nunnery classroom. 180 Nevertheless, it underscores the associations of weaponry and war with teaching English and Christianity, and with masculine power. Masculinity in eleven of the films is associated with various violent revolutions or wars that begin or are in progress. Those depicted are the Battle of Agincourt in France, the attempted takeover of the Mongkut Kingdom of Siam by the King's brother, the invasion of China by the Japanese, World War II, and the Vietnam "conflict." A knife is used by Mowgli's father to point to pictures of animals to teach him English and sticks, guns, and hands are used to threaten students or beat them into submitting to the cultural curriculum (Where the Spirit Lives, 1989; The Jungle Book, 1994; Tarzan, 1999). 6.4 Summary and Comments This chapter continued the inquiry of films with ESL by examining how ESL identities are structured. I argued that students are initiated into the colonial world of English by rituals related to the control of their bodies. It is teachers and other school officials that mainly exercise control over them, who silence the joy of coming to womanhood, and who catalyze first sexual experiences for male students. The control is an attempt to reinscribe the students as English-speaking, English-looking colonial subjects. Yet students resist this control in various ways, from using their first (forbidden) language to playing tricks on the teacher. Taking up Giroux's (2002) reading of Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), I also argued the importance to critical multiliteracies of recognizing reel students' resistance despite the students' othered position. 181 In the teacher's section, I pinpointed a number of differences between women and men's backgrounds in teaching, and their differently structured desires to teach English. I examined the notion of othering teachers, but argued that the white woman as spectacle was humorous but did not leave teachers in a subalterned position. Rather, they occupied a liminal space where their sympathy for and control of students conflicted with patriarchal control of the teachers' themselves. Profiling many and diverse movies in the last two chapters has allowed me to make important moves. First, such diversity brings popular yet unknown and important films such as Miss Mary (1986) to the foreground. Second, rather than a singular, united and essentialized representation of ESL, a more complex representation comes through. The weakness in using such a large cinematic database is that the detailed language of fdms and how this language produces meaning is necessarily limited. However, I address this weakness in the next chapter where I focus on two films in depth. 182 Chapter 7 S E M I O L O G Y A N D C I N E M A T I C L I T E R A C Y : C L O S E R E A D I N G S O F OUT OF AFRICA A N D THE JUNGLE BOOK . . . my school was to me a favourite place on the farm, the centre of our spiritual life . . . (Dinesen, 1937, p. 34) 183 7.1 Introduction T h i s chapter attempts a c lose reading o f two f i lms w i t h E S L . Here I a m interested i n b r ing ing i n the language o f the f i l m to again locate the constructions o f race, gender, and desire. W h i l e the previous two chapters have been product ive to an overal l sense o f c inemat ic E S L identit ies, c r i t ica l feminist mult i l i teracies should also i nvo lve an examinat ion o f f i l m language such as the f i l m ' s mood , costumes, script ( inc lud ing its si lences) and socia l context. The first f i l m I read is the mul t i -academy award winner Out of Africa (1985). In the first and second parts, I continue m y focus on race and gender identity as they pertain to the contest over E n g l i s h i n this reel K e n y a n context. In the third part, I examine the context i n w h i c h the f i l m was produced, and how a 1980s co lon ia l nostalgia f i l m attempts to represent co lon ia l fai lure. In the last part, I juxtapose this problematized reading o f B l i x e n and the f i l m w i t h a critical thinking reading o f the characterizations. T h i s juxtapos i t ion again raises questions for c r i t ica l feminist mult i l i teracies that engage f i l m . The second f i l m I read is one I chose for the participants o f Chapters 8 and 9: the story o f M o w g l i and K i t t y ' s struggle for love and f reedom against the constraints o f reel co lon ia l India. W h i l e the representations o f self /other are readi ly avai lable here, this second section is also interested i n locat ing the l i m i n a l identities underpinning the narrative o f resistance. 184 7.2 Out of Africa (1985) The ihiroductory quote to the chapter comes from Isak Dinesen (1937), the penname for Karen Blixen played by Meryl Streep in Out of Africa (1985). According to Dinesen's biography (Thurman, 1982), Blixen was first interested in finding a Montessori teacher from Sweden for an evening school to teach both the children and adults who worked and lived on her land in Kenya, but she abandoned these initial plans and instead found a missionary from the Scottish mission who taught reading and the Bible (p. 180). She argued to Finch-Hatton, her British lover, that "civilization will take possession of them in one way or another, and so I think one should see that it happens in the best way" (Dinesen, quoted in Thurman, p. 180). Importantly, because they had already been interpellated as ignorant and needy, > the argument was not what the Kenyans wanted for their education. The contest was over, rather, "the best way" to be possessed by civilization. Cinematically, there are four different solutions expressed. The reel Blixen's solution is what the real Blixen stated in her memoirs and letters, that is, learning English. However, the reel Blixen is not at all interested in the introduction of the Bible. The other solution is presented by the British, that of keeping them illiterate in English. Kenyan education should not concern the colonialists. The third is from Finch-Hatton who represents more a cowboy than a British hunter and adventurer by using American English instead of British. The reel Finch-Hatton believes the Kenyans already have their own stories to tell and that they do not belong to the white settlers in any case. Interestingly, through the filmic discussions of English education and other themes, the responsibility for colonialism's failure comes to rest on Blixen and away from white men, as I discuss below. The 185 fourth is an intervention by Chief Kinanjui in the linguistic imperialism imposed on his people. He successfully negotiates a limitation on the age of the learners. Out of Africa is based on the memoirs of the same title by Dinesen. Winner of seven Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Score, Art Director, and Sound, Out of Africa signifies the standard yet changing colonial filmic tropes as articulated by Hollywood through Universal Studies. Blixen went to Kenya in 1913 to escape the life she led in Sweden. She married her cousin and thus was titled, Baroness, while he gained access to her wealth. On her farm, she built a schoolhouse. The film is not primarily about the school, yet there are several scenes in which the school and the children's education in English are the locus of the narrative. I first read a scene from early on in the film before turning to specific scenes related to English language education in order to examine in detail how gender and race are constructed cinematically. 7.2.1 Signs and the Construction of Race and Gender Subject identification by race and gender begins early in the movie, and it is interesting to see how language intersects with race and gender here. The viewers see Karen Blixen traveling by train to her new home in Nairobi, the terra nullius discussed in Chapter 5. In this scene, the train stops so that a white hunter, Denys Finch-Hatton, and his black workers can load ivory tusks onto the train. The mise-en-scene contains the stationary train, Blixen dressed in a white nightgown standing outside the door of the last passenger car, Finch-Hatton dressed in khakis and carrying an elephant tusk, a black man dressed in a shawl and wrapped skirt walking beside Finch-Hatton also carrying an elephant tusk. The tusks are being loaded onto the next car carrying large wooden crates. On top of the crates, black men, dressed in sleeveless wrapped dresses and barefoot, are walking. Part of the script from this scene is as follows: Blixen: (Speaking to the black men. Hand gesture of shooing.) Get away from there! Shoo! Shoo! Finch-Hatton: Shoo? Blixen: Oh, that's all my crystal, my Limoges! Finch-Hatton: Ah! (Sarcastically) They didn't know it was Limoges. (To the men) Ta keni hupa! This scene is rich with signs such as words, gestures, intonations, and objects. The word "Limoges" is a signifier and carries meaning — expensive French china — for those viewers who understand its value. "Limoges" also signifies a relation to Blixen, an absurdness in that the china seems out of place in Africa and that Blixen has crated it so far. For those who do not understand the value of Limoges, the word "crystal" adds some context. The word "shoo" accompanied by a rising intonation, a back-handed gesture, and a displeased facial expression all meant for the black men walking on the wooden crates with the Limoges inside, are also signifiers carrying meaning. The meanings are several: Limoges is something valuable, it belongs to Blixen, she wants to protect it, the men walking on the crates are lesser beings than her, perhaps not human, as the signifier "shoo" is usually meant to drive away flies. That these words do not communicate their intended meaning to the men on the crates as they do not understand them signifies various meanings about Blixen, herself a signifier, and the men, also signifiers. When we add race and gender to the reading, still other meanings become available. Both the white man and the white woman look at the black men, and tell them what to do. Their gaze is a signifier of racial looking relations: Who looks at whom 187 signals a relation of seeing and power (Kaplan, 1997, pp. 65-66). Whites are interpellated with power in their gaze at the black men. Couple their gaze with the words of forbiddenness, and the meaning is intensified. The words of forbiddenness — "Get away from there" — are presumably spoken in two languages, first in English by the white woman which is not understood by the black men, and second in another language by the white man which is understood by the black men. But significantly, the words are not translated either into sub-titles or by Finch-Hatton. That no subtitles for the language of the black men are offered is yet another sign holding various meanings for the viewers, for instance, that it is a language unworthy of that kind of recognition, that its meaning has already been made clear through English, that the effect of the white man speaking Kikuyu words is what is important, not the language he uses. That Kikuyu is not translated in effect sets up a linguistic relation between English and the African language in which English is more important. Language and power also concern gender. The sign of gender contains various meanings: as a white man, Finch-Hatton holds a commanding role over two languages and the black men, and thus is able to rescue Blixen's Limoges from possible breakage. Both the white woman and the black men are imaged as relating to the white man through his power over them, through his control of language. He is identified as powerful and enabled. As a white woman, her concern is for her objects, the valuable Limoges, and while she does take action to rescue them from possible breakage, she is unsuccessful, disabled without the white man's powerful linguistic intervention. As a white woman subject, she is driven to protect her Limoges but lacking the language to do so. Meanwhile, Finch-Hatton's tone in, "Ah. They didn't know it was Limoges," 188 shows her up to be silly, almost ridiculous in her drive to protect her material possessions, and as unable to understand that the word "Limoges" would not help her do so. It is the first such scene of several in which the white female subject signals a ridiculousness. Later, near the end of the film when she has failed in her endeavors to farm the land, she herself will recognize how ridiculous her attachments to these European objects such as china have been. The white female subject in Out of Africa stands in for the colonial desire to protect its European wealth and its failure to do so. ) The colonial subjects as adult/child are also represented in scenes such as these. The white male controls all, the symbolic father-master. The white female, the symbolic mother, is bordered between her desire and her lack of ability to fulfill it except through him. The black males are bordered between the colonized other as acquiescent slaves but naked and silent dependent children protected by Colonial Father, at a distance from Colonial Mother. Costumes, too, signify these relationships. The black men's costumes, including their being shoeless, is a way of wndressing them; semi-clothed in comparison to the fully-clothed whites, they appear more childlike, as well as lacking and needing. Blixen has been dressed in white, a favorite film colour that signals the "good guys" and colonialists alike, and in her dressing gown, a sign of her unpreparedness and difference from the men, black and white alike. Finch-Hatton, the white hunter, is fully prepared with hat, rifle, bullet belt, boots, long pants, and colours aligned with those of the African landscape: if he does not fit in, at least he knows what he is up against. His clothes signal his capabilities and knowledge. 189 > 7.2.2 The Contest Over Teaching English In the following scene, Finch-Hatton and Blixen are dancing at a New Year's eve party after a drunken British guest has told her that teaching the alphabet to the Kikuyu is "none of her damn business". Finch-Hatton: Blixen: Finch-Hatton: Blixen: Finch-Hatton: Blixen: Finch-Hatton: Blixen: Finch-Hatton: Blixen: Finch-Hatton: Blixen: Finch-Hatton: Blixen: You do stir things up, Baroness. When they said they'd like to read, how did they put that exactly? I mean, did they know they'd like Dickens? You don't think they should learn to read? I think you might have asked them. Did you ask to learn when you were a child? How can stories possibly harm them? They have their own stories, they're just not written down. And what stake do you have in keeping them ignorant? They're not ignorant. I just don't think they should be turned into little Englishmen. You do like to change things, don't you? For the better, I hope. I want my Kikuyu to learn to read. My Kikuyu, my Limoges, my farm — it's an awful lot to own, isn't it? I have paid a price for everything I own. And what is it exactly that's yours? We're not owners here, we're just passing through. Is life really so damn simple for you, Finch-Hatton? Perhaps I ask less of it than you do. I don't believe that at all. The European imperial woman here is interpellated as one whose duty it is to provide English literacy to the ignorant children, one who carries with her "things" like china, and one who believes her educating mission is for the better. The politically charged dialogue becomes a seduction scene (Kipnis, 1993, p. 203), leading to their first kiss on the dance floor. Minutes later, she asks her husband to move out after finding another woman's underwear in their car. Here then, we have again the mission of English language teaching linked to desire and romance in a far-away land. 190 Image 7.1 Meryl Streep as "Karen Blixen" and Kikuyu in Out of Africa", 1985 An interesting point about Finch-Hatton's role in this film is made by Kipnis (1993). Whereas the male colonizer is usually portrayed as the forceful one, penetrating and taming the colonized, in Out of Africa (1985), Finch-Hatton, as this scene indicates, is conscious of the negative consequences of colonization. He seems to respect their culture, and would leave them as Kikuyu: "They have their own stories . . . They're not ignorant ... I just don't think they should be turned into little Englishmen." By presenting the woman colonialist as diseased (Blixen contracted syphilis from her philandering husband) and demanding, the metaphor of the colonized land as woman/sexualized becomes colonization-as-sickness. In another scene linking race, gender, and language teaching, Blixen must convince the chief of the Kikuyu, Kinanjui, played by Steven Kinyanjui, that reading is 191 a good thing. Blixen, Farah, the Chief, and three of his men are standing in front of the newly built schoolhouse. The Chief chops a notch about three and a half feet from the ground in one of the school posts. Farah translates Chief Kinanjui's words for Blixen: Chief Kinanjui: (speaks in his language as he cuts the notch) Farah: This chief says children higher than this (pointing to the notch) must not learn to read. Blixen: (As Chief Kinanjui and other tribe members are walking away) Tell him that all the children must go to school. Farah: No Sabu. He is a chief. You are not a chief. Blixen: That is absurd. Farah: It is not good for tall people to know more than this chief. When these children (pointing to the notch) are tall, then this chief can be dead. Several observations can be made from this interchange. One is that the question of language learning is contested. The black Chiefs direction is clear, and the notch signals his decree. It constructs an identity of the black Chief as speaking, defending his power and status till death against the intrusion of the colonizer's language. Second, the language question in this postcolonial text is inflected with gender and race, and a hierarchy is established which places the black Chief above the white female landowner. Although presumably she could force all children to school or at least try to, she does not, signaling again the failure of colonialism and the film's location of that failure on the white woman. Third, Farah plays two crucial roles as her main servant — teacher of local politics and translator. He intervenes in her ignorance, and raises her understanding to a level where she can at least tolerate Chief Kinanjui's decision. She does not question Farah's authority in local knowledge. We begin to understand how the Chief sees the white woman in this scene. Later, we learn more about the black 192 Chiefs attitude toward the British. Some years have passed, and the threat of tall children learning English has passed. Chief Kinanjui: (speaks in his language) Farah: This Chief says tall children can come to school now, Sabu. Blixen: Tell Chief Kinanjui that reading is a valuable thing. His children will remember him well. Farah: This Chief says British can read and what good has it done them. This brief interchange around the language question is powerful as it again creates a black colonized subject speaking back to white colonization, and specifically to Blixen's comment on the value she places on reading. English literacy is contested, and the black Chief ridicules the white colonizer. 7.2.3 Colonial Failure and Reading Contexts Another consideration for the film is the social context in which it was produced. Out of Africa (1985) is an American film produced when the colonial era was preparing to end in Hong Kong. Decolonization was underway and various criticisms of colonialism were forthcoming. Grassroots human rights movements such as aboriginal organizations in colonized Countries like Canada were also demanding recognition of and compensation for oppressive hegemonic structures. This popular film represents in part that decolonization. Out of Africa portrays the paradoxical social understanding of colonialism in 1985, that is, a recognition that colonialism failed, yet that its discourses still adhere to a nostalgia about that era of history. Its failure is recognized in various 1 ways, mainly through the female subject as noted earlier, in part by her diseased body. But it is not only her body that signifies the disease of colonialism, but also her many failures in Kenya. First, Blixen fails to put the land under her control, and second, her 193 desire to be with Finch-Hatton more than he wishes to be with her is unfulfilled. While she wants him to be at home with her, he wants to be free to roam the land, a nostalgic representation of the meanings of colonialism and of the American frontier for the white male subject. Here, Blixen becomes the scapegoat for colonial ideology (Shohat & Stam, 1994, p. 166). There is a sense of nostalgia throughout the film. The music, Blixen's love for • the land and people, Finch-Hatton's desire for freedom and adventure as well as her freedom in escaping a dull life in Denmark, and the intensity of their love affair all make the colonial life something to be fondly thought of. The colonial subjects being constructed through this film are thus inseparable from the language and significations of its images and sounds and from the social context in which the film was produced. 7.2.4 A Critical Thinking Reading of Out of Africa The interpretation given above could be considered a problematized feminist reading (drawing on the three strands to critical pedagogy from Chapter 2), in that it makes problematic the subject position of Blixen, a white feminist colonialist. A different critical reading of the film, that of critical thinking, also envisions the film as feminist but leaves Blixen in tact while being critical of the white men. Here, it is Blixen who is the hero, bringing the best of colonialism — literacy — to her part of Kenya. She insists on the Kikuyu learning to read English as she knows English will be part of their near future, and indeed, already is. She is an avid reader herself, and books, reading from books, and quoting from literary works are central to several scenes in the film. Such presence for English literacy is lovingly bestowed as in the scene when Finch-Hatton is washing the Baronness's hair and reciting Coleridge's, "The ryme of the 194 ancient mariner". Despite English being a second language for Blixen, English literacy is an important part of the fullness of her life, and if the Kikuyu are to be colonized, then reading English will benefit them. It is also Blixen who exhibits heroic strength in the face of each setback that threatens her life. For example, she transports supplies overland to a place she has never been. It is she who is stable financially and emotionally. Blixen, as Kaplan (1997) notes, works alongside the Kikuyu on the land, planting and separating coffee beans (pp. 89-91). Her desire to care for their health is evident when she takes the time to have the infectious leg of a young Kikuyu boy tended to. Her affection for Farah, her main house servant played by Malick Bowens, is also apparent. She depends on him for translation and for cultural information. Farah supports her morally and physically when she becomes i l l . In contrast to this portrait of Blixen, the white men in the movie are selfish colonialists, weak, and immature, and two of the three main white male characters die. Finch-Hatton makes his living from ivory and is against literacy. His manservant, who follows him everywhere from hunting to walks on Blixen's property, is only given recognition when Blixen asks about him. We first see his manservant in the scene depicting terra nullius, when the train stops for Finch-Hatton's ivory. But the camera never focuses on Finch-Hatton's servant. He is in the background of terra nullius, a nobody, demasculinized in his stooped and half-clothed appearance. The white male hunter, Finch-Hatton, is identified by backgrounding black Kenyans and Somalis like his manservant while Blixen's white female identity is built around bringing them to the foreground of the scene. 195 However, the colonial freedom Finch-Hatton seeks kills him in the end when his plane crashes. At the funeral, Blixen reads four stanzas from Housman's (1896/1951) "To an athlete dying young": The time you won your town the race We chaired you through the market-place; Man and boy stood cheering by, And home we brought you shoulder-high . . . Smart lad, to slip betimes away From fields where glory does not stay And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose . . . Now you will not swell the rout Of lads that wore their honours out, Runners whom renown outran And the name died before the man . . . And round that early-laurelled head Wi l l flock to gaze the strengthless dead, And find unwithered on its curls The garland briefer than a girl's. Whereas the young man in Housman's poem will retain his honour after death, the reel Finch-Hatton has accomplished very little in his life, and there are no honours for him. The town neither cheers for him, nor do they carry his coffin. His life is uncelebrated in contrast to Housman's young man. Her choice of poem seems to belittle his life and to compare it to hers/"a girl's". Thus it is Finch-Hatton who is made ridiculous through the reading at his funeral. Similarly, Finch-Hatton's friend and business partner, Berkeley, who lives with a black woman, also dies when he contracts black water fever. Meanwhile, Baron Blixen is a philanderer, borrows money from Baronness Blixen, and offers no help on the farm. Indeed, when she needs him, his vanity intercedes and he rushes off to fight and be a 196 war hero. He really did just marry her for her money. The other white men, apart from the missionary teacher, are seen drunk at parties, driving around in cars, or at their club drinking. It is from this male-only club that she was abruptly removed in the beginning of the movie. However, toward the end of the movie when she has lost everything, the men at the club offer her a drink there and raise a glass in her honour. This scene signifies her heroism, and indeed, her superiority to them. Juxtaposing two interpretations of Out of Africa raises questions concerning poststructural multiliteracies. At first glance, the questions may seem to be: Which reading is the one I believe? Which reading is "correct"? As may be evident by now, I believe there is no clear answer to either question. I understand both of them and believe neither is "correct" or "incorrect". Indeed, I question the very notion of "correctness" and of "trueness". The line of questioning I am arguing for in my research, rather, would particularize the readings. In other words, questions should situate the readings, and include: Who is reading? Under what conditions do they offer their reading? What is their interest in that particular way of understanding the film? Who benefits from that interpretation? Who is silenced by it? I turn now to a film for which multiple interpretations will also be given, first in the section below and then in Chapters 8 and 9. 7.3 The Jungle Book (1994) The Jungle Book (1994) is a Disney production based on characters from the Rudyard Kipling (1933) stories about a young Indian boy, Mowgli, raised in the Indian jungle by wolves. There are two versions of the movie, animated and live action. The live-action version is the focus here. Mowgli is captured by British soldiers and is 197 taught English by the daughter of a British major (Kitty) and their doctor (Dr. Plumfort). Mowgli (Jason Scott Lee) grows up within the first fifteen minutes of the film and falls in love with Kitty whom he knew as a child before an accident separated him from human contact and his father died. Kitty (Lena Headey) is already being pursued by a British army officer, Captain Boone (Cary Elwes). Her father, Major Brydon (Sam Neill) and Captain Boone disapprove of her feelings for Mowgli which have developed through the English and British culture classes she is teaching jointly with Dr. Plumfort (John Cleese). Captain Boone turns out to be a greedy man, interested mainly in stealing treasures from Monkey City, the location of which only Mowgli knows. After Kitty breaks off her engagement with Boone, her father decides to send her back to England, but en route she, her father, and the doctor are kidnapped by Captain Boone, his fellow officers, and Indian cohorts. Mowgli helps her father and the doctor escape. Kitty is used as bait to force Mowgli to lead Captain Boone to Monkey City. Once there, Captain Boone is killed, and Mowgli and Kitty return to her father. 7.3.1 Producing Raced Male Identities I am again particularly interested in reading the gendered and raced identifications of character development in this film. I look first at the male characters. Kitty and her father, Major Brydon, are traveling by elephant caravan in the interior of India for the first time, heading for Brydon's army post; Mowgli and his father are with them. Major Brydon, as the narrator, informs viewers that both children have lost their mother. Mowgli's father, who that evening will be mauled to death by the great Shere Khan or King of the Tigers, is guiding the group. 198 Mowgli's father and Mowgli are identified within the first few minutes of the film as sexually assertive and connected to the natural animal law of the jungle. In the opening scene, Mowgli watches as his father gives a flower to an Indian woman, kisses her, and then turns and winks at Mowgli. Later that evening, Mowgli tries the same thing with Kitty. He enters her tent, hands her a flower, and puckers up for a kiss, but Kitty backs away. Then, after many years of being separated from human contact, Mowgli happens upon Kitty in the jungle. She has left her painting lesson to explore the jungle. He tries to solicit a kiss with a flower she has dropped but he is again unsuccessful. Later, after searching for and finding Kitty in her room, he tries again, and this time she takes the flower but does not kiss him. Backing away from his expectant lips, Kitty asks, "What is it with you and flowers and kissing?" It is the Indian man who is connected with sexual appetite repeatedly asking for his desire to be fulfilled by the white woman, while she is connected to the upholding of white sexual mores of refusing. The sexual assertion in pursuing the white woman, Kitty, suggests racial and gender differences. The colonized male is set up as sexually assertive. Captain Boone, however, is built around another type of pursuit: wealth from the colony. The one time he asks for a kiss, Kitty refuses him but in a playful way. The other kisses between the white couple are perfunctory, for example, to say thank you, and not sexualized. Boone is interested in treasures from Monkey City. As the colonizer, his white masculinity values most the wealth he can take from India at any cost, including losing Kitty. As discussed in Chapter 5, the British in India created an image of the sexually aggressive Indian man, especially after the Mutiny of 1857. Real Indians in the British army revolted and several hundred white women and their children 199 were killed or died later from diseases in the siege (Tuson, 1998, p. 295). However, the accounts were grossly exaggerated, and were used as an excuse for brutal reprisal against the Indians. Thereafter, the Indian man was seen as a predator of helpless white women who had to be protected (Stoler, 1995, p. 251; Tuson, 1998, p. 298; Ware, 1992, p. 38, pp. 232-233). This was also true of other colonial settings (Ware, p. 231), as it is in war today (Cameron & Kulick, 2003, p. 146). In fact, white women's arrival in colonial India changed many relationships between Indians and white men (Tuson, 1998, p. 293; Ware, 1992, p. 37). The Jungle Book portrays this period of Indian colonization. Kitty is protected from Mowgli's advances by Captain Boone and his fellow officers who capture him, lock him up and beat him. Captain Boone's concern for her safety, "Did he touch you?", is coupled with his greed in acquiring wealth from Monkey City. Another quality is assigned to the Indian men. Mowgli's father and especially Mowgli are identified as having some inherent connections to the natural law of the jungle. There are several examples of this. Mowgli's father one night gives Mowgli a lesson in English. As his teaching material, he uses a ceramic pot that has the impressions of animals on it. Pointing with his knife, he asks Mowgli to identify each animal. Mowgli gives the names in his first language, but his father insists that Mowgli give them in English which he is able to do. That Mowgli must learn the English words for jungle animals signifies an interesting construction of the Indian man within the British Empire. Father and son need English in order to work for the British, and this work is related to the jungle world. Another example of their connection to the jungle is when Mowgli's father explains to Major Brydon why Shere Khan is now hunting the 200 Indian hunters. Shere Khan knows they have killed more than they can eat. They have broken jungle law and must now be punished. Later, when an elephant gets spooked, it is Mowgli who calms it down. When Mowgli is separated from Major Brydon's ) entourage, Mowgli becomes friends with many young jungle animals and thus survives. Associating the ESL learner with the jungle otherizes Mowgli. The jungle is a dangerous place, a place in which the English are lost, afraid, and killed. Yet Mowgli is at home there. Could it be that he too is a jungle animal? That he, by nature understands the jungle? Captain Boone certainly views him as such as do Boone's fellow officers. They call him an animal, a savage, vicious, and uncivilized, thereby locating the superior identity of civilized man in themselves. Yet, the white men depend on Mowgli and his father for their knowledge of the jungle. Mowgli's father is their guide; only Mowgli knows the way to Monkey City; Major Brydon needs Mowgli to secure the release of his kidnapped daughter from the hands of Captain Boone. Mowgli's strength and knowledge are continually contrasted with Captain Boone's authoritative and militaristic violence. Mowgli has a natural strength and knowledge of nature versus Boone's military authority to lock him up and have him beaten. An interesting moral division is built between these two men. Mowgli rejects the wealth from Monkey City; he helps his animal friends throughout the movie and cries when one is shot; when Kitty asks what his feelings were when they first saw each other in the jungle, he replies, "Fire, a great fire." On the other side is the colonizer, Captain Boone who will kidnap and kill for wealth; he knows the history of terrifying weapons, including his personal favorite which can rip out an enemy's stomach; his interest in Kitty is ambiguous. As far as Kitty is concerned, the white men's dependency on 201 Mowgli and their relative weakness emasculate them while strengthening Mowgli to a position of becoming her desired object. 7.3.2 Producing Raced Female Identities Women, of course, are identified quite differently from men, and white women and Indian women differently from each other. Kitty is portrayed as being different from her British women peers (as Blixen is in Kenya) and also white men's culture as represented by Captain Boone. There is a tension throughout the film between what Kitty wants to do and who she is, and what she is allowed to do and be and what is proper. Kitty, the little girl who Mowgli watches in her tent, is a prim little British girl. Wearing a white ruffled nightgown, her hair in ringlets, waltzing with a phantom partner, she runs away and screams when Mowgli reaches for a kiss. In orientalist paintings, clothes or their absence often signify Europeanness or exoticism (Lewis, 1996, p. 146; Ware, 1992, pp. 139-140). For Kitty, her clothes, hair, and activity signify her distance from the oriental landscape as well as her class within Britain. Yet, seconds later she calls Mowgli back and throws him a bracelet that was her mother's, another refusal that is not (Chapter 5). In her painting class with other English women, she is the one who dares to cross the bridge to the "other" side — the jungle, who is able to identify the kinds of monkeys they will paint, and who can translate the sign for the bridge. The other white women in the painting class seem to be very much in the British world of India. However, Kitty at least has knowledge of the Indian side, identified as it is with the jungle, and she knows Hindi. She is unafraid, and while her white men are bound to protect her, she sees that their protection is not necessary and tells them so. She and Mowgli seem to have much more in common than do Kitty and Captain Boone, 202 or Kitty and the other white women. At the ball where Major Brydon announces Kitty's engagement to Captain Boone, the other white women and Boone's fellow officers ridicule Mowgli whereas Kitty dances with him, runs after him when he leaves, and defends him. Here the colonizing female teacher is empathetic and compassionate, driven by her love for the other/student. Nevertheless, Mowgli is imprisoned and beaten until Kitty persuades her father to release him and let her and Doctor Plumfort teach him English. Their case is that it is their duty "to help him re-enter man's world." As Ware (1992) puts it, "British women had a unique duty to bring civilization to the uncivilized" (p. 127). Kitty and Doctor Plumfort also argue that it would be a "fascinating case study of the child's development, his ability to learn language, to reason, to find out the effects of growing up away from civilization." Their interest is grounded in western rationalism, a combination of duty to help a needy student and an opportunity to increase scientific knowledge. Here again, we have the polar oppositions of colonizing teacher and colonized student: man's world/animal world, adult/child, reason/emotion, and civilized/savage. But Kitty is attracted to the prisoner Mowgli, reaching for his hand and saying his name, a gesture witnessed by Captain Boone. Her interest in Mowgli,the man is subverted to her teaching him, "to help him re-enter man's world." With the British as ESL teachers, their lessons, like the first one with Mowgli's father, also have a strong cultural component. Mowgli must first be cleaned, and here the teachers create another polar opposition: their cleanliness/his dirtiness. Doctor Plumfort helps him bathe, but he resists that in a playful way. Mowgli must also be measured for new clothes which he also playfully, or childishly resists: the adult/child 203 relation is further constructed. Then he learns in order as they appear in the film: the alphabet, how to stir English tea, single words held up on flash cards, and sentences such as, "These are animals. Animals are our friends", and waltzing. He learns by listening to and repeating after Kitty and Doctor Plumfort, and by watching and following their actions. Their materials are books, flashcards, and slides. During the lessons, his attraction for Kitty grows. In one lesson, he compliments Kitty. After repeating, "Birds are beautiful," he then tells Kitty, "So is you." In fact, learning English is coupled not only with a growing mutual affection between Kitty and Mowgli but also plenty of -antics and fun. But she can only go so far in colonial India. When he invites her to stay with him in the jungle, she replies, "I can't. There are conventions, formalities, things that are just not done. I must do what is civilized." She upholds those very characteristics which oppress her — white woman as morally superior and needing protection. That she must do what is civilized is echoed by her father who reprimands her when she returns home late from being with Mowgli. He insists she return to England despite her desire to remain in her home, India. Like Daphne Manners in Jewel in the Crown (1984) and Adela Quested in A Passage to India (1984), Kitty must be protected from becoming too connected to India. However, if she has a better offer, meaning a proposal from Captain Boone, then she may stay. The Indian women, and only four are briefly shown, are associated with sexual readiness, sensuousness, and silence. None speaks a single word. The first returns a kiss from Mowgli's father even though she is a total stranger to him, one of a group of women they pass on the jungle path. Another Indian woman is a dancer at a men's club where Captain Boone is a customer. And the other two are pictured with an Indian man 204 in a slide used for Mowgli's English class. Doctor Plumfort's lesson here, projecting the white man's fantasy of ownership of multiple women (Lewis, 1996, p. 112), is: "One man, two women. Lucky man." A l l the women, regardless of colour, are the object of men's desire. But it is interesting how the racial divisions occur in this movie: white as sexually closed and Indian as sexually open. Whether these reflect the cultural norms of the period is another matter. In hooks's (1996) analysis of the film She's Gotta Have It (1986), she emphasizes that the black woman's portrayal as eager and willing to be with men and to have many partners contrasts sharply with the chastity and monogamy held in middle class black culture in the United States (p. 229). Similarly, according to Stoler (1995), white women in the colonies "confronted profoundly rigid restrictions on their domestic, economic and political options, more limiting than those of metropolitan Europe at the time and sharply contrasting with the opportunities open to colonial men" (p. 210). But the interesting point of these gendered and racial identities is not to discover whether they do or do not reflect what "real" (reality is positional and contingent) British or Indian sexuality is or was, but the truth effects of such film identities, a point previously made by Pennycook (1998, p. 181). In the case of English language teaching, such movies re/produce deeply embedded patterns of colonizing and colonized stereotypes of teachers and students, as well as methods of teaching, rationales for certain curriculums, textbooks, fees and tests, government funding decisions, motivations and interests in teaching and learning, and relationships in and out of the class itself. True or not, the film image conveys knowledge. 205 The racial and gender boundaries apparent in this examination of Kitty's position in India and in relation to her male Indian student suggest that the colonial setting itself prompted a development of race and gender relations. The British Empire setting separates the races in binary positions: civilized/animalistic, protector/aggressor, sexually closed/open, adult/child. White woman's role was to maintain this opposition: Kitty must do what is civilized, and not spend the night with him in the jungle. Teaching Mowgli English is her duty, to help him enter a "man's world." But she must not go further than this, and when she does, her movement towards the Indian man is severely restricted, and her life possibilities limited and oppressed by the white men who presumably love her. It is the Indian man who represents a life Kitty wants. In Kitty's situation, the restriction was not only because Mowgli was Indian but also because she was attracted to him. It was necessary to control her interest because it emasculates Captain Boone in whom she loses interest. She must therefore be separated from Mowgli while Mowgli must be killed. After Kitty breaks off her engagement with Boone and refuses to apologize to him, he tells Kitty: I realize this adolescent infatuation you have with this savage has addled your brain. But I cannot allow you to make a fool of me, and I will not lose you to some puerile jungle boy. In The Jungle Book, the empire produces gender and racial differences by controlling white women and casting them as upholders of white standards, and as irrational, emotional people who need protection, while at the same time cementing the white men as rational, ego-driven, and jealous people who must at all costs control any relationships between white women and Indian men in order to maintain their superior position. On the Indian side is Mowgli: childish to Boone, attractive to Kitty. At the 206 same time, Kitty is not completely accepting of her colonizing role, and in the above quoted scene, slaps Boone's face. However, the next day she is on her way out of India to England at her father's request. 7.3.3 Cinematic Hybridization As strict as these identities seem, however, there is some hybridization. A useful th term for understanding identity is Bhabha's (1994) hybridity, a 19 century word for describing physiological mixing of races but since the 20^ century, the word has meant a cultural phenomenon (Young, 1995, p. 6) where re-formulations and re-readings of cultures, ethnicities, languages, and races present themselves. In cultural and postcolonial studies, hybridity is a dialogic between dominant colonial discourses and discourses of the other where the other appropriates colonial discourse, re-assigning meaning and therefore authority. A language example is blacks appropriating the word "nigger" to address themselves. In doing so, the negative power that white language holds for "nigger" is deflated. "Nigger" comes to mean solidarity, as in "Brother." Importantly, the context of who says what about whom must be examined, so that the "positive" uses of the word "nigger" lie, in this space, within black people. "Hybridity makes difference into sameness, and sameness into difference, but in a way that makes the same no longer the same, the different no longer different" (p. 26) Hybridity works both ways therefore. If the language and culture of the other change, this necessarily means changes to postcolonial discourses of self. In transforming the dialogic, the bipolar elements are not simply reversed but they transform in the reversal. There are also many examples of such hybridity in popular culture. Young white men wearing 207 hip-hop clothing is a hybrid. Young white women who use the talk of black women as in, "You go, Girlfriend!" is another. Even "fusion cuisine" is a hybrid. The four main characters in The Jungle Book do not perform in the strictly bipolar opposite identities I have just discussed. As with other movies that "have incredibly revolutionary standpoints mixed with conservative ones" (hooks, 1996, p. 3), The Jungle Book's colonizer/colonized portraits are neither as obvious as earlier films with ESL such as The King and I (1956), nor are the portraits as strictly defined. In many ways, Kitty embodies a life of contradictions. An interesting question is, How does she negotiate race, gender, and class differences with the men around her? Her enjoyment and pleasure are with the Indian man, cast as an animal by the British. She is not afraid of the jungle, yet she is forbidden to go there. Her wish is to remain in India, but she must do as her father wants. If she remains in India, it must be as the wife of Captain Boone, yet she has decided against him. She does not need protection from Mowgli, yet both her father and Captain Boone negotiate her life for her. Kitty the teacher also becomes Kitty the student. She learns about Mowgli's jungle home. He teaches her about animal communication and the jungle. As a woman in the white colony, she is positioned between both worlds, or somehow part of both. Here again is Bhabha's (1994) notion of the "third space of enunciation" (p. 37), a liminal space created by the ambivalent relations of colonial discourse. Third space is occupied by hybridized subjects, transfigured by their appropriation and mimicry of the other side. How is Kitty able to enter the Indian world without the cruelty that Captain Boone exhibits? It is not because she is innately empathetic but because the position that she represents (already other, already irrational, emotional, and sensitive) affects her 208 choices and her viewpoint of the Indian other. Kitty's white femininity and Mowgli's Indian masculinity share many common characteristics. She upholds, yet at the same time rejects, some binary oppositions — proper/improper, sexually closed/open. Other binaries break down and she, as (woman) other in white culture, and Mowgli, as other in colonial India, are on the same side, that is, they are both emotional, morally superior, and gentle. In this other masculine identity, Mowgli is attractive. The usual binary opposition is also upset by portraying the white men, Captain Boone and his cohorts, in the corrupt role. It could be argued, however, that their act of treason is revolutionary. Indeed, during the kidnapping, one of Boone's cohorts, Sergeant Harley, yells at Brydon: "I've had 25 years with the likes of you without making a penny from it, so don't you 'Sergeant Harley' me, you silly wee man." He rejects the inferiority associated with his class and military rank. Still, their interest in treason is purely selfish and greedy. It is the white men who become a danger to the white woman. Their lust for greed, however, kills all of them. In fact, Boone drowns by the weight of a knapsack full of treasure he is unable to loosen from his back. Thus, as Nandy (1983) notes, the colonizer is a "self-destructive co-victim" (p. xv). The movie also allows a cross-racial relationship. In other movies relating cross-racial sexual relationships such as The Jewel in the Crown (1984), also set in India and Out of Africa (1985), the relationships fail and the characters are punished. Neither Mowgli nor Kitty dies, and in fact they are reunited with her father in a happy ending with them kissing in the parting shot. Mowgli is the man Kitty desires. It is interesting to note that a non-Indian actor, Jason Scott Lee, whose skin is not as dark as the corrupt Indians who side with Major Boone, is the object of the white woman's desire. (Teacher 209 and student responses to Jason Scott Lee as Mowgli are discussed in Chapters 8, 9, and 10.) In the same way as orientalist paintings portray many pale and blond slaves and concubines (Lewis, 1996, p. 171), the movie had to appeal to a white audience and a too-dark hero kissing a white woman may not have been as popular. Mowgli also struggles with his identity. By being the teacher to Kitty, Mowgli upsets his passive student role, and gains strength. And later in the film, he casts off his association with white man's culture. Learning English means he is now caught between the rational world of white colonialism with its cruelty and competition and the natural world of the Indian jungle where he has animal friends who protect him and whom he protects. He is not a man, he is not an animal, but he chooses to return to his jungle home. Shortly afterwards, Mowgli becomes Kitty's protector, Boone the aggressor and Brydon the helpless one. Major Brydon's identity too is not neatly defined. He appears to be more generous and noble than the other white men, another example of the "great white father" (hooks, 1996, p. 87). Brydon praises Mowgli when he calms the elephants, chastises the men when he sees they have beaten Mowgli, and tells him, "I think a man lucky who can count you among his friends." Major Brydon appears more moral than Boone and the other white men. He is depending on Mowgli to return Kitty safely. By taking up his position of male protector, Mowgli gains friendship with the white authority figure. Mowgli's romantic interest in Kitty is now coupled with gaining acceptance of the great white authority. 210 7.4 Summary and Comments The detailed reading of the films Out of Africa (1985) and The Jungle Book (1994) entailed creating meaning among the sign, the viewer, and the context. Reading cinematic language such as costumes, script, and the mise-en-scene in relation to identity and language learning suggests that a multiliteracy taking up films will need to draw on film language, for doing so helps understand the social politics of the film. I argued that postcolonial gendered and raced identities of colonizer/colonized hold in these relatively recent movies but again that liminal identities are also found in the white and black characterizations. I also offered two readings of Out of Africa (1985). I positioned these in contrast to each other in order to again make the point that it is not so much the individual interpretation of a cultural text that is needed for critical multiliteracies but rather questioning who reads what for whom. ESL students and teachers come to class with popularly conceived knowledge about cultures outside their own, derived in large measure through movies such as Out of Africa. We enjoy the romance and adventure. But as part of a critical literacy curriculum, we should also be interested in adding to our pleasure a deeper understanding of how we learn to become who we are, how movies such as these conquer us through the hegemonic fantasies of romance and adventure, but also how identities are contested even in brief exchanges by subaltern characters such as Chief Kinanjui. In addition to locating liminality in Hollywood and Disney movies, a critical feminist multiliteracy also envisions the inclusion of a film such as Out of Africa counterpointed by an antiorientalist film by an African film maker such as Sembene's Emitai (1971), as Shohat and Stam (1994, p. 176) recommend. 211 Chapter 8 T E A C H E R DISCOURSES OF F I L M A N D T E A C H I N G It is, as I have argued, primarily by looking that we speak our language of desire. Our libidinal speech acts consequently consist more often of images than of words. But the look has chronological as well as affective priority over the word. Not only do we begin seeing before we can speak, but it is also due to a specifically visual imperative that we turn to language. Words are born out of our desire to make available to consciousness what would otherwise remain fully beyond our knowledge: what we have already seen and what we hope yet to see. (Silverman, 2000, p. 101) 212 8.1 Introduction This chapter reads the data from nine teaching subjects with an average of 13 years of ESL teaching experience, mainly in Canada, who draw on film to construct thematic curricula. They are therefore highly informed visual readers. The teachers offer active memories of films and revisit emotive sites experienced as teenagers. They cite critical film viewing moments from their past, respond to films with ESL they watched for the study, and discuss their desires and dreams of themselves as teachers. The chapter seeks to understand how experienced teachers interact with popular films with ESL. Guiding the analysis are the following questions: (1) What position does popular film hold in their pedagogy? (2) How do teachers position students vis-a-vis film? (3) How do teachers position themselves vis-a-vis film visions of themselves and their profession? In the first section, I discuss how and to what extent teachers make use of films. The second section is organized into the various ways the body is constructed in relation to teaching and learning. After that, the ways teachers position themselves critically vis-a-vis films are examined. The final three sections present an analysis of data related to respectively, To Sir With Love (1967), The Jungle Book (1994), and Iron and Silk (1990). 8.2 Classroom Uses of Fi lm The cinematic text offered a wide range of possibilities for the seasoned ESL teachers in the study, both in their on-going professional identity formation and also as a 213 classroom resource. Not surprisingly, the teachers made use of popular films as an aid to teaching. Most teachers used theme or genres as the curricular units of analysis and resources and tasks were put in place around each theme or genre. The film was used to develop each theme or as an ending to the theme or a reward for completing the theme. Most showed it in its entirety in the classroom or the campus theatre. One teacher recommended particular films to be viewed out of class if students had time. Some teachers showed film clips to illustrate teaching points such as body language. Popular films were thus an integrated part of the curriculum, a resource which was considered, planned, and exploited for its value in language learning, opening up viewpoints, and seeing "real" life. In contrast to the view that films are simply shown to students without a curricular context or as "edutainment", these teachers placed films strategically in the curriculum and chose films they believed were appropriate to the language ability of the students. In responding to which films they had previously shown in ESL classes, teachers listed many films each or the most recent film they had used in a particular course, and how the films supported particular themes, issues, or reading texts. Films were an educational resource which teachers exploited for their helpfulness in building listening skills, stimulating discussion, and developing colloquial vocabulary. Teachers believed that popular videos were "a diverse teaching tool" (Shelly) which could be used for language learning, in particular, fostering listening ability. They were exploited as an aid to helping students build on the listening abilities they possessed when the chosen film was appropriate to their language level. Films gave "students an opportunity to listen to the language, listen again sometimes, discuss, 214 ask/respond to questions" (Shelly). Popular films could be controversial and stimulate discussion. Megan wrote: [Film] can be an excellent strategy to generate controversy that can be a great aid to having students participate in discussion. If they feel strongly about an issue they may make a stronger commitment to involve themselves in the discussion even if they don't have all the language skills. The student viewer is constructed as a body whose listening, speaking, and feeling capacities are improved or released through film. Popular film is endowed with enveloping the body, entering it and bringing forth a response. The body has sense components which film can develop. How does film achieve this? 8.3 Corporeality and Difference 8.3.1 Visuality and Learners' Bodies Silverman's (2000) introductory quote to the chapter argues for the primacy of visual images over speech acts both because babies see before they speak and because what is seen creates a desire to speak. After learning words for mother and father, my son's most spoken word for several months was "dash" then "das", used when he pointed at something. It meant "that" from the question, "What's that?" He wanted to name what he saw and built his vocabulary in this way. Visuality is much more about making and giving meaning than language teaching and applied linguistics give it credit, although Stein (1999, 2000, 2004) has argued for its importance in multimodal literacies. I argue for an investment in cinematic images in curriculum that engage the visuality of films and the desire to speak to the images as in/forming texts by informed/forming subjects. The teachers in this study also recognized the value of cinematic visuality in language learning. Indeed, one of the interesting appeals for teachers in mobilizing films for curricular support was the aspect of visuality. Visuality helps engage the students in 215 learning language or the content of the theme or issue raised in the film. Mike believed that film provided "visual meaning" as well as a way to compare genres and stories. In using film to support the novel Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck, 1937), Mike wrote that the film "provides a visual meaning to the novel's words." Casey commented that the advantage to video over audiotape was through the "visual display": Most people respond to a visual display — they become more attentive. They enjoy the color and movement and listen to what characters are saying in a more focused way than they do on a tape (audio). Visuality fosters language learning by drawing the viewer into a sensual experience of sound and colourful, moving images. Viewing movies was a "visual experience" in comparison to written texts. Moving images granted an embodied learning experience, different from reading written texts. Leslie saw films as a "more visual experience" than reading material where students are "able to discuss it, to see it, to participate in it." Participating in the film entails activity, an active viewer. "Visual experience" was also credited with altering the mind. Shelly commented that: visual experience — seeing the places, types of people, scenery, images that are broadening for them and therefore part of the overall ESL learning experience and cultural education, (italics added) Here the ESL viewer/learner is distinguished from other learners by their narrow visual experience of people and places in Canada; yet this lack of experience can be made up with cinematic images. Similarly, Megan commented that film "can also be very helpful to introduce various themes and content material and to provide insight into alternative ways of thinking." (italics added) Again the film is interpellated not only as a helpful language learning strategy, but one that alters thinking by adding to the visual resources 216 of the mind. Finally, Leslie commented that, "video/film has a way of empowering students to learn in a real contextual setting." (italics added) In our interview, I asked Leslie to elaborate on this comment. She responded that, with her curriculum focused on issues, films were a way to present the issue so that students were able to "embrace it . . . making it so much more real to them." I am interested here that Leslie connects film and students with words such as "embrace" and "empowerment." What does it mean that students can embrace issues through watching films, or that they are empowered by watching films? The visual command of the video in the classroom with its images, music, and star-studded performances by admired actors casts a spell over the audience. The curricular issue comes alive, is made real, or more real than simply the teacher's command at the front of the class or a written text. The cinematic presentation of the issue is adoptable, enabling more learning. While not being adopted without cautionary notes (discussed further on), popular films were part of every teacher's curriculum to one extent or another. The visual world of film was seen as a powerful learning resource. Students attend to it because of its moving visuality and this in turn provides a meaningful use of language while at the same time improving listening abilities and promoting speaking. Visuality holds a certain status, capturing learners in its world while opening up other worlds to them. 8.3.2 Films and Teachers' Bodies Cinematic teachers and movies about teachers had a profound and continued influence on the ESL teachers in this study. Despite questioning the realism of films and thus their counter-identification with them, teachers nevertheless recognized films as having profoundly influenced: the decision to become a teacher; the desire to be a 2 1 7 certain type of teacher; particularizations about teachers and teaching; and the desire to break from tradition as a student or a teacher. As with the discourse on student learning and films, discussed above, the teachers' bodies were also a locus of interaction with films about teaching. Teachers recalled particular movies that had and still move them. Remembering The Miracle Worker (1962), the movie about Anne Sullivan teaching Helen Keller language, Mike and Casey commented: Mike: I think [The Miracle Worker] for me was the movie that affected me in terms of what teaching means because it was such a very dramatic case of transformation that Anne Sullivan had given this girl a world, a world of perception that she didn't have before. As a linguist, of course, the whole idea of not being able to have access to language and then figuring it out without those stimuli or without those clues was a fascinating project. It really made ; me aware of the profundity of language and its influence on us. So that was the film. I think it has really profoundly influenced -me. I think at some level I want to be an Anne Sullivan . . . Casey: I am really glad you mentioned that movie because I had forgotten that movie. But that also includes me. It resonates. I can still feel some of the scenes. Mike: I still cry at the end of it. Mike and Casey's language defines the emotive space between the viewer/viewed: "It resonates. I can still feel some of the scenes", " I still cry." They have entered the story, felt it, cry at the learning of language. The words "really profoundly influenced", "resonates", "feel", "cry" position viewers of this movie as sensing, sensitive people. Mike's axis of response is at the same time clinically scientific: "a very dramatic case of transformation", "perception", "as a linguist", "stimuli", "a fascinating project." The polarity encompassed in this liminal viewing space occasions a complex viewer who enjoys the movie as a sensitive man and as an interested scientist who desires "to be an 218 Anne Sullivan". The joining of the teacher's body with the film not only occurred at the moment of viewing or the moment of remembering but also in the classroom. In discussing To Sir, With Love (1967), an often-cited movie that influenced teachers (discussed in detail later), Barbara commented: I sometimes feel I am Sidney Poitier when I encourage the not so confident student or when I show the utmost patience with the arrogant or "Mr./Mrs. ICnow-It- A l l " student, (italics added) Mike's wanting to be an Anne Sullivan or Barbara's feeling she is Sidney Poitier interpellate cinematic teachers with a vast potential for articulating particular dreams of teaching and in engaging audiences in particular teaching identities. The teacher/viewer vicariously occupies the cinematic teacher in the act of teaching. 8.3.3 Producing Difference Cinematic hero teachers had the opposite effect on Shelley. She disconnected reel teachers from her external self, indicating the limitations of teaching films for continued self-formation. On this point, Shelly said: I can't be like [the teachers in To Sir, With Love, Anna and the King, Educating Rita, Dead Poets Society, or Stand and Deliver] . . . but, somewhere inside, I'd love to stand on the tables, shout, sing, and dramatize. They give me a nudge. I make my attempts like any teacher, I suppose. I want to have that enthusiasm, be "special", give it my all etc. Alas, the reality is most often not like that at all. But I think those films and others have given me examples, models that I like to aspire to in my own small ways. Shelly locates her teaching identity as unable or confined within a particular reality. In comparing her teaching identity to film teachers, Shelly self-identifies in language of inability and diminution: "I can't be", "I make my attempts", "I want to . . . Alas", "my 219 own small ways." While obviously enjoying the inspiring cine-teachers and their teaching practices and holding dreams to be like them, "somewhere inside, I'd love to . . .", Shelly demarcates her reality as "most often not like that at all." Yet, even with the unreality of film images of teaching, films "nudge" her in the direction of the cinematic teacher as "models . . . to aspire to." Here she claims her subject space as different from reel hero teachers. For Clara and Karen, movies sparked memories and a weaker nudge to change their teaching than Shelly's quote above indicates. Clara differentiated herself from the other teachers in the study by her lack of identification with reel teachers and with her identification with students. Clara: I still don't see strongly that movies influence my teaching, but when I watch movies I can relate to them or have memories about, or ideas about being taught or being a teacher and saying, "OK. I am going to change." Clara's identification was most often with the students, and more about this will be examined later in the chapter. A pupil in her mother's classes when Clara was young, she mentioned her mother as an influence in her teaching, and this early relationship, mother-teacher/daughter-pupil, continues to inscribe her identification with cinematic students and learning, rather than teachers and teaching. Despite seeing "every teacher movie", cinematic mothers/teachers were "too much larger than life." Like Clara, Karen staked out a space of difference from cinematic teachers and her colleagues while recognizing the effect of reel teachers on her classes. For Karen, "a number of movies melded together have given [her] ideas as to what may or may not work in the class, i.e. To Sir, With Love and Dead Poets Society", but cinematic teachers 220 had no bearing on her identity as a teacher. Karen's sense of her teaching and herself in the classroom was derived from day-to-day lessons of teaching. Karen: I know if I go home at night and I think, "Gee, I really had fun in that class today. The students had fun I know because they were laughing and they were asking questions." And other times I go home and I say, "Today was not such a good day for me. I know it fell flat and then if it falls flat it's me", I think, because I am the teacher. I am the one who sort of pulls the rest of the train along. There are days when you are not sort of, you know. It is just my own sort of inside feeling that I have. It is not anything I have read in a book or anything. It is just, I think, over the years how I felt. Karen's standard of successful teaching was her own standard, applied to herself alone and one she did not use to judge other teachers. Karen positioned herself as unconnected to institutional standards, comparisons to peers, professional discourse on teaching — "It is not anything I have read in a book . . . " or media discourses of teaching. Like the cinematic teachers played by Sidney Poitier and Robin Williams in the movies Karen mentions above, she is a teacher working within the class, responding to an intuitive sense of the day's lessons and the students' response to them. The immediate community of her classroom and how the students have responded and how she feels about the day's teaching shape her identity. Karen's community of influence on her teaching identity contrasts with Mike's: Another influence for me here is other teachers because I am always thinking about my teaching in terms of its acceptability to other professionals, whether I am doing a professional job and that would be judged by professionals. To me that is also part of my identity. An inner dialogue creates part of Mike's teaching identity with other teachers, other professionals who would judge him. Karen, on the other hand, does not engage with professional discourse and disciplining of her teaching. Nor does she engage much in the disciplining gaze of cinematic heroes. For Clara and Karen, cinematic teachers were 221 entertaining images that stayed within the text. The cinematic teachers remained as filaments of ideas for teaching, but not as dreams or desires of teachers to be like. However, in interview both Karen and Clara's position shifts dramatically, as I discuss later. Another teacher who did not identify with filmic teachers but with students was Megan. Megan recalled a specific scene in Francis Truffault's The 400 Blows (1959) where a young boy at a French boarding school is involved in a pillow fight and the screen is full of feathers. Megan: The contrast between the soft, white beautiful feathers and the boys' act of complete rebellion against the rigid code of behavior at the school is very powerful. I certainly found high school to be very restrictive, not an open place of learning as I'd hoped, and the scene of anarchy was inspiring in terms of the potential for change. Since her youth, she has been an avid fan of European film, studied film at university, and was involved in experimental filmmaking. In terms of viewer positions, Megan has a differently disciplined reading of film. As a student and budding filmmaker, Megan had attended lectures in Vancouver given by the noted feminist film scholar, Kaja Silverman. Indeed, Megan lent me Silverman's important volume, The Subject of Semiotics (1983) which brings together theories of psychoanalysis, feminism, structuralism and semiotics. Megan inhabited a viewing space with a vocabulary for making films and appreciating them as a form of art. As noted above, she could not see cinematic teachers as relating to herself as a teacher, and this boundary did not change in the context of the interview: I don't see them as there was a teacher that I wanted to be. I see them in a much broader sense in terms of the whole esthetic of film and the opening up of boundaries rather than representations. I can't think of a film that I 222 would point to and say, "Yeah, I always wanted to be that type of teacher." It doesn't work that way for me. Megan's interest in film (esthetic) precludes her identification with reel teachers. Having made films, she now reads them for angles, film stock, editing and other filmic language as well as viewing pleasure vis-a-vis the film as a separate entity. Megan's words, "opening up of boundaries", suggest film's potential for the closed, bounded viewer-subject. Films influenced the way Megan felt,