UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Kindergarten : discovered in the midst of Julia Kristeva’s two-sided sacred McMillan, Kate


Well on my way toward compiling what I thought would be the theoretical groundwork for the writing of my major paper, I experienced what can only be described as an epiphany; a most unsettling turn of events which launched me in a completely unplanned-for direction. At once discombobulated and perfectly at home, I suddenly found myself in a space which enabled me to discuss what I have always felt, living, as I do, the passionate life of a teacher. All the ideas and feelings I hold so close to my heart were miraculously given not just a voice, but an entire musical score with parts for everyone. This wondrous symphony was made audible to me through the writings of Julia Kristeva; a citizen of the postmodern universe who also considers herself to be a foreigner and an exile. The drawing card for me was Kristeva's espousal of the notions of: One and Other; polyphonic vocalizing; an ever-changing and evolving space which defies reduction in a hierarchical sense; and the absolute necessity of acknowledging the existence of things abject and horrible. To me, Kristeva's unique take on the world transposes itself into a window that opens onto my Kindergarten class; providing me with a linguistic (in a Kristevan sense) framework in which to situate what had heretofore been impossible to express verbally. Uncomfortable with the fit a strict adherence to linear regulations produces, I have attempted to create a work that invites readers into a place of disruption, movement and discovery. Instead of chapters, a left-to-right progression and consecutively numbered pages, I have organized my thesis around the four notions of space ("Anaphora"), abjection ("Wandering at the Borders of the Speakable and the Visible"), humour ("Defying the Laws of Gravity"), and fixed narrative ('The Presence of Absence"). The notion of story-telling is an integral part of the whole project, thus the fairy tale beginnings to each section. Although the title page is located at the beginning of "Anaphora," this does not imply that this is the place to start; indeed, I hope that different readers will find their own entry points. As each section is encountered, the reader must unfold and open out the pages; a visual argument against the notion of a linear, fixed narrative being the only way in which to produce a work of academic merit. If, due to restrictions imposed by the Library, the copy of my thesis you are reading does not open out or contain some coloured pages and you would like to see the "real thing," please contact Dr. John Willinsky at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

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