UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Memory and identity (de)construction : an a/r/tographic act of inquiry Hudson, Laura Gwynne


This text documents an a/r/tographic act of inquiry into memory and identity (de)construction. Speaking in, through, and of images the work physically situates itself in spaces uncharted. Meaning asserts and reveals itself between words, creating an other-text which defies boundaried definitions in its resistance to be known. That which we seek to map or mark eludes us. Knowledge is displaced in its representation. It is our longing for meaning which paradoxically interferes with its own processes. Spaces (dis)lodged between borderlands (Irwin 2004) shift and elude our grasp. The work resists that which it seeks to define and erases that which it seeks to name. It calls upon us to create space for doubt and unknowing within our own longing for understanding(s). If, as Grumet (1996) asserts "education is about a human being making sense of her life" (17) we must be aware of the ways curricular directives "do and do not stand for our experience" (19). The crisis of modernism is that we exist as fractured selves (Pinar 1996) within curricular landscapes which cut us off from our own identity (24). Pinar claims that "understanding curriculum as the revelation and construction of identity implies understanding education as a form of social psychoanalysis... (American) identity is constructed partly by denial, by maintaining fictions" (25). I view curriculum as traumatized text - that which refuses to be 'known' by the curriculum serves to subvert, bury and deny the learner's knowing. Absence of authentic dialogue creates gaps in the curricular landscape which serve to silence and partition off knowing - essentially, the learners are partitioned off from themselves. The work calls upon us to re-imagine curriculum as the space between learner and text/image, where meaning is continually (re)(de)constructed in the fissures of lived experience. It calls upon us to dwell (Aoki 1993) in spaces of uncertainty and ambiguity - spaces for possibility. If wisdom begins in wonder (Socrates) as I believe it does, we must embrace what may be the ultimate paradox in teaching: to facilitate learning we must also be willing to facilitate unlearning. May we, as Walt Whitman decrees, 'ordain ourselves loos'd of limits and imaginary lines'.

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