Monday, May 2, 2011

Teaching bin Laden's demise

Taught two classes today, Theory and Shakespeare. I let in the bin Laden issue into Theory class but decided not to with Shakespeare. The Theory class probably went better but I just didn't feel like taking ten minutes away from Shakespeare and giving it to bin Laden, however joyously dead. It is a real tough call for a teacher, one does not want one's class to becpme CNN but on a day so momentous as this one wants to acknowledge the importance of it. Especially since my students were in middle school on 9/11/01 and have been living with this demonic presence and the trauma he caused--including that of the overcompensations of the US war on terror--all their lives.  I love Walter Benjamin, but he could spare ten minutes for such a big day and in any event the essay we were discussing, with the aestheticization of spectacle and so on, could be teased to include today's headlines. I hate to sound canonical, but Shakespeare is a different matter-especially since we were discussing the first tow acts of The WInter's Tale, which however searing, are not so in a 'political' way. 

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