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East is East: using film to disrupt university classroom narratives around childhood and identity

Holmes, Rachel (2007) East is East: using film to disrupt university classroom narratives around childhood and identity. Pedagogy culture and society, 15 (3). pp. 367-384. ISSN 1468-1366

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Abstract

This paper considers how a university teacher uses reflexive writings to explore what might constitute becoming a 'better' teacher within her classroom practices. The writings derive from an encounter with students where they had opportunity to reflect upon notions of childhood as portrayed within the film East is East. Specifically, the paper grapples with the question: 'Does [the film] East is East seek to reassure white audiences of the practical adequacies of western culture and society?'. Reflexive writings that are based on the teaching session are used as a context for deconstructive readings. These prompt shifting reconceptualisations of the 'teaching self' and the students, as well as a sharper awareness of how visual and narrative spaces might be colonised by particular interpretations of what it is to be British-white, British-Asian, South-Asian and British-Muslim. The paper reflects upon ways responses to the film's characterisations are read in particular ways; and how they might be re-read in ways that allow for indeterminate moments within the complexities of the film's visual narratives.

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