Presentation on theme: " In the first half of this module we have looked at many examples of how the child is presented in art, culture, education, politics, community, family."— Presentation transcript:
In the first half of this module we have looked at many examples of how the child is presented in art, culture, education, politics, community, family and so on. We have seen how many different interpretations there are and how we, as readers of ‘the child’, make our own interpretations – even though these are often guided by our experience of signs and myth. While Barthes has allowed us a way into thinking about reading these signs, Blanchot extends the philosophy underpinning these thoughts.
For example, the film Innocence portrays the perpetuation of certain myths of childhood and innocence. The structure of the schooling/boarding system in the film is maintained to keep the girls innocent and as children until they reach puberty. There are clearly examples of parents who attempt to do the same with their child, usually by restricting their experience. However, Barthes might argue that this idea of childhood innocence is merely a myth which pertains to being natural but is in fact just a product of reading the history of childhood in a certain way. He might also add that while we might assume these girls are ‘innocent’, that is simply our reading of them and we can not know how they think or feel subjectively. Blanchot might add that the girls’ identity is unduly restricted due to an idea of community which does not stand up philosophically. To presume that innocence and childhood is the same for all of these girls would be to miss the point. As with the example of the girl who escapes. However, the film itself would present Blanchot with an example of creative presentation of the child which subverts or undermines more generalistic or simplified readings of the child.
The subject of the child (in relation to death) The object/objectification of the child
Myth/signs which make up the child Reading the child
The subject of the child (‘who?’) (the impossibility of) community for the child
Reading the child Creativity/the literary in presenting the child
What is a child is they can not be read as a subject? If a child is an object then what are the means by which we can read that object? If we are supposed to take the myths of the child the our culture perpetuates with a pinch of salt what kind of signs should we be looking for in our own readings? What does the impossibility of community imply in relation to the understanding, teaching or upbringing of every individual child? Why is creativity significant in working out what a child is?