Getting ready for “the modernist party as pedagogy”: A critique

Kate McLoughlin’s recent JML article, “The Modernist Party as Pedagogy, ” introduces a role-playing model, a simulated modernist party, to teach modernist literature. We respond to McLoughlin’s modernist party by evaluating our experience of teaching a variation of it, considering the broader value of role-play for modernist pedagogy. Role-play requires performance and risk-Taking, acts that can generate critical and creative ideas that may later be used in essay writing. This innovative exercise harnesses the spontaneity inherent in oral conversation. The main drawback is the possibility of students internalizing reductive impressions of modernist figures and ideas. These problems may be circumvented with adequate preparation and contextual class discussion. Playfulness and performativity can then lead to critical, historical, and biographical thinking. Copyright © The Trustees of Indiana University.

Kate McLoughlin’s recent JML article, “The Modernist Party as Pedagogy, ” introduces a role-playing model, a simulated modernist party, to teach modernist literature. We respond to McLoughlin’s modernist party by evaluating our experience of teaching a variation of it, considering the broader value of role-play for modernist pedagogy. Role-play requires performance and risk-Taking, acts that can generate critical and creative ideas that may later be used in essay writing. This innovative exercise harnesses the spontaneity inherent in oral conversation. The main drawback is the possibility of students internalizing reductive impressions of modernist figures and ideas. These problems may be circumvented with adequate preparation and contextual class discussion. Playfulness and performativity can then lead to critical, historical, and biographical thinking. Copyright © The Trustees of Indiana University.

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