The Theater of Politics

The Theater of Politics : Hannah Arendt, Political Science, and Higher Education

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For Hannah Arendt, creating a durable, civil public world was of utmost importance. Though many have discussed Arendt's relevance to the contemporary work of politics, Eric Gorham is the first to examine her ideas of the 'space of appearance' in the context of the university classroom. In The Theater of Politics, Gorham examines in detail Arendt's dramaturgical theory of politics and her method of political criticism and maintains that politics can be observed in the classroom, in which students are future political actors and spectators in training. Using Arendt as a theoretical platform, Gorham offers innovative ideas for politicizing the classroom and for reconceptualizing faculty and student community service: If professors and administrators can imagine their tasks in light of lessons learned from classical theater, then students will benefit from a renewed emphasis on teaching.
Gorham moves to redraw the basis of political citizenship, criticizing arguments offered by civic republican and communitarian theorists and crafting a richer, more judicious concept of citizenship-one that can be learned and practiced in the political science classroom in particular and in the university in general.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 145 x 225 x 13mm | 331g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739100491
  • 9780739100493

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Acknowledgements Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Acting in Politics Chapter 4 The Theater of Politics and the Space of Appearance Chapter 5 A Mode of Being Alone: Reporting Truth in Political Science Chapter 6 Making an Example Out of Eichmann Chapter 7 The University As a Theater of Politics Chapter 8 Action and the Founding of the European Community Chapter 9 The Acting Class Chapter 10 Participation and Judgement in the University Community Chapter 11 The Drama of the Space of Appearance Chapter 12 References Chapter 13 Index
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Review quote

[Gorham] offers good suggestions on how to engage students in class and how to structure some out-of-class experiences. American Political Science Review Gorham brilliantly illuminates the crucial tension in higher education between academic bureaucracy and intellectual community... This valuable study offers an opportunity to rethink current trends and practices in higher education. CHOICE
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About Eric B. Gorham

Eric B. Gorham is Associate Professor of Political Science at Loyola University. He is the author of National Service, Citizenship, and Political Education, as well as numerous articles and conference presentations on citizenship and higher education.
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