A Long Way Gone: Teaching “Third-World” Texts in a “First-World” Classroom
How does a white woman in what Gustavo Esteva and Madhu Suri Prakash (1998) call the “One-Third World” teach “One-Third World” students about people suffering the consequences of imperialism in “Two-Thirds World” in ways that intervene in imperialism rather than reinforcing and perpetuating it? In this workshop I will discuss my strategies for teaching Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, to a group of fifteen elite, privileged, first-year liberal arts college students in the Midwestern United States. By examining my tactics and assessing the successes or failures of them, I hope to elicit feedback from workshop participants as well as explore the ways in which they have coped with the problem of dismantling the stereotypes that distort understanding between post-colonial cultures.
Keywords: Imperialism, Post-Colonialism, Memoir, Boy Soldier, White Privilege, Pedagogy
Dr. Karen Taylor
Associate Professor, History, College of Wooster