Combating the Rhetoric of Oppression
Nawar Al-Hassan Golley.
As international politics continue to fragment our world, in the name of globalization, and violate principles of freedom, in the very name of freedom, Critical Theory, a multi-disciplinarian field, is a key to making humanities create a positively globalized 21st Century world. Education in totalitarian systems does not encourage students to question existing ideas and beliefs. Students are not expected to analyse or critique what they read or write. They are not even told that there can be an alternative way to looking at things. In the 21st Century, humanities, in schools in these countries, could make use of introducing Critical and Literary Theory as early as possible in the curriculum as a means of raising consciousness. Academic freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of the press can only start making sense under such systems if students are shown and encouraged to make use of the multiplicity of meanings without inhibition at an early age. On the other hand, in countries where freedom has been practised in different ways, humanities should be taught in a way to reflect the true multi-culturality of our word today. Questioning the literary canon, something which Critical Theory made very possible, should be reflected in school and academic curricula too.
Nawar Al-Hassan Golley (United Arab Emirates)
Assistant Professor of English & Critical Theory
Department of English & Translation Studies
American University of Sharjah
Syrian by origin, Nawar Al-Hassan Golley obtained her Ph. D. in Critical Theory from the University of Nottingham in 1994. Her research interests lie in Critical Theory, Feminism, Women's studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Cultural Studies. Her book, Reading Arab Women's Autobiographies, will be released in Nov. 2003 by Texas University Press.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)