Teaching Hub

Modern Binaries

In his post “This Modern Life,” from Practicum: Critical Theory, Religion, and Pedagogy, Russell McCutcheon recalls teaching a lesson on binaries and how his students came to recognize their own cultural, historical, and linguistic categories:

Of course, such an analysis isn’t possible without using binaries of our own — we’re all swimming in the soup of history, culture, language, etc. — but not every pair carries with it the same implications. Getting students to recognize that the goal is not to escape binaries, not to try to escape history and consequence, but, instead, to work to make implications, ownership, and situation evident, is the goal of this classroom exercise that I’ve often used over the years.

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