All The Classroom's a Stage: Feminism, Teaching, and the Art of Performance Teachers are really performers, classrooms are stages, and students the captivated audience. Dynamic, animated, and often unpredictable, Jyl Lynn Felman's approach to teaching breaks new ground, creating a rich and intellectual theater of ideas for her students.
In beautifully written prose, Felman invites us to take a seat and watch her one-woman show. This is where the feminist classroom meets live guerilla theater and once the show has begun, learning becomes interactive, intentionally dramatic and fully engaging as it was always meant to be. No one is left behind, bored or disinterested. All the cast, students, teaching assistants, as well as the professor, become intellectually open and vulnerable to the world of ideas.
A dramatic transformation of the traditional classroom, "All The Classroom's a Stage" challenges the reader to rethink the nature of learning and shows what can happen in the act of teaching. In the process, Felman takes on some of the most important issues on college campuses today, including identity politics, sexual harassment, race relations, eating disorders, tenure, and the value of teaching. Felman suggests the prototype for a new kind of educator-bold, effective, and visionary. This is a performance not to be missed.
Jyl Lynn Felman is Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at Brandeis University. She is a lawyer and performance artist. Her one-woman show, If Only I'd Been Born A Kosher Chicken, has been aired on C-SPAN and she has appeared on NPR and the BBC. Her previous books include, Hot Chicken Wings (1992), which was a Lambda Literary Awards Finalist, and Cravings (1997), a memoir.
Praise for Jyl Lynn Felman: "With her sharp-eyed sensibility.the work of Jyl Lynn Felman is always revealing as she tracks the forbidden edges of being Jewish, female, lesbian at the end of the twentieth century." -Adrienne Rich
A must-read for teachers and anyone interested in the transformative powers of education Beautifully crafted essays on the politics of the university
Felman is well-known among the Jewish, gay and lesbian, and women's studies' communities.
"Jyl Lynn Felman rewrites feminist pedagogy as a vibrant, political, and self-critical performative practice. Felman connects theory to experience, knowledge to risk-taking, and learning to the specificity of place and context. This is a book that equates pedagogy with courage, teaching with hope, and politics with particular bodies mutually crossing into uncharted territories where meaning, passion, justice, and critique open up new possibilities for critical learning and social change. "Never a Dull Moment is a moving, courageous, and insightful book that every teacher, student, administrator, and parent should read."
-Henry Giroux, author of "Fugitive Cultures
"Enlivened and literary....Readers are invited behind university scenes to ponder, from the inside out, a working portrait of the teacher. Felman animates a lively cast of characters, where even the curriculum seems to come alive to argue with the dilemmas and fantasies brought to a women's studies classroom....Felman's autobiography of pedagogy is also that of the teacher's own generation."
-Deborah P. Britzman, York University, Toronto
"In her exciting book "Never a Dull Moment, Felman reveals the deeper value of 'face-to-face' teaching, not simply as a means of getting information across, but as a way of exploring some of the most sensitive gender and racial issues we confront in the contemporary classroom."
-Lillian S. Robinson, author of "Sex, Class, and Culture
"Jyl Lynn Felman's brilliance as a teacher is unmistakable in this book--a dynamic combination of lyrical writing and provocative ideas. Anyone who has ever experienced the personal transformation that comes from teaching about social justicewill recognize the wisdom in Felman's approach to educating the 'whole' student. Anyone who hasn't needs to read this book."
-Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
"Felman never fails to excite and shake up her readers. Here she is at the top of her game-witty, insightful, provocative, sexy, and moving. Every classroom would benefit from Felman's approach, and universities would become centers of life culture instead of institutions dedicated to destroying our interest in ideas, if this book became the standard by which tenure was granted. Get every college president you know to read it."