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Puppets on a String in a Theatre of Display? Interactions of Image, Text, Material, Space and Motion in The Family of Man (ca.1950s-1960s)

Priem, K and Thyssen, G (2013) Puppets on a String in a Theatre of Display? Interactions of Image, Text, Material, Space and Motion in The Family of Man (ca.1950s-1960s). Paedagogica Historica: international journal of the history of education, 49 (6). pp. 828-845. ISSN 1477-674X

Final version Karin Priem & Geert Thyssen - Puppets on a string in a theatre of display.pdf - Accepted Version

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In the past few decades, increasing attention has been devoted within various disciplines to aspects previously considered trivial, among which are images, material objects and spaces. While the visual, the material and the spatial are receiving ever more consideration and the myriad issues surrounding them are being tackled, their convergence in educational settings across time and space has thus far remained underexplored. A travelling photo exhibition, The Family of Man, will serve as a starting point in this paper for addressing some of the complexities inherent in this convergence and thus highlight an essential yet neglected feature of education: its reliance on, and creative use of, multiple “modes” of communication and representation when attempting to produce learning effects. As a particular educational constellation that went on to travel throughout the world and interact with the contexts in which it moved, The Family of Man was anything but neutral in design. The paper will show just how carefully it was composed to promote meaning-, power-, and knowledge-making in accordance with its mission. This border-crossing installation thus constituted a spectacle of different interacting views, forms, surfaces, lighting effects, panoramas, movements, captions and other factors that aimed to create order among things and people. Nevertheless, the paper argues, “theatres of display” in education such as this do not imply determination and causality of effects, but rather provide “uncertain conditions” within a spectrum of “actors” and “actants”. The paper relates this to the manifold affordances of objects, images, places and so on, to disruptions of meaning in their convergence across time and space and to “emancipation” on the part of learners.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Paedagogica Historica: international journal of the history of education on 4 Dec 2013 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00309230.2013.846925
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1303 Specialist Studies In Education, 2103 Historical Studies, 2202 History And Philosophy Of Specific Fields
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LA History of education
Divisions: Education
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2016 12:57
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 13:21
DOI or ID number: 10.1080/00309230.2013.846925
Editors: Thyssen, G
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3014
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