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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Jeff Young (jyoung)
Wed, 5 Feb 1997 16:11:29 CST6CDT

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Graeme said:

> Linda, I believe that your heart's in the right place and you probably do
> want to expose students to the art forms of a variety of cultures, but I
> wonder if others share my concerns about the recipe for making storyteller
> dolls?
> Have issues of cultural appropriation and ownership been addressed? Is it
> trivializing the art of the "other" to focus on technique and wish that
> students have a "happy modeling experience?"


So is the main issue here the appropriation of the "storyteller"
image? This issue has been of interest to me as I teach my
pre-service teachers. In using the storyteller image are people
simplifying and/or changing an object with deeper meanings which
people not of that culture might not appreciate?

Are there times when appropriation of such an image might be okay?

I know there are similarities to this in other fields. For instance,
back in the mid-eighties, Paul Simon began to incorporate strands of
"township jive" music from Africa in his music. Some African
musicians played and sang on his Graceland CD. I remember there
being questions at that time about the relationship of this

Would it be possible to make a storyteller doll that did not look
like the storytellers we have seen in other cultures?


Jeff Young
Assistant Professor, Art Education
University of Central Arkansas
Department of Art
201 Donaghey
Conway, AR 72035

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