Issue n° 25

Opening, Georges Vigarello

Moral chronicle : Why do teachers have problems with their voice?, Sophie Ernst (INRP)

Teachers have to fill the physical space of the classroom with authority – in a masculine way – at the risk of ‘losing their voice’. In opposition between low and high tones, the author sets subtle social demarcation lines between the masculine and the feminine. Through her own experience, she also gives some advice on the use of voices and their right educational implications.

Notion : Vigilance, Pierre-Damien Huyghe (University of Paris I)

Pedagogy supposes that the teacher and the pupil can share the same spirituality and a mental capacity to self-mobilize. But being world-wise needs another kind of attention and dives into sensitivity and prudence. Be it ‘vigilance’ as an engagement of the whole body, a tension of the hearing and the sight, which are, according to Leroi-Gourhan, anthropological basic data. However today, paradoxically enough, the proliferation of audiovisual productions seems to infer an anesthesia if not an atrophy of this ‘vital’ capacity, threatening our societies in their capacity of action and symbolic formation.

Report: The scene of the body

Presentation, Anne-Marie Drouin-Hans (University of Bourgogne)

The tragic eschylean body: a difficult concretion, Héléna Théodoropoulou (University of Egée)

In the theatre of Eschylus, the body is a precarious, terrified, abyssal preinscription of the human being – in a world itself catastrophic. The stage embodies the limits where the sense can loom out and disappear. The tragic body is this intensification of existence: murder, trance, excessiveness, terror; it is an educational body insofar as it lets what passes through it appear and appears itself different and alike at the same time.

Body, music and words: the envelopes of Pan, Gilles Boudinet (University of Paris VIII)

The classical anthropological analysis sets out that the essential of music has its origin in the human body. For G. Boudinet, the fable of Pan reverses this thesis. The argument is based on the flight of Syrinx from Pan’s desire and the invention of the flute. Then, the demonstration holds in three steps: from aquatic life to aerial life, from the resonant envelope of reeds to the flute and musical dialogue, from the musical body to the verbal one. Thus, the ‘death of the Great Pan’ means God’s ultimate metamorphosis, reincarnated into a human body.

Who am I? What can I do? Anorexia, the body of emptiness and the other’s view, Michela Marzano

Anorexia does not refer to a food pathology nor does it constitute the backlash of a social straightening of bodies. While slaughtering one’s body, the anorexic tries to fight against the erasing of one’s subjectivity. Emptying the body, disavowing one’s own reality and dreaming the emergence of a transparent body, delivered of all weight, ‘one’ in the other’s view at last.

What do we speak of when we speak of ‘deaf people’?, Andrea Benvenuto (GERSE, University of Paris VIII)

Since the Antiquity, between the speeches about deficiency (that can be compensated), those about the handicap (that suggests integration) and those about the difference (often a way to maintain the statu quo), deaf people have not easiliy found ‘their’ place. They have been excluded from the community of men: do the deaf have access to language? To thought? Nevertheless, their situation underwent a decisive evolution with the recognition of the sign-language by l’Abbé de l’Epée and the hypothesis of its use for instruction. But the history of the 19th and 20th century also shows that the social will of (medical) repair and of integration (in school) goes along with the denial of their ‘being-in-the-world’ and of their cultural and linguistic specificities.

The body as a stranger. Fantasy and metaphors, Laurence Cornu (IUFM Poitou-Charente)

From the medical meaning toward the socio-political reality, a foreign body is an extra body inside a body: burst of shell, tumor, or the immigrant in the social ‘body’ ; intrusion, threat, extreme familiarity; territories, borderline, assimilation or rejection. ‘Strangerness’ mingles the desire of identity, the impenetrable purity and unsteadiness, the sliding toward an ‘out-of-oneself’, particularly in the case of illness. Then the question is that of ‘normality’ and the test of time limit, i.e. the test of irreversibility and of death. The body of the stranger is at the same time what is given to decipher and what we do not understand, appeal and rejection; Strangerness is still an ‘untranslatable remainder’.

The girl’s body: an educational invariant in the course of centuries?, Hervé Terral (University of Toulouse le Mirail)

The ‘girl’ became on December 20, 1880 one of the most important issues in the republican politics in education via the official creation of a ‘feminine secondary teaching’, parallel to primary superior feminine schools. Several lines cross over the proceedings: the woman – and the girl even more – is placed under the sign of a tension, registered in her body, between an affirmed fragility and the expression of a saving vitality, as well as she is shared between negation of sexuality and affirmation of motherhood; the schoolmistress, and the teacher of secondary schools even more, particularly embodies this opposition, through the self-devotion to children, not hers most often.

From the untouchable body to the virtual body: Toward a disembodied relation between teachers and pupils, Bernard Andrieu (IUFM of Lorraine)

If one cannot think ‘alterity’ but as an ‘analogon’ of oneself, the body of the other is unknowable, ‘untouchable’. According to the author, this existential distance would be reinforced by a whole set of social arrangements: From the television-conference to the hygiaphone; or, in pedagogy, the interdict about bodily contacts and the ‘disembodiment’ of teacher’s and pupil’s bodies. The bodily communication is replaced by the fear of touching. The natural and straightforward communication, made of words, intonations and gestures, is replaced by mental, computational, abstract communication. Does the author suggest that in these mutations other kinds of relations between the people appear ? And if so, are they more transparent or more opaque?

The unaesthetic body of the medical clinic, Jacques Arveiller (University of Caen)

At the beginning of the 19th century , the medical clinic system constitutes itself as a ‘grammar of signs’ open to ‘reground’ the therapeutics. In this movement, the body is decomposed, in surface and in depth, analyzed, and removed from any kind of contemplation. The stethoscope first, modern means of investigation a fortiori, have finished to forbid any erotic, aesthetic, even sexual perception of it.

Studies : The democratization of the school, Pierre Merle (IUFM of Bretagne)

The issue of democratizing the school system is a vast one. It constitutes a clue which inevitably leads to the history of school as an institution, to educational policies, to technical proceedings about the transformations of social recruitment, then to the present state of democratization. The author kept three main axes of investigation: the link between democracy and democratization, the plurality of democratization definitions, the question of the reduction or the growth of social inequalities in school trajectories. These axes try to account for proceedings bound to the notion of democratization and the empiric analyses that has been led about it.

Studies : Hannah Arendt: an intellectual biography, Marc Le Ny (Ecole pratique des hautes études)

The idea of ‘intellectual’ biography is that, without document, of the only movement of one thought. In the case of H. Arendt, it gets organized on a preoccupation: the need of understanding, and it articulates around a few major questions: exile, friendship, ‘judéité’, novelty, totalitarianism, banality of evil.

Correspondence : Policies of the memory and globalization, Silvana Rabinovich (University of Mexico)

Language is made of memories and oblivions. The article is concerned with the circulation of these memories and oblivions in the present political speech in Mexico. In the social context of these asymmetries, the author aims at thinking about the means of transmission of the memory and the oblivion of the genocide of the Indians in Guatemala that the speech of the global pseudo-democracy makes invisible. Nowadays, to speak about transmission of democratic values or multiculturalism in Latin America means to denounce the hegemony of euphemisms that express a murderous complicity.