Complicating the Curricular Conversation with Antonin Artaud and Maxine Greene

Mindy Roberta Carter


…if I and other teachers truly want to provoke our students to break through the limits of the conventional and taken for granted, we ourselves have to experience breaks with what has been established in our own lives; we have to keep arousing ourselves to begin again. (Greene, 1995, p. 109)

One purpose of a/r/tography is to open up conversations and relationships instead of informing others about what has been learned. Another purpose is to open up possibilities for a/r/tographers as they give their attention to what is seen and known and what is not seen and not known. Openings are not necessarily passive holes through which one can see easily. Openings are often like cuts, tears, ruptures or cracks that resist predictability, comfort and safety (Springgay, Irwin, Leggo & Gouzouasis, 2008).

For the past few months I have been ruminating deeply on the ideas Maxine Greene discusses in the above quotation while simultaneously giving myself multiple excuses for resisting acknowledging the ways that the breaks she describes haunt me. I perceive myself as living in contradiction because I appear to myself to embrace the purposes and renderings of a/r/tography, all the while wishing for comfort and safety and to some extent predictability. A/r/tography is an arts based research method in which ones identity and work as an artist, teacher and researcher impact and inform one another in multiple and emergent ways (Carter, 2012; Carter, 2013; Carter, Beare, Belliveau & Irwin, 2011). Part of the nature of living and working a/r/tographically is to embrace the uncertainty of the in between and so the conundrum is thus: How can I encourage my arts education students to dwell with/in ambiguity, represent their thoughts in multiple kinds of texts and feel their worlds in body, mind and spirit, if I am hesitant to be seen living these ways by them and by myself? The short answer to this question is that I can’t.

And so, as a way to arouse myself to begin again I have chosen to discuss some of Antonin Artaud’s key theoretical concepts alongside selected curriculum theories as a way of tuning into and articulating what curricular openings are and might mean.


curriculum theory, openings, arts education, Antonin Artaud, Christian Morriseau

Full Text: