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March 7, 2013: The Intersection of Learned Value and Lived Experience and A Comedy Beyond Belief

The Intersection of Learned Value and Lived Experience: Student Attitudes Toward Multilingual Education, a talk by Elisabeth Lefebvre

The Intersection of Learned Value and Lived Experience: Student Attitudes Toward Multilingual EducationElisabeth Lefebvre, Comparative & International Development Education, Department of Organizational Leadership & Policy Development

Elisabeth Lefebvre focuses on student attitudes toward multilingual education. Although much work has been done on multilingual education pedagogy and policy, almost none has been child-centered. She highlights the importance of student narratives and the ways in which they can inform the development of immersion education programs.

Lefebvre’s research focuses on student attitudes toward multilingual education. Although much work has been done on multilingual education pedagogy and policy, almost none has been child-centered. Little consideration has been given to first-hand accounts of children in immersion programs. Through participatory observation, surveys, and focus group discussions with third grade students at a public, French immersion elementary school in the Pacific Northwest, many common threads within student experiences of multilingual education have emerged. Specifically, students’ fear of failure and peer-to-peer shaming when learning a new language can leave them feeling ambivalent toward French. This is not to say that the student experience is overwhelmingly negative; however, student attitudes seem to fall somewhere between their learned value for multilingualism and their lived experiences. Ultimately, this research highlights the importance of student narratives and the ways in which they can inform the development of immersion education programs.


This talk is available for download as audio (.mp3, 49.1 MB) or video (.m4v, 223.6 MB).

A Comedy Beyond Belief: Raising Arizona on Parental Dreams, Baby Myths, and the Body Politic in the Reagan Era, a talk by Sean Nye

Raising Arizona Sean Nye 2013.3.7In the Coen brothers’ oeuvre, Raising Arizona has a unique position as the only film that is an ostensibly “light” comedy about babies and families. As a result, scholars have often overlooked this film in favor of works by the Coens that deal with apparently adult or serious topics. Addressing this scholarly lacuna, this paper argues that Raising Arizona stands, in fact, as the most trenchant film satire of myths of childhood and babyhood during the Reagan era. Utilizing insights from the burgeoning field of childhood studies, the paper traces Raising Arizona’s engagement with the Reagan cultural constellation surrounding the resurgence of childhood innocence and the family unit: fears of strangers and kidnapping, anti-immigrant policies, the politics of adoption, and ideologies of class and parenting. Advertised as “a comedy beyond belief,” Raising Arizona was concerned with these fundamental beliefs that appeared neutral, but which concealed state oppression, violence, and the dismantling of child welfare under Reagan. The paper will further contextualize the film and television industry’s reproduction of such ideologies, such as in Three Men and a Baby, the top-grossing film in 1987, the year of Raising Arizona’s release. I hope thus to show that Raising Arizona deserves new consideration as a central work in the history of childhood and family myths on the American silver screen.


This talk is available for download as audio (.mp3, 61.5 MB) or video (.m4v, 285.9 MB).

Sponsored by the IAS Collaborative Childhood and Youth Studies.

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