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Auerbach Lecture | 06.12.2021 | 18 Uhr

Roman Bartosch (Englisches Seminar II, Cologne): “I would prefer not to”: On Resilience and Refusal

Die Auerbach Lecture am 6. Dezember 2021 von Roman Bartosch: '"I would prefer not to": On Resilience and Refusal' musste leider ausfallen.


In order to facilitate more sustained exchange between and integration of the humanities and the educational sciences in teacher education programmes where ‘the future’ is present as an ubiquitous concern, I will in this talk look into the potential of literary texts as both a learning tool and as a means to call into question the very protocols of teaching and learning. For this, I am turning to one posterchild of political and philosophical literary criticism – Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener,” whose iconic ‘I would prefer not to’ has become subject of unending interpretive manoeuvre – and inquire into the educational dimensions of a text so dedicated to refusal and not doing the things both humanist and pedagogic education hold dear. Linking this analysis of literary negativity with my own prior work on resilience in education as well as Karen Ragoonaden’s concerns with wellbeing, I try to provide a conceptual basis for a collaboration “On Wellbeing and Resilience in Humanist Teacher Education: Literature, Pedagogy, and the Modelling of Mindful Futures.”