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The Light of KnowledgeLiteracy Activism and the Politics of Writing in South India$
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Francis Cody

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452024

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452024.001.0001

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Labors of Objectification

Labors of Objectification

Words and Worlds of Pedagogy

(p.101) 3 Labors of Objectification
The Light of Knowledge

Francis Cody

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the specific pedagogical means by which literacy lessons attempted to extract subjects from their everyday orientations to the world. It also considers some of the problems raised by the movement's adoption of such a theory of language and personhood. It begins by explaining the development of Paulo Freire's liberation pedagogy, in which subjects understand themselves to be agents through processes of verbal objectification. In an attempt to develop a radical pedagogy suited to awakening adults' sense of their own agency, the Arivoli Iyakkam used models of personhood and language that map only partially onto those that obtain among the movement's villager learners. Learners themselves provided a critique of this pedagogy through questions they asked about the poetics of Tamil learning traditions and about how written language becomes memorable and meaningful, forcing activists to reconsider their methods.

Keywords:   Arivoli Iyakkam, literacy movement, liberation pedagogy, written language, personhood, Paulo Freire

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