Education, Comic Book Style

When it comes to learning and pedagogy, creativity and entertainment are critical qualities. Formal academic writing has its place and is necessary, of course, to carefully present and parse through challenging ethical issues, historical processes, theoretical and methodological models, and a whole host of numeric/physical/biochemical/etc matters that I can hardly dream up.  But not everybody has the interest or the time to wade through the technical mumbo jumbo of numerous university disciplines, or even one in any great depth. But in my experience, many people enjoy knowing (and often aspire to know) something about many different things, whether they are historical, philosophical, biochemical, literary, or what have you. This is not just a leisurely pursuit for all people, though it certainly can be for an entire lifetime. For those fortunate folks who get to attend college, especially in a Liberal Arts tradition, there’s a demand placed on them to know a wide variety of things, across the disciplines, and while not with the greatest depth in the disciplines outside of one’s major, precision and synthesis are expected with whatever they learn. It’s in times like these, as well as in times throughout one’s long lifetime when interests are casually pursued hither and thither, that I find the factors of creativity and entertainment particularly sine qua non to learning and pedagogy. Without uniqueness and pleasure bona fide learning, especially in an area outside of one’s workaday life, is tough to enroot. Perhaps one of Peashoot’s (three) readers will recall that Claude Lévi-Strauss, renown Belgian-born-French anthropologist and father of Structuralism, passed away last year at the grand old age of 100 years. If you are like me, the death of Lévi-Strauss brought back waves of memories of being in graduate school, curiously racing through Tristes Tropiques, Structural Anthropology (I & II), The Raw and the Cooked, The Jealous Potter, and an assortment of essays in an effort to get a handle on the system of thought known as “Structuralism” and how it might be useful to read and analyze mythologies. Well, even though the nuances of structuralism might have never left your brain, and whether or not you’ve been pleased for years that Post-Structuralism, Deconstructionism, Xism, Yism, and Zism have moved us beyond Lévi-Strauss for all intents and purposes, the Financial Times published a tremendously creative and entertaining comic about Claude Lévi-Strauss and Structuralism last week that I want to share with you. It’s a really terrific way to learn, especially if one is not interested in wading through many publications but wants to get a clear and accurate take on the basics of this influential thinker’s ideas. This is heads and tails above anything Cliff Notes (or Spark Notes, which is what I’ve come to learn is the youngsters’ crutch these days) puts out.

1 thought on “Education, Comic Book Style

  1. wildbillyscircusstory

    Interesting. I never knew Levi-Strauss was such an intellectual. Was this before or after he invented blue jeans? Bah-dum-dum.


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