You Can t Padlock an Idea
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You Can't Padlock an Idea examines the educational programs undertaken at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee and looks specifically at how these programs functioned rhetorically to promote democratic social change. Founded in 1932 by educator Myles Horton, the Highlander Folk School sought to address the economic and political problems facing communities in Appalachian Tennessee and other southern states. To this end Horton and the school's staff involved themselves in the labor and civil rights disputes that emerged across the south over the next three decades.

Drawing on the Highlander archives housed at the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Avery Research Center in South Carolina, and the Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee, Stephen A. Schneider reconstructs the pedagogical theories and rhetorical practices developed and employed at Highlander. He shows how the school focused on developing forms of collective rhetorical action, helped students frame social problems as spurs to direct action, and situated education as an agency for organizing and mobilizing communities.

Schneider studies how Highlander's educational programs contributed to this broader goal of encouraging social action. Specifically he focuses on four of the school's more established programs: labor drama, labor journalism, citizenship education, and music. These programs not only taught social movement participants how to create plays, newspapers, citizenship schools, and songs, they also helped the participants frame the problems they faced as having solutions based in collective democratic action. Highlander's programs thereby functioned rhetorically, insofar as they provided students with the means to define and transform oppressive social and economic conditions. By providing students with the means to comprehend social problems and with the cultural agencies (theater, journalism, literacy, and music) to address these problems directly, Highlander provided an important model for understanding the relationships connecting education, rhetoric, and social change.



Publié par
Date de parution 03 octobre 2014
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781611173826
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,2100€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


You Can t Padlock an Idea
Studies in Rhetoric/Communication Thomas W. Benson, Series Editor
You Can t Padlock an Idea
Rhetorical Education at the Highlander Folk School 1932-1961
Stephen A. Schneider
2014 University of South Carolina
Published by the University of South Carolina Press Columbia, South Carolina 29208
23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Schneider, Stephen A., 1979-
You can t padlock an idea : rhetorical education at the Highlander Folk School, 1932-1961 / Stephen A. Schneider.
pages cm. - (Studies in Rhetoric/Communication)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-61117-381-9 (hardback) - ISBN 978-1-61117-382-6 (ebook)
1. Highlander Folk School (Monteagle, Tenn.)- History. 2. Social change-Southern States-History-20th century. 3. Rhetoric-Social aspects-Southern States-History-20th century. 4. Adult education-Tennessee-History-20th century. 5. Working class-Education-Tennessee-History-20th century. I. Title.
LC5301.M65S36 2014
370.11 5-dc23
Introduction: The Highlander Folk School, Movement Halfway Houses, and Rhetorical Education
CHAPTER 1: The Kairos of Educational Opportunity: The Development of the Highlander Idea
CHAPTER 2: Labor Drama: From Collective Action to Collective-Action Frames
CHAPTER 3: Labor Journalism: Shop Papers, Yearbooks, and Collective Identity
CHAPTER 4: Literacy Education: Citizenship Schools and Community Organization
CHAPTER 5: Music Education: Framing Processes as Direct Action
Conclusion: Rhetorical Education as an Agency for Social Change
Myles Horton at Highlander
The Highlander Folk School s main building
Zilphia Horton singing on a picket line
Participants in Highlander s drama program
Charles Ferguson at 1941 Writers Workshop
Myles Horton and Rosa Parks at Highlander
Bernice Robinson teaches at a citizenship school
Guy Carawan and Septima Clark at Highlander
Guy Carawan sings at a 1960 workshop
Local sheriff padlocks the Highlander Folk School
In You Can t Padlock an Idea: Rhetorical Education at the Highlander Folk School, 1932-1961 , Stephen A. Schneider describes with admiration and analytical zest the activities of the Highlander Folk School, which opened as a residential educational experiment in 1932 and operated as a progressive force in labor and the organization of civil rights until it was closed on trumped-up charges by Tennessee authorities in 1961. Myles Horton, the visionary who founded and guided Highlander, gathered a succession of gifted teachers while forming alliances with progressive organizations and local communities in the South and beyond.
Schneider identifies the school s educational programs as rooted in and modeled on democratic principles, driven by and directed to immediate social and political ends. The educational programs thus had immediate practical application in the communities to which students returned as organizers, and at the same time the programs rehearsed the pragmatic, democratic, and, in Professor Schneider s interpretation, essentially rhetorical uses of drama, journalism, music, and literacy.
Schneider argues that the education experienced by Highlander students developed not only skills and identities, but also movement frames-both as the interpretive schemata that support movement activities and the rhetorical strategies developed from these schemata. An especially important quality of Schneider s work is his own framing of Highlander s work as rhetorical education-to make explicit, accessible, and usable the approaches embedded in the practices of Highlander. This Schneider accomplishes both in his own analytical work and, equally important, in his archival reconstructions of the school s practices and the practices of labor and civil rights organizing that they stimulated.
Thomas W. Benson
It goes without saying that any project of this length owes its existence to many stakeholders. The book s strengths reflect the constant inspiration of colleagues, friends, and family; any mistakes and shortcomings remain my own.
I have enjoyed the support and counsel of numerous scholars and colleagues-to the point that this as much their work as mine. You Can t Padlock an Idea owes its inception to Keith Gilyard. I am not sure I will ever be able to acknowledge all the contributions Keith has made to my intellectual and professional development, or articulate fully the influence his work continues to have on my own. Other teachers at Penn State likewise made timely contributions to the shape and general argument: Jeffrey Nealon, Rosa Eberly, Elaine Richardson, Jack Selzer, and Ronald Jackson II provided both support and critique when needed. Stuart Selber, Clement Hawes, Michael Berube, Aldon Nielsen, and Carla Mulford likewise provided early counsel on a number of levels.
The archival research was made possible by a number of groups. The Wilma Ebbitt Fellowship in Rhetoric at Penn State made preliminary research possible. A grant from the University of Alabama s Research Grants Committee allowed me to push the project forward and complete the initial manuscript. At the University of Louisville, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of English-particularly Dean Blaine Hudson, Susan Griffin, and the University Committee for Academic Publications-likewise provided crucial support needed to complete archival work and final revisions. I remain indebted to the entire archive staff at the Wisconsin Historical Society, who greeted many a request for more boxes with both patience and good humor. And, finally, Jim Denton and the staff at the University of South Carolina Press provided constant support for development and publication.
Colleagues at the University of Alabama and the University of Louisville likewise provided support as I worked to refine the central thesis and find it a home. Fred Whiting and the Americanist Workshop at the University of Alabama read and engaged early drafts. Luke Niiler, Tricia McElroy, James McNaughton, Nikhil Bilwakesh, and Sharon O Dair provided the energy and collegiality needed to get any project off the ground. Bill Ulmer deserves special thanks for the time he invested as a mentor and friend.
Bronwyn Williams, Mary Brydon-Miller, Amy Clukey, Mark Longaker, and Matthew Dowell all read various versions and provided feedback that gave the manuscript its final shape. Tony Ceraso and Jay Jordan have long been two of my most trusted sources of critical insight and inspiration. Special thanks is likewise reserved for Keith Miller, whose example and continued interest in my work has kept me honest and motivated. And to those friends who all in their own way kept me writing-Travis Reinke, B. J. Diltz, Brian Oliu, Luke Southworth, B. J. Hollars, Rob Dixon, Ryan Browne, and Harley Ferris-I offer a heartfelt thanks.
This project would not have been possible without with dedicated work of Highlander and its staff. My deepest gratitude goes to Susan Williams, Guy and Candie Carawan, and the staff at the Highlander Research and Education Center who made time to meet with me and talk over my ideas. I hope that this manuscript does justice to the important work that is still being done in Appalachian Tennessee.
Finally, my family has remained a constant, if sometimes too geographically distant, source of comfort and inspiration. To my father, Rudi, and my mother, Ann, I owe an incalculable debt. My grandparents-Earl, Joan, Ludwig, and Wally-have long provided inspiration and continue to give me a lot to live up to. My brother and sister-Jay and Suzie-along with Roberta, Laila, Jaclyn, and Audrey continue to provide warmth, humor, and a reminder about what really matters in life. Julie, Ellen, Jessye, Peter, and Elvie have only further enriched my life since coming into it. And finally, Martha, Rob, Irena, Kathryn, and the whole Mozer clan have also provided constant support, and made me feel like one of their own.
But it goes without saying that this project would not have been possible without the love, patience, and affection of my wife, Robin, and daughter, Lily. For making my life better and brighter each and every day, I thank you.
Parts of chapter 5 were previously published in my article The Sea Island Citizenship Schools: Literacy, Community Organization, and the Civil Rights Movement, College English 70.2 (2007): 144-67, copyright 2007 by the National Council of Teachers of English. It is reprinted with permission.
The Highlander Folk School, Movement Halfway Houses, and Rhetorical Education
On July 31, 1959, Tennessee District Attorney Albert Sloan led county and state law officers on a raid of the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee. The group was ostensibly looking for liquor, which they eventually found during an illegal search of Highlander founder Myles Horton s home. Four staff members, including civil rights activist Septima Clark and folk musician Guy Carawan, were arrested on trumped-up charges of possession of alcohol, public drunkenness, interfering with officers, and resisting arrest (Glen 1996, 232) * . On February 16, 1960, Circuit Court Judge Chester Chattin ordered that Highlander s charter be revoked on the grounds that the school had been operated for Horton s benefit, had sold liquor without a license, and had openly practiced racial integration (243). On October 9, 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review Highl

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