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Passing in the Works of Charles W. Chesnutt$
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Susan Prothro Wright and Ernestine Pickens Glass

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604734164

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604734164.001.0001

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Signifying the Other

Signifying the Other

Chesnutt’s “Methods of Teaching”

(p.9) Signifying the Other
Passing in the Works of Charles W. Chesnutt

SallyAnn H. Ferguson

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses Chesnutt’s speech which was called “Modern Methods of Instruction,” which later on appeared in print as part of the segregated black North Carolina Teachers Association’s annual minutes with its title changed to “Methods of Teaching.” Although it reads like a scholarly treatise celebrating the achievements of certain European intellectuals and their work, its misquotations, inclusions, and omissions signal the impact of nineteenth-century racial politics on the public utterances of this budding short story writer, novelist, and essayist. Altering the ideas of various teaching theories and methods developed by ancient and modern Eurocentric thinkers to fit his subtext of African-American educational expansion freed him to put on oral and written performances that simultaneously catered to the disparate cultural needs and expectations of the association’s racially mixed audience.

Keywords:   scholarly treatise, European intellectuals, racial politics, teaching theories, Eurocentric thinkers

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