1st Edition

Never A Dull Moment
Teaching and the Art of Performance

ISBN 9780203903001
Published September 11, 2002 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

Teachers are really performers, classrooms are stages, and students the captivated audience. In beautiful prose, Felman invites us to watch her one woman show on the art of performance in today's classrooms. These essays take on the greatest hits of the academy: identity politics, sexual harrassment, academic censorship, and radical pedagogy. Felman's book is a performance not to be missed.


"Jyl Lynn Felman rewrites feminist pedagogy as a vibrant, political, and self-critical performative practice. Felman connects theory to experience, knowledge to risk-taking, and learning to the specificity of place and context. This is a book that equates pedagogy with courage, teaching with hope, and politics with particular bodies mutually crossing into uncharted territories where meaning, passion, justice, and critique open up new possibilities for critical learning and social change. Never a Dull Moment is a moving, courageous, and insightful book that every teacher, student, administrator, and parent should read." -- Henry Giroux, author of Fugitive Cultures
"Enlivened and literary...Readers are invited behind university scenes to ponder, from the inside out, a working portrait of the teacher. Felman animates a lively cast of characters, where even the curriculum seems to come alive to argue with the dilemmas and fantasies brought to a women's studies classroom...Felman's autobiography of pedagogy is also that of the teacher's own generation." -- Deborah P. Britzman, York University, Toronto
"In her exciting book Never a Dull Moment, Felman reveals the deeper value of 'face-to-face' teaching, not simply as a means of getting information across, but as a way of exploring some of the most sensitive gender and racial issues we confront in the contemporary classroom." -- Lillian S. Robinson, author of Sex, Class, and Culture
"Jyl Lynn Felman's brilliance as a teacher is unmistakable in this book--a dynamic combination of lyrical writing and provocative ideas. Anyone who has ever experienced the personal transformation that comes from teaching about social justice will recognize the wisdom in Felman's approach to educating the 'whole' student. Anyone who hasn't needs to read this book." -- Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
"Felman never fails to excite and shake up her readers. Here she is at the top of her game-witty, insightful, provocative, sexy, and moving. Every classroom would benefit from Felman's approach, and universities would become centers of life culture instead of institutions dedicated to destroying our interest in ideas, if this book became the standard by which tenure was granted. Get every college president you know to read it." -- Tikkun
"In this collection of essays, Felman reveals how she helps her students understand the 'big picture' and how she teaches them to transform themselves while discarding the distorted views they may have about others." -- Library Journal
"In this book--perhaps better understood as a collection of one-act plays rather than a series of pedagogical essays--she writes about her own experiences as an instructor and a feminist in a classroom that, for her purposes, she treats as little different from live theater. Ms. Felman uses an academic version of improvisation--a traditional tool of the actor--to deal with issues in women's studies." -- Chronicle of Higher Education