1st Edition

Without a Word Teaching Beyond Women's Silence

By Magda Gere Lewis Copyright 1993
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    The question of women’s silence within academic settings has received a great deal of attention. And much feminist educational scholarship has devoted itself to creating spaces where women’s stories and experiences can be told. Without a Word (first published in 1993) raises the question of women’s silence from a radical new perspective, lending at long last a theoretical basis and sophistication to this important issue.

    The author considers the subject of silence from a variety of conceptual and practical perspectives. When does silene occur among women? How does it emerge? What are its complex origins? What are its devastating effects? Lewis also discusses the different types of silence: the one which is an expression of a woman’s oppression and the one which is her act of revolt.

    Actual classroom interactions, student experiences, literary and filmic depictions of women, and her own personal voice are the material from which Lewis crafts her powerful theory. Intended to offer an understanding of the subject which can help feminists and teachers struggling to change the nature and dynamics of classroom experience for all students, Without a Word dramatizes the issue of silence in a way that moves beyond the mere need for women to speak and be heard. This book is a must read for students and researchers of education, feminist studies, women studies, and sociology.

    1. Beginnings  2. Framing women and silence: Disrupting the hierarchy of discursive practices  3. taking (our) place in the academy  4. Learning femininity: Schooling and the struggle for self  5. De/siring text: Feminist student in the classroom  6. Interrupting patriarchy: Feminist teacher in the classroom  7. After the words


    Magda Gere Lewis retired from the Queen’s University, Canada, where she taught in the Women’s Studies Programme. For close to thirty-five years, Dr. Lewis has been associated with a large variety of social transformation projects including peace education, alternative schooling, and critiques of the neo-liberal turn in society and culture. Her research and publications range from feminist and critical social theory with a focus on voice, equity, structures of power and social justice; critical analysis of Higher Education and the marketization of the academy; and critiques of neo-liberalism in programme delivery, administrative and ethics review processes in universities.

    Review of the first publication:

    “This is a very eloquent book, which uses almost - poetic prose to explore the contradiction between women's silence as oppression and as resistance. Lewis draws together concrete experience with theoretical abstractions to explore the meaning of silence.”

    --- Brenda L. Beagan, University of British Columbia