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Challenges of a “Pedagogy of Discomfort”
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Comments from a New Zealander
|Posted By: Karen Vaughan on September 11, 2002|
|Firstly, I'd like to thank both authors for raising the notion of a pedagogy of discomfort in relation to patriotism in the wake of September 11. The article provides a useful way for non-USers to think about the events, publicity, and activities since then. |
While many, if not most, NZers are outraged and frightened by the terrorism directed at the US, and have extended friendship and support to the US, there is also much dismay, outrage, and fear over the actions of the United States' government. Those feelings can be placed in a context of a still rather uneasy relationship with the US, perhaps best exemplified by NZ's anti-nuclear stance and US repsonse of removing NZ from ANZUS, downgrading NZ from "ally" to "friend". A pedagogy of discomfort allows NZers to situate complex feelings about September 11 and its aftermath and (re)consider the NZ-US relationship in terms that allow us to think about the United States and the world generally beyond reactions to what may look like US arrogance, or assumptions about centrality of the United States, to being able to think about the citizens of the United States - as themselves struggling with how to think clearly about their response(s) to events and their place in the world. It's common for NZers to react to USers and forget that USers do not have all the answers (even if not everyone agrees with them); we ALL need to keep thinking and consider taking a lead ourselves.