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Boler, Megan. "The Risks of Empathy: Interrogating multiculturalism’s gaze." Cultural Studies 11. (1997): 253–73. 
Added by: joachim (7/20/09, 1:29 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (10/1/11, 12:09 PM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1080/09502389700490141
BibTeX citation key: Boler1997
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Maus", Didactics, Reception, Sociology, Spiegelman. Art, USA
Creators: Boler
Collection: Cultural Studies
Views: 31/1036
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Abstract
Empathy is widely embraced as a means of educating the social imagination; from John Dewey to Martha Nussbaum, Cornel West to bell hooks, we find empathy advocated as the foundation for democracy and social change. In this article I examine how students’ readings of Art Spiegelman’s MAUS, a comicbook genre depiction of his father’s survival of Nazi Germany, produces the Aristotelian version of empathy advocated by Nussbaum. This ‘passive empathy’, I argue, falls far short of assuring any basis for social change, and reinscribes a ‘consumptive’ mode of identification with the other. I invoke a ‘semiotics of empathy’, which emphasizes the power and social hierarchies which complicate the relationship between reader/listener and text/speaker. I argue that educators need to encourage what I shall define as ‘testimonial reading’ which requires the reader’s responsibility.
Added by: joachim  Last edited by: joachim
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