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The Theater of Politics: Hannah Arendt, Political Science, and Higher Education

The Theater of Politics: Hannah Arendt, Political Science, and Higher Education (Hardback)

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For Hannah Arendt, creating a durable, civil public world was of utmost importance. Though many have discussed Arendt's relevance to the contemporary work of politics, Eric Gorham is the first to examine her ideas of the "space of appearance" in the context of the university classroom. In The Theater of Politics, Gorham examines in detail Arendt's dramaturgical theory of politics and her method of political criticism and maintains that politics can be observed in the classroom, in which students are future political actors and spectators in training. Using Arendt as a theoretical platform, Gorham offers innovative ideas for politicizing the classroom and for reconceptualizing faculty and student community service: If professors and administrators can imagine their tasks in light of lessons learned from classical theater, then students will benefit from a renewed emphasis on teaching.

Gorham moves to redraw the basis of political citizenship, criticizing arguments offered by civic republican and communitarian theorists and crafting a richer, more judicious concept of citizenship-one that can be learned and practiced in the political science classroom in particular and in the university in general.

Eric B. Gorham is Associate Professor of Political Science at Loyola University. He is the author of National Service, Citizenship, and Political Education, as well as numerous articles and conference presentations on citizenship and higher education.

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