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Forgotten Places

Critical Studies in Rural Education


Edited By William M. Reynolds

Forgotten Places: Critical Studies in Rural Education critically investigates and informs the construction of the rural, rural identity and the understanding of the rural internationally. This book promotes and expands the notion of critical understandings of rural education, particularly in the areas of race, class, gender, and LGBTQ, with conceptualizations of social justice. While there have been many volumes written on critical issues in urban education, only a small number have been produced on rural education, and the majority of those are not critical. By contrast, Forgotten Places not only discusses "schools in the country," but also expands conceptualizations of the rural beyond schools and place as well as beyond the borders of the United States. It also tackles the artificial duality between conceptualizations of urban and rural. Forgotten Places includes scholarly investigations into the connections among the symbolic order, various forms of cultural artifacts and multiple readings of these artifacts within the context of critical/transformational pedagogy. This book fills a significant gap in the scholarly work on the ramifications of the rural.

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Foreword: Rural Tourist (Shirley Steinberg)


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Rural Tourist


Joe Kincheloe often referred to me as a “callous, urbane sophisticate,” ironically acknowledging that, despite my claim to urban roots, a decade and a half of my life was rural … incredibly rural. Born in Baltimore, raised in Los Angeles, at 22, my geographic center was ruptured when I married a Canadian from Southern Alberta, and moved to the epicenter of a prairie to begin my life in a town of never more than 1500 citizens.

Perhaps one of the best ways to observe an area is to be in it, but not of it. Certainly, I was not in any way “of” a rural area. But being “in” it, and as a participatory human being, I grabbed the opportunity and planned to make rural living my own. I’ve never been sure who was more culture shocked, me or those who met me; most had never seen a Jew with 99% of the population belonging to one of the town’s three Christian denominations. I’m quite positive that no one was prepared for a fast-talking, irreverent LA girl.

The town had no dry cleaners, restaurants, and few paved roads. But it had churches, it most definitely had churches. Not more than ten miles from our borders were three Hutterite colonies, small mini-towns with less than 125 German Christian inhabitants attempting to retain their beyond-rural agrarian lives. We would...

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