English Seminar: Lauren Weber, ‘Empathy and Autism in Contemporary Education: Reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’
Lauren Weber, ‘Empathy and Autism in Contemporary Education: Reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’
Empathy as an outcome of literary study is a core feature of the way English as a subject is figured in educational policy, and conceived of by English teachers. Mark Haddon’s 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is often cited by educators and medical practitioners as an example of the way literature can generate empathy for others in society. In New South Wales, the novel is part of the English Stage 6 Standard curriculum, which means it is widely taught across the state in the senior years of high-school. However, when it comes to empathy the novel is not as straightforward as the pedagogical literature makes it out to be, particularly because of the complex relationship empathy as a neuroscientific subject has with autism as a diagnosis. This paper thinks through the implications of teaching Curious Incident by reading the text through the lens of the neurodiversity paradigm in order to complicate and contribute to current debates about the empathic value of English.
Lauren Weber is in the final year of her PhD at the University of Sydney and Research Assistant on the Shakespeare Reloaded project.
This event will be held online via Zoom.
Contact: Liam Semler (firstname.lastname@example.org).