Edited by: Laura Finley (Barry University), Joanie Connors (Western New Mexico University), and Barbara Wien, (American University)
Review by: Guest Author Dr. Michael Furtado, St Mary’s in Exile Community, Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
Authored by scholars from a variety of disciplines, including English, Theology, Philosophy, Communications, Sociology, Humanities, and Peace Studies, this edited volume provides detailed descriptions of the many ways in which popular culture can be used to teach peace.
Chapters discuss documentary and feature films, music, television, literature, and more, providing both educators and the general public with a timely and useful tool for thinking about ways to promote peace. From popular dystopian novels like The Hunger Games to feature films like The Matrix to modern rap and hip-hop music, contributors to the book provide not only critical analyses of the violence in popular culture but also an assessment of how the same or alternate forms can be used by peace educators.
Additionally, each chapter provides synopses and teaching ideas, as well as recommended resources. In a world that often overwhelms us with stories of death and destruction, an era in which many people feel helpless in response to human brutality, this book helps remind us that there are things we can all do both to recognize the messages of violence permeating our culture, and act instead to promote recognition of the possibility of peace.
Michael Furtado is a former school-teacher in Catholic schools in the UK and Australia. He was not a success at school in India, where he was born, and so pursued alternative paths of education that took him to London, Strathclyde and Oxford universities. From there he migrated to Australia to explore the possibility of alternative schools for marginalised children. Catholic schools account for between a quarter and a fifth of all Australian schools and so are major Australian educational providers. Michael did a Masters at the University of WA and a PhD at Queensland University, while gaining experience in post-Vatican II approaches to human development and religious education. From 1985-92 he was Education Officer (Social Justice) at Brisbane Catholic Education. Michael currently works in a social inclusion education project, called Discovering Disability and Diversity, with a colleague with a disability, Sharon Boyce.