The Trade of the Teacher
Visual Thinking with Mieke Bal
Over a number of meetings Jeroen Lutters and Mieke Bal engaged in a conversation on the art of teaching. Looking for a dialogue that would also touch on the role of visual art, Lutters brought in paintings by Banksy, Rembrandt, Marlene Dumas, and George Deem as ‘teaching objects’—one for each conversation.
He asked Mieke Bal what these paintings might have to say about teaching. The result is this publication: it is a personal, meandering, and precise account of Mieke Bal’s way of thinking through visual art and literature, and how she exchanges her ideas about this with students and colleagues. This text makes clear how objects can speak, how they are thought-images; how we can use them, how they teach us to find answers to important questions, just by looking, listening, reading, in the triangle of student, teacher and teaching object.
‘The Trade of the Teacher’ will hopefully serve as a source of inspiration to students and teachers—especially in the arts and the humanities—who are longing for a counter-voice in a complex educational arena.