A Southern Treasure

  • William F. Pinar


Joe L. Kincheloe died suddenly on December 19, 2008, cutting short an astonishing career that traversed the history of education to curriculum studies and critical pedagogy. It is a body of work that merits our sustained and critical attention, as it articulates the key concepts and issues with which many of us have grappled during the past twenty years. One place to begin the study of Kincheloe’s work is Shreveport, Louisiana, where I met Joe in 1989. At that time I was chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at LSU-Baton Rouge with jurisdiction (technically, not practically) over teacher education at LSU-Shreveport, where Kincheloe taught courses in the history of education. Joe and I hit it off from the start, deciding to collaborate first over doctoral course offerings at Shreveport1 and then over the concept of “place.” Still in shock over the move from Rochester, New York (where I had taught from 1972-1985) I was relieved to find a receptive and engaging Joe Kincheloe. Even with his East Tennessee upbringing and doctorate from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Joe agreed with me that Louisiana demanded, well, explanation. The uniqueness of Louisiana not only pointed to its own peculiar history and distinctive multi-culture, it underscored the particularity – including the historicity (Roberts 1995, p. 64) - of every place, however muted some places seem.