Charts and Essentialism

I have a lot of work to do, but I justify not doing it based on my debate work. I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but sometimes I just have to decompress a bit.

So I've been catching up on podcasts - mostly I listen to experimental music, classical music and buddhism podcasts.

I've also been watching some documentaries. I'm very interested in Tibet lately so I've been watching films about that. I just saw one that could have been really good - 10 Questions to the Dalai Lama, but the filmmaker was one of these oversimplistic neo-liberal types who asked loaded questions.  It was somewhat silly.

I also post to my blog.

I've been teaching a small seminar on Feminist Rhetorical Theory. I think it's going well. One of the things that I did was make a chart to explain some of the differences between thinkers. The chart is problematic because it is essentialist. But it's essentialist character, I think, makes it a good condensation point for teaching.

However the problem of how to point to the chart's essentialist character hangs. If you do this, you might ruin the pedagogical value of the chart.

I think it is like identifying clash points in a debate - you start there and the debate goes and gets good. But if you finish with only that, you are actually more confused, and you wish the debate never happened.

Unsure where to go from here.