Do you care about queer and trans* identified students? Would you like to learn how to become an active trans* ally for your peers and and your pupils? If so, keep reading.
Check out TSER, an organization devoted to helping and advocating for Trans* students in k-12 education and aiding the educators who would like to do the same. We currently building our base of followers and would love for you to check us out and maybe do a little promoting so we can become more known on Tumblr before the start of this next school year and reach as many trans* students and teachers of trans* youth as possible.
This summer is my first time teaching as the sole instructor for a course. For the past four weeks, my students and I have been exploring topics in the sociology of sexuality, from gender attribution to the invention of heterosexuality to problems with the “scientific” study of sex.
When this course is taught during the regular academic year, it’s capped around 300 students — I ended up with 22 enrolled, and really wanted to take advantage of the small size to create a space that is rapidly disappearing from the undergraduate experience at large public universities: a seminar-like environment. The format thus far has been part discussion, part lecture — usually we discuss the readings for the first hour (using posts on a class blog as a starting point) and then I lecture briefly afterwards on any critical points that haven’t been raised thus far.
To me, this feels like a very queer setting, in that it’s slightly disrupted the ways in which undergraduate “learning” predominantly takes place. I’ve done my best to create an environment in which a real classroom community can flourish, in which we can all attempt to examine the things that we “know” coming in and put those knowledges into conversation with academic and activist writings on sexuality.
As we move into the second half of the quarter, I’m looking forward to seeing how students develop their ideas into online essays exploring some facet of the social construction of sexuality. I’m also thinking about how I might deploy some of these techniques of queering learning spaces in larger classes, which in ways are much more resistant to any alteration of the norms that govern the interactions between students, their peers, and instructors.
CFP/abstracts: QUEER LANDSCAPES: Mapping Queer Space(s) of Praxis and Pedagogy
Please share widely.
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS/PAPERS
We invite contributions to our proposed volume, Queer Landscapes: Mapping Queer Space(s) of Praxis and Pedagogy. For two decades, queer theory has provided a flexible methodology for engaging the world. This broad theoretical approach is slowly working to dissolve dialectical boundaries erected to contain rigid distinctions separating disciplines within the academy, and the academy itself from the world beyond. In doing so, queer theory has opened up new landscapes in diverse fields in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, pushing us to reconsider the ways in which we organize and navigate knowledge.
Queer Landscapes seeks to further “queer” scholarship and praxis by bringing together thinkers and activists to explore how we see, write, read, experience, and teach through the fluid space of queerness. We are interested in how queer-identified and -influenced people create ideas, works, classrooms, and other spaces (e.g., digital, activist) that vivify relational and (eco)systems thinking, thus challenging accepted hierarchies, binaries, and hegemonies. Our volume will feature theorist-practitioners who have already made huge strides in helping us to open new landscapes of queer thinking and being, and we also welcome fresh new voices to a community of scholars and activists.
Possible areas of interest include, but are certainly not limited to:
* Digital Humanities
* Disability Studies
* Ecocriticism & Environmental Justice Studies
* Ethnic & Critical Race Studies
* Gender & Sexuality Studies
* Global Studies
* Literature, Film, & Media Studies
* Music & Visual Arts
* Pedagogy & Literacy Studies
* Social Sciences
In sum, Queer Landscapes will offer academicians at the college and secondary levels, as well as lay readers, an accessible volume that challenge delimiting ways of thinking and being to incite radically nondualistic alternative spaces for thought and action.
We welcome proposals for both critical essays and shorter and/or non-traditional writing that will contribute to the volume’s goal of exploring queer landscapes. Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words and a short bio of approximately 150 words to email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> no later than 11:59 PM (MST) July 31, 2012. Note: Complete papers, along with abstract and bio, are also welcome.
We will notify authors of acceptance/rejection no later than August 15, 2012. Several publishers have already expressed interest in this volume, so we plan to submit the full proposal early this fall. Final versions of critical essays will need to be between 6,000 and 8,000 (inclusive of endnotes) and must conform to MLA style guidelines. Guidelines for final versions of shorter and/or non-traditional pieces will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
ABOUT THE EDITORS
Elizabeth McNeil teaches writing and American ethnic, “freak” studies, and transgender and intersex literatures and film at Arizona State University. She is co-editor of Sapphire’s Literary Breakthrough: Erotic Literacies, Feminist Pedagogies, Environmental Justice Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and author of Trickster Discourse: Mediating Transformation for a New World (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2010).
James Wermers teaches literature, philosophy, and composition at Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix Campus. He has published on Shakespeare and contemporary film, with a particular focus on how conceptions of race and sexuality impact our understanding of the world.
i participated in the queer pedagogical performance graduate interest group sponsored by the university of washington’s simpson center during the 2011-2012 academic year. building on work the group had done in the prior year, we sought to put on a workshop addressing the promises of a queer pedagogy, build around three acts: (1) fostering inclusive classroom spaces; (2) negotiating instructor identities; and (3) queering classroom content and method. over the course of the year, we met to discuss each of these acts and developed a number of resources and activities.
in may 2012, we hosted a three-hour workshop entitled “performances of queer pedagogy”. the workshop was attended by teaching assistants and faculty from a number of departments at the uw, and a few from other institutions. over the course of the afternoon, we explored what it might mean to enact a queer pedagogy. additionally, with the assistance of members of the interactive theater faculty and professional learning community at the uw, we were able to integrate forum theatre into the workshop so that participants could try out different means of responding to homophobia in the classroom.
qpp will not continue as a simpson center graduate interest group in 2012-2013. however, i and other members of the group continue to work towards building a community around queer pedagogical practice at the uw and beyond.
you can download the project evaluation as well as the resource packet that was provided to participants here.
lindsay rose russell (primary), heather arvidson, annie dwyer, asia ferrin, chelsea jennings, japhet johnson, cecilia kiely, merritt kopas, andy meyer, eric scheufler
putting together a three-hour workshop on a subject as slippery as queer pedagogy was a difficult task. as a group, we faced the challenge of translating conversations around queer pedagogy — which often operate mainly in the mode of critique — into activities, provocations, and scenarios which could be presented in a workshop setting. this necessity helped me think through some ways in which queer critiques might be practically applied to my own pedagogy. i continue to read on radical and queer pedagogies and to work on creating inclusive classroom communities that challenge oppressive conceptualizations of gender and sexuality.
hello! i am an educator in downtown oakland, working with high-school aged young Asian, self-identified womyn via an empowerment and organizing program. i have been developing popular education curriculum (as well as using / editting existing curriculum) around gender, sexuality, relationships, knowledge production, media literacy, intersectionality, healing, and self-determination for high school students. i have been putting a lot of energy into queering a mostly heteronormative as well as straight-identified space in a way that does not otherize, but instead, highlights the ways we are all queer / non-normative, as a strategy to transform culture and ways of being. through this political and leadership development, our young folks are going into high-school classrooms, presenting on what comprehensive sex education justice is / should / can look like, and then surveying students to see what is missing / what they envision an effective and relevant comprehensive sex education program to look like.
i am aware and actively thinking about:
- the limitations of the non-profit industrial complex
- how and where to queer within institutions like the npic, as well as the public (and now increasingly privatized) education system
- queering space, language, pedagogy
- where culture change is happening via this work and how this cracks open doors to more possibilities
- how to integrate an anti-capitalist foundation, something i feel is necessary for any queer pedagogy
i share these thoughts as a way to introduce myself to this community and begin dialogue here or outside of this space.
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