Queer Theory and Education

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A special issue of Sexualities : bareback sex and queer theory across three national contexts (France, UK, USA)

A special issue of Sexualities : bareback sex and queer theory across three national contexts (France, UK, USA)

It is also important to bear in mind that even during the relatively short period with which this special issue is primarily concerned (1996–2014), some risk-reduction practices which were initially named, understood and resisted as ‘bareback’ have since become relatively normalized parts of community-driven safer sex education (Girard, 2013). This is particularly apparent in the case of the French bareback writer Guillaume Dustan (see the articles by Elliot Evans and Oliver Davis) and his

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Fucking management: Queer, theory and reflexivity

Fucking management: Queer, theory and reflexivity

Finally then, management as a discipline, as a place that I inhabit on an everyday basis. Whilst much of what I have suggested above has clear implications for ‘intellectual’ practices generally, I wish to focus here on some of the institutional issues. Above all, I would say, queer insists on a reflexivity about knowledge, about the places and spaces whereby certain forms of knowing are legitimated, about the subjects and objects of enquiry and the manners that pertain to its production and distribution. Now in one sense this obviously means disrupting certain assumptions about the place of queers within the academy. Most of Higher Education is still premised on largely heterosexist assumptions about ‘being married to the job’. It trades on the increasingly hyperproductive and hypercompetitive preconditions for an academic ‘career’ which rely on instrumental reasoning and abstraction (Wiegman, 1997). This might be seen as a liberal problem of inclusion, and addressing it requires that queers are brought in from the cold - in terms of different living arrangements, pension schemes, anti-discrimination policies and so on (see, for example, Humphrey, 1999). But, more importantly for my argument, queer also disrupts some of the pretensions that the liberal academy has about itself. Queering the academy does not only mean making an academy of queers, but queering the idea of the academy. Like feminism, queer theory’s foregrounding of desire and power can:
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Individual and Intra-Individual Differences in Interest during Instrumental Music Classes in Suburban High Schools

Individual and Intra-Individual Differences in Interest during Instrumental Music Classes in Suburban High Schools

Kumashiro (2001) argues, “Queer Theory, like much of gay and lesbian studies, has left issues of race largely untouched” (p.197). Kumashiro’s argument suggests a need to investigate how the intersections of race, culture, and heteronormativity have significant impact on experiences and interactions within higher education. A full development of these theoretically intersecting frameworks allows for an understanding of how individuals are situated within a myriad of oppressive social and educational systems. Analyzing these intersections provides an opportunity to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of campus climates. Inclusive, safe campus climates can exist for Gay Latino men. However, this is predicated on first exploring their experiences on using a QueerCrit framework (D’Augelli, 1989b; Rankin, 2003; Rhoads, 1995). Critical examination of race and sexuality on college campuses requires a distinct understanding of QueerCrit and queer theory. It is important to note how QueerCrit differs from queer theory. Whereas the former does not discount racial identity, the latter can be limiting in its acknowledgment of the sometimes racialized dimensions of queer discourse.
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Queering “the idea of the university”: two queer conceptualizations of discursive deployment in higher education literature

Queering “the idea of the university”: two queer conceptualizations of discursive deployment in higher education literature

Just as Butler’s Gender Trouble is frequently accused of ills and credited for statements that are difficult to find between its covers, the use of Newman’s The Idea of the University has been “plagued” by “misunderstandings” (Ker, 1999, p. 11), or perhaps resignifications. As certain authors have indicated (Dunne, 2006; Ker, 1999; Turner, 1996), Newman’s text is not always perceived as being about the ‘idea’ of the university. What it is about is contested; Dunne (2006, p. 417), for example, states that it is about the idea of “‘the educated mind’”, while for Ker (1999, p. 11) it is about “the actual historical attempt to found a Catholic University in Dublin.” The ‘queer’ of queer theory builds on its origins as an insult to claim political agency. In a similar manner, the signifiers ‘Newman’ and ‘The Idea of a University’ have taken on resignifications that, because of (not in spite of) their origins, evoke tradition and abstract thinking, without necessarily conveying the content or argument of the ‘original’ text. The implication of this is that the concepts of ‘Newman’ and ‘the idea of the university,’ worn into different meanings by citation, no longer need to signify, or be signified by, an understanding of the ‘original’ text: “something queer [has] happen[ed] to the signified…and something queer [has] happen[ed] to the signifier” (Britzman, 1995, p. 153).
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Flipside Theory: Emerging Perspectives in Literary Criticism

Flipside Theory: Emerging Perspectives in Literary Criticism

By historicization of literary theories is meant the recogni- tion that the emergence of a literary theory is often, if not always, facilitated by certain historical needs or circum- stances, facilitated rather than determined or conditioned in the Marxist sense of those concepts. Indeed, theoretical frameworks, conceptual tools and practical approaches used within the broad background of research and scholarship are sometimes informed by real life situations. Marxism for in- stance, and by extension, Marxist literary theory, is one such worldview that shows a significant level of historicization since it was informed largely by the circumstances of the nineteenth century when the industrial revolution aggravated social divisions and social processes between industrialists (broadly speaking, owners of the means of production) or the bourgeoisie and workers and the poor or the proletari- at. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels actually never wrote a work dedicated to the subject of aesthetics or literary theo- ry. Marxist literary theory is rather derived from the appli- cation of Marxist principles (such as the preponderant role of economy in social dynamics, ideology, power relations, class struggle and class conflicts, revolution, religion and its social functions, alienation, and aesthetics) to literature.
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Queering the Terrain: Lesbian Identity and Rights in International Law

Queering the Terrain: Lesbian Identity and Rights in International Law

Di’s body of work is remarkable for opening the door to addressing women’s sexual expression, diversity, and pleasure in international law. She has provoked us to go beyond equating women’s sexuality with danger and victimhood. While many challenges remain, the passion and humanity evident in her work compel us to harness the power of feminism to address both that discipline’s and queer theory’s blind spots concerning female sexualities. Further, because her work focuses on solutions, it has equipped us with tools to do so. This is a remarkably rich legacy, and one that future generations of feminist scholars of international law will undoubtedly continue to draw upon and be inspired by.
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Dragging the yoke of identity : sexual difference in fin-de-siècle nineteenth- and twentieth-century French and Francophone literature

Dragging the yoke of identity : sexual difference in fin-de-siècle nineteenth- and twentieth-century French and Francophone literature

milieu. That she held in contempt this bourgeois (and even merely European) life is undeniable. In “L’âge du néant,” a trenchant work of satirical social commentary written in 1899 and published under the name Mahmoud Saadi, she excoriates the Europeans she sees at a theatre in Marseilles of an evening. Evoking both a Zolaesque preoccupation with heredity and an almost Baudelairean fascination with and disdain for both the mal du siècle and the artifice of women, she characterizes all that she witnesses around her in the “triste foule massée sous [ses] yeux” as the “profonde tragi-comédie moderne” (Eberhardt, Écrits 2: 529, 530). Like many of her contemporaries, Eberhardt sought to escape Europe and all the trappings of the decadent society she so deeply resented. In this regard, her life and writings resemble Elaine Showalter’s examination in Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siècle (1990) of the “male quest romance” of roughly the same period in that they “represent a yearning for escape from a confining society, rigidly structured in terms of gender, class, and race, to a mythologized place elsewhere” (Showalter 81). As a child Eberhardt did so by turning to the writing of people like Pierre Loti, the (in)famous Orientalist, only to turn literally to the Orient in later life and lose herself in the desert. As Jarrod Hayes infers in Queer Nations: Marginal Sexualities in the Maghreb (2000): “Travel to the ‘Orient’ was the continuation of reading fiction [about it]” (Hayes 26). Hayes’s statement is one way to anchor the assertion that Eberhardt’s practices are tied to and revealed by her fiction, since she too digested much of what was written about the Orient before finally sojourning there and experiencing it for herself.
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6184.pdf

6184.pdf

In terms of the discussion of films, I focus more on the narrative, but not without a discussion of their visual aspects. While it might be argued that mainstream works of film studies should or do focus more on cinematic techniques than narrative, in truth, many scholars that engage with minor cinemas, Queer Cinema included, find the narrative equally, if not oftentimes more important than cinematography. For example, Michele Aaron suggests that many films of the New Queer Cinema sport poor aesthetic strategies (Aaron, 3). The reason for this seemingly unorthodox approach, in the case of minor cinema, is that many directors are novices to the practice, have small budgets, and focus more explicitly on getting a ‘minor’ story across. The object of the queer film theorist is not necessarily analyzing only those films with sophisticated film techniques, but instead even those films, however artless in terms of cinematography, which suggest a gay subtext. As Susie Bright points out in Celluloid Closet (1995), a documentary on history of queer cinema, “It’s amazing how if you’re a gay audience and you’re accustomed to crumbs, how you will watch an entire movie just to see somebody wear an outfit that you think means that they are homosexual. The whole movie can be a dud, but you’re just sitting there waiting for Joan Crawford to put on her black cowboy shirt again.” 1
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‘Shanghai is Burning’: Extravaganza, transgender representation and transnational cinema

‘Shanghai is Burning’: Extravaganza, transgender representation and transnational cinema

13 queer film collective based in Shanghai. The producer of the film, Will Dai, is Chinese and the director Baren is British. Among the twelve members of the cast, only four are Chinese nationals. The film dialogue is in English, with only scant Chinese dialogues. The film is subtitled in English and Chinese and is obviously made for an international audience. The film has been shown at international events in Shanghai (such as at the DKSTRKT group launch or a CINEMQ screening event) and at various film festivals (including the Guangzhou International LGBT Film Festival 2018, KINQ, Moscow 2018, Shanghai Queer Film Festival 2018, Gender Reel Film Festival 2018, Ljubljana LGBT Film Festival 2018, Beijing Queer Film Festival 2018 and Scottish Queer international Film Festival 2018). Few audience members, and even film critics, would confidently identify Extravaganza as a ‘Chinese film’. Labelling this film as a British film based solely on the director’s nationality or seeing the film as a China-UK coproduction, is equally problematic; Baren himself would not entertain the possibility as this does not give due credit to the Shanghai-based production and cast team, the people with whom he worked closely on the film. The independent production that derived from a collective enterprise defies the capitalist logic of individualism, private property and fixed identity categories. This section engages with the discussions of the national and the transnational in the context of Chinese cinema and Chinese film studies in order to gain a better understanding of the ‘identity’ of the film.
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A transpositive approach to therapy with transgender clients: An exploration of therapists' subjective experiences

A transpositive approach to therapy with transgender clients: An exploration of therapists' subjective experiences

transgender clients aligns with a queer reading of positionality. Ahmed (2006) discusses a queer phenomenology of ‘orientation’ as requiring perception and interpretations in space and time. Taking the concept toward its literal meaning, she argues that orientations are about how space is inhabited, what objects are in our line of sight, and how historically and socially situated knowledges come to impact the differentiation of that object. In this way, Ahmed (2006) highlights that intentionally orienting oneself toward others might involve becoming aware of how one inhabits space, how their positioning affects what they see, and how their histories affect how they make sense of what is seen. In the context of this study, therapists explained that they had to examine their perspectives and their knowledge in preparing to work with transgender clients from a transpositive approach. Although therapists did not explicitly describe having to bring their awareness to their orientation in space and time, their articulation of how they prepared for working with transgender clients indirectly demonstrated that their a priori orientation was not sufficient for approaching transgender clients. They were engaged in a process of deconstruction (examining broader structures of power) and re-narration (integrating context specific knowledge into existing frameworks) in order for their work to materialize as transpositive.
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A Resistance of Normality through Imagery: Queer Aesthetics and Contemporary Queer Photography

A Resistance of Normality through Imagery: Queer Aesthetics and Contemporary Queer Photography

Discussing queer opacity in relation to visibility, invisibility, and disidentification has illuminated the artists’ different stances regarding their identities and the communities they seek to make a statement about. There were several trends identified in relation to the artists and their work. Specifically, Muholi's Somnyama Ngonyama demonstrated her changed stance towards visibility and thereby, her slow progression to invisibility. On the other hand, Okabe's Bible indicated her oscillation between visibility and invisibility while Blas's Facial Weaponization Suite illustrated his operation in the mode of complete invisibility. This suggested that even though all the artists deal with queer issues, they deal with them differently based on their subjective experiences and the context within which they operate. Additionally, Muholi and Okabe comment on the negative living experiences of South Africa’s lesbians and transmen and the Japanese transgender community, respectively, which may affectively create diasporic connections with people who escaped elsewhere to avoid these conditions. At the same time, Blas’s work is about tactical misrecognition which attempts to stimulate identification based on disidentification, creating a confusion that forces people to question their own relationship to surveillance and biometric technologies. Understanding these wider connections allows for a perception of these works not as merely individual, but as immensely social, a condition which strengthens their transformative potential. 233
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Measure of a Man: A Grounded Theory Approach to Understanding Gay/Queer College Men’s Self Identified Masculinity

Measure of a Man: A Grounded Theory Approach to Understanding Gay/Queer College Men’s Self Identified Masculinity

College students enter their institutions with a variety of life experiences and expectations. Attempting to manage a progressively diverse range of students in regard to age, educational purposes, background and preparation, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity is a major challenge for institutions of higher education. Diversity brings a variety of strengths and understanding to the educational experience of students and provides role models for individuals in an increasingly varied student body. Members of marginalized groups have struggled with having their voices heard (Taywaditep, 2014). Expectation for modern college students goes beyond the traditional classroom requirements. The student role as solely a classroom learner evolved to include peer educator, counselor, leader, resume builder, and service provider (Chickering, 1993). Instead of an educational environment founded in a perspective that the student is an empty vessel waiting to be filled with the imparted knowledge of the instructor, the student is now the consumer who is vocal with regard to his/her expectations from the classroom, (Freire, 1970).
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Postmaternal, postwork and the maternal death drive

Postmaternal, postwork and the maternal death drive

My aim here is to open up the notion of the ‘postmaternal’ through bringing it into some kind of proximity with Weeks (2011) concept ‘postwork’. ‘Postwork’ is a rather different attempt to respond to some of the same problematics that Stephens identifies in the ways work and care (or social reproduction) have become so separated from one another, and draws on 1970s Marxist feminist texts about wages for housework to reanimate a utopian demand for a postwork politics. In bringing these two terms into relation with one another I’m seeking to think with and against the postmaternal, by suggesting, with Weeks, that there is a strategic need for making certain demands in the name of both social reproduction and work, that go beyond the neomaternalism (albeit a feminist one) that underpins Stephen’s analysis of the postmaternal discourses that surely do surround us. However, the thrust of my argument is that we also need to continue to prize open the implications of using mothering to signify the tripartite conjunction of care, nurture and the management of states of dependency when we make arguments about work and care in public life. Mothering may include practices of care and nurturance, but it also concerns the daily management and experience, for those who mother, of hatred, aggression, guilt, fear, frustration, violence and despair, that have some relation, even if a retroactive and indirect one, to early experiences of being mothered (Kraemer 1996; Lewis 2016; Parker 1995; Stone 2011). I aim, therefore, to track across psychoanalytic and social theory, trying to keep open the
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An Examination of the Emergence of the Queer Figure in North American Culture Using a Queer Marxist Theoretical Framework

An Examination of the Emergence of the Queer Figure in North American Culture Using a Queer Marxist Theoretical Framework

Dictionary.com defines the adjective “queer” as: “strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different.” 27 This notion of strange in the hands of the bigot was extended to mean unnatural in reference to the LGBTQ2+ population, in which Queer, as a noun, has now come to refer to: “Slang: Disparaging and Offensive… a contemptuous term used to refer to a homosexual…[or] to a person who does not conform to a normative sexual orientation or gender identity.” 28 In response to this bigoted perspective, the LGBTQ2+ community has reclaimed the word queer as a positive or neutral signifier (Warner, 1993). 29 Use of the term queer within the LGBTQ2+ community describes gender and sexual identities that "queer," or problematize, the gender binary ideology and cisnormativity (University of Michigan, 2016). 30 In other words, in some contexts, it is important to note that the word queer is employed as a verb. Using the word queer in this sense represents a conscious effort to undermine queer as a “contemptuous term,” while also describing a social condition that does not “conform to a normative sexual orientation or gender identity.” Like derogatory uses of the term, the LGBTQ2+ community denotatively defines queer as “strange,” but unlike derogatory uses of the term, they change queer from a negative to a positive signifier in order to represent this “strangeness” as exceptional. 31
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Sociology and postcolonialism: another 'missing' revolution?

Sociology and postcolonialism: another 'missing' revolution?

Stacey and Thorne‟s (1985) paper outlining a „missing feminist revolution‟ in sociology was fundamental both in galvanizing a specifically feminist critique of sociology and providing the structure for subsequent discussions regarding other absences, perhaps especially, sexuality (see Warner, 1993; Seidman, 1994, 1997; Stein and Plummer, 1994). The optimism that had existed among feminist academics in the 1970s – that the insights of a feminist perspective were in the process of revolutionizing disciplines and fields of inquiry across the academic enterprise – had, a decade later, not materialized to the degree expected (Stacey and Thorne, 1985). It was this gap between expectation and outcome that provided the context for their address. While gender could be „readily incorporated as a variable or as a source of research topics‟, Stacey and Thorne suggested that little was done to advance theoretical reconstruction within sociology (1985: 310). The necessity of the latter move is that as sociologists only ever study a part of the world, theory is needed „to help us situate the part in the whole‟ (1985: 311). Without theoretical reconstruction, they argued, issues of gender would remain
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Talking about men: conversations about masculinities in recent 'gender-bending' science fiction

Talking about men: conversations about masculinities in recent 'gender-bending' science fiction

Science fiction is often called the literature/genre of ideas, while SF writers and readers are also seen to function as a highly engaged and conversant community. Within this community, ideas can generate an ongoing conversation between science fiction texts and authors, as well as among readers, convention attendees, academics and, of late, web communities. Often the conversation concerns gender or, more specifically, how science fiction texts represent gender, including masculinities. Yet critical discussion of fictional constructions of masculinities in science fiction has been limited. This thesis addresses this gap through in-depth literary analysis of ten science fiction short stories and novels which participate in an ongoing conversation about ideas of masculinity. The selected texts have either won or been shortlisted for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. One primary reason for choosing these texts is that, since 1991, the Tiptree Award has been presented annually to a science fiction or fantasy short story or novel that, “expands or explores our understanding of gender” (Tiptree). This thesis applies both feminist and masculinities theory to the chosen texts, as well as some postcolonial and queer perspectives, to show that although science fiction has been at the cutting edge of fictional explorations of gender as concerning women, it currently lags behind contemporary theorists in its exploration of masculinities.
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Ecocriticism, like other politically-infused theoretical practices, such as feminism, queer theory, and critical race studies, must continually engage in discursive critique, tracing not only how various conceptions of nature have implications for environmentalisms, but how they have been bound up with pernicious notions of gender, race, sexuality and class. At this moment, ecocritics need to analyze, for example, how the official and unofficial representations of climate change science may reinforce oppressive social hierarchies, systems of power, and retrograde notions of nature as primarily a resource for human use. Even as this sort of discursive critique remains crucial, however, ecocriticism must also engage with the materiality of human bodies and nonhuman nature lest ecocriticism-- ironically--inhabit a realm sequestered from the environment itself. While most scholarship not only in literary studies, but in the humanities in general, has been profoundly influenced by the “linguistic turn” in critical theory, ecocriticism, and the environmental humanities more broadly conceived, are poised to depart from the predominant theoretical models that isolate language and discourse from material forces. It is extraordinarily difficult, however, to forge new approaches that can retain the incisive and illuminating force of poststructuralist critique and, at the same time, to open out lines of questioning so as to allow for the significance, agency, and substance of materiality. Moreover, because ecocriticism is concerned with the relationship between texts and the material world it needs methods of approaching scientific accounts that neither revere them as unproblematic paths to the truth of nature, nor subject them to echo chambers of skeptical critique. Environmental humanities scholars must engage with scientific accounts of the world and yet they must retain modes of analysis and critique that can trace how these very accounts may be shaped by or articulated with social, cultural, and economic systems. Glen A. Love, in stark contrast, rejects the notion that science is itself a cultural, historical, and political enterprise, arguing that ecocriticism should “emulate” the “standards of evidence and rational thought, “as well as “that spirit of rigorous methodology” found within science 1 (71). This form of literary studies, which divorces it from cultural critique and interdisciplinary social theories, is, in my view, both epistemologically impoverished and politically dangerous.
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YouTube birth and the primal scene

YouTube birth and the primal scene

Let’s face it -- it’s difficult to speak about birth. Birth is an aberration in many disciplinary spaces; it appears as an embarrassment in the academy, and oddly in psychoanalysis too, where Otto Rank’s theory of birth trauma was rejected by Freud early in the history of psychoanalysis, never to fully recover its place in the formation or functioning of psychosocial life (Rank 1924). Anxieties abound, in part, as Della Pollock has argued, because death always finds its way into the place of birth -- maternal death, stillbirth, miscarriage -- rendering silences in birth stories that nevertheless make their way into the narrative (Pollock 1999). Theoretical anxieties also haunt birth talk -- will birth embarrass us by tripping us into making pro-natalist statements celebrating the joys of parenting? Will it reveal a hidden unreconstructed liberalism, an implicit humanism or an old essentialism lurking within our theories, dragging us back to the link between women and bodies, nature and ‘dumb’ materiality? Or might it return us to the affects of horror, revulsion, hate,
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Queer(y)ing the family : an investigation into theories of family : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Women's Studies at Massey University

Queer(y)ing the family : an investigation into theories of family : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Women's Studies at Massey University

Chapter Two Introduction Marxist Approaches Critique of David Morgan's Family Connections 1996 Parsonian Family Theory Queer is Not the Only Alternative Family Conclusion.. Chapter Three[r]

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Towards a queer theatre for very young audiences in Scotland and the United States

Towards a queer theatre for very young audiences in Scotland and the United States

reflective representation within their cultural products, inclusive of theatre, television, film, and fiction / novels to varying degrees. It is also possible to conclude that theatre for young audiences rarely explores the queer child’s experience because TYA is constructed by the idealising and normative adult’s ideas of what the queer child wants and needs. This content instead reflects the adult’s projected idea of who the queer child is in their desexualising, normative innocence. This sanitising of the queer child in TYA and, more generally, children’s culture leads to normative and reductive storytelling. Often, Annie Giannini observes, ‘when homosexuality is represented in theatre for young audiences, it is treated as a calamity, discretely packaged in plays intended to teach lessons about tolerance’ (2010, p.106). The nuanced queer child’s absence from cultural content for young audiences reveals the general lack of progressive content available to young people, including an absence of queer narratives, the myth that girls are more likely to watch male protagonists than boys are to watch female protagonists, and the increasingly predominant gender gap within child marketing strategies.
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