I'm thrilled that queerpedagogue invited me to collaborate on the course , running from Dec. 5 - Mar 26.
Thanks to the AERA Queer Studies SIG for putting the opportunity out there among our members.
I'm approaching this course as an ally who has been deeply touched by the work of the late Eve Sedgwick, though my academic specialization is Educational Leadership and Administration. I'm nearing the end of my doctoral studies and they've given me a huge appetite for qualitative research as well as an insaitable interest in equity activism.
Here in Canada, we're fortunate that same-sex marriage is the law of the land, but homophobia still runs rampant and in may guises. Our public school systems are toxic with official policies that strongly discourage and in some cases prohibit staff and students from disclosing LGBT identities. Anti-homophobic training is scarce in PD circles, and most school leaders ignore LGBT bullying, harassment, and exclusion.
My hope in collaborating with everyone in this course is to deepen my understanding of how traditional, post-colonial curriculum and pedagogy re/produce LGBT disentitlement. I also want to learn as much as I can about how to challenge and transform homophobic behaviour at every level of society.
My dream job will combine university teaching, hopefully in preservice teacher education and graduate studies, qualitative research, and senior administration. We'll see what happens!
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Standard Set Answer:
Public Set Answer:
Through researching and writing my Ed.D. dissertation I have become sensitized to the inequities embedded in much of what passes as queer pedagogy and alterted to the urgent need to eliminate homophobia from teaching praxis and learning environments.
I started my career in education as a classroom teacher and have since taught every grade from K-12, served as the chair of a 23-person Social Studies Dept. and held senior leadership positions with several professional associations such as the American Educational Research Association (http://aera.net) and the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (http://csse.ca). I have spent the last three years on my research and am totally ready to work with students and colleagues again in the magnificent art of academic instruction and mentoring. I'm also close to finishing my doctorate and want to have some state of the art online teaching experience before I try to put my new credentials to work.
I look forward to getting to know everyone and to offering what insights I have as the course evolves.
My own definition of "queer" is still incubating :) but my thinking is underpinned by the incomparable work of a fellow ally, though sadly she is deceased, Eve Sedgwick. In her "AXIOMS (FROM THE INTRODUCTION TO EPISTEMOLOGY OF THE CLOSET)" (http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/english/courses/60A/handouts/axioms.html) Segwick provides a wonderful foundation for the discussion of queer theory. My brief responses to each axiom are added in [square brackets].
First, a definition . . .
axiom: 1. a self-evident or universally recognized truth; maxim. 2. a principle that is accepted as true without proof; postulate. (American Heritage Dictionary)
And now, the seven axioms:
1. People are different from each other (22). [and they change over time]
2. The study of sexuality is not coextensive with the study of gender; correspondingly, antihomophobic inquiry is not coextensive with feminist inquiry [nor with masculinist inquiry]. But we can't know in advance how they will be different (27).
3. There can't be an a priori decision about how far it will make sense to conceptualize lesbian and gay male identities together. Or separately (36). [This will varygreatly with context.]
4. The immemorial, seemingly ritualized debates on nature versus nurture take place against a very unstable background of tacit assumptions and fantasies about both nature and nurture (40). [unstable and desctructive and this is a good reminder about setting boundaries around the kinds of discussion, language, and topics this course will explore.]
5. The historical search for a Great Paradigm Shift may obscure the present conditions of sexual identity (44). [Indeed. Obscurity is inevitable given the queerless conceptualization of the Paradigm's starting point, not to mention its potentially limitless new locations.]
6. The relation of gay studies to debates on the literary canon is, and had best be, tortuous (48). [as is the relation of gay studies to all pre-queer canonical domains]
7. The paths of allo-identification are likely to be strange and recalcitrant. So are the paths of auto-identification (59). [And that recalcitrance will also be both extrinsic and intrinsic.]
To be continued . . .