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Educators Queering Academia

Critical Memoirs

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Edited By sj Miller and Nelson M. Rodriguez

The memoirs in this collection represent a cross-section of critical reflections by a queerly diverse set of individuals on their experiences inhabiting a variety of spaces within the field of education. In their stories, the authors share how they queered and are continuing to queer the academy in relation to questions of teaching, research, policy, and/or administration. Their memoirs speak across generations of queer educators and scholars; collectively their work highlights an array of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. As snapshots in time, the memoirs can be taken up as archive and studied in order to gain perspective on the issues facing queers in the academy across various intersections of identities related to ethnicity, culture, language, (a)gender, (a)sexuality, (dis)ability, socio-economic status, religion, age, veteran status, health status, and more. By way of the memoirs in this volume, a richer body of queer knowledge is offered that can be pulled from and infused into the academic and personal contexts of the work of educators queering academia.
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Chapter Twelve: Queering the Inquiry Body: Critical Science Teaching From the Margins

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CHAPTER TWELVE

Queering the Inquiry Body: Critical Science Teaching From the Margins

KERRITA K. MAYFIELD

 

Disidentification is meant to be descriptive of the survival strategies the minority subject practices in order to negotiate a phobic majoritarian public sphere that continuously elides or punishes the existence of subjects who do not conform to the phantasm of normative citizenship.

—MUÑOZ, 1999, P. 4

I did not intend to start with Muñoz. I started writing this chapter between Ferguson and “I can’t breathe” and am editing it after the contested release of the full 30-minute video that shows 12-year-old Tamir Rice not only being shot within seconds of the police car’s arrival, but also his 14-year-old sister being thrown to the ground, handcuffed, then put in the back of said police car when she runs toward his body—where she sits while it takes 13 minutes for him to be taken away in an ambulance for care. The curricular care of children is my business. I kept getting distracted by the consequences of harboring a visually different embodiment; being or being perceived as queer in normative spaces; of being perceived as not one of us in the former slave-holding heteropatriarchy that is our nation-state. The reality is that fancy talk cannot mute the majoritarian gaze and its consequences upon those deemed unwelcome in certain spaces.

And, thus, the schisms between training and embodied...

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