Edited By sj Miller and Nelson M. Rodriguez
Chapter Eighteen: “I heard it from a good source”: Queer Desire and Homophobia in a South African Higher Education Institution
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“I heard it from a good source”: Queer Desire and Homophobia in a South African Higher Education Institution
Universities, like schools, are heteronormative sites (Renn, 2010). From the way in which knowledge is structured to the way in which social relations are organised, including the type of relationships that is legitimised, universities are heavily imbued in processes that legitimise and exclusively recognise the normalisation of heterosexuality, often leading to a systematic erasure of other identifications. So pervasive is heteronormativity that faculty and students claiming identifications outside heterosexuality often find themselves excluded, constrained, and policed. While there have been significant gains in terms of queer rights and visibility in higher education spaces in some Western contexts, it cannot be denied that the situation of queer1 subjects still remains precarious in most institutional spaces across the globe. While several studies have highlighted the challenges encountered by students in higher education institutions and residential halls, little work has been undertaken with a particular focus on the experiences of queer academics in higher education institutions. Yet, as Bennett, Hill, and Jones (2015), in the context of Australia; Ozturk and Rumens (2014), in the context of the United Kingdom; and Maritz and Prinsloo (2015), in the context of South Africa show, the heteronormative condition persistent in many university spaces remains a challenge for queer academics who often have to adopt various identity management and ← 177 | 178...
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