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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 Eight: Working With and Within: Weaving Queer Spaces With Cycles of Resistance

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← 68 | 69 →

CHAPTER EIGHT

Working With and Within: Weaving Queer Spaces With Cycles of Resistance

JENNY KASSEN AND ALICIA LAPOINTE

 

INTRODUCTION

This narrative weaves together critical incidents of student-led (hetero/cis)normative1 resistance at a Faculty of Education in Ontario, Canada. Through sharing our individual yet intersecting stories, we analyze the particularities of school-based events to make sense of our experiences as queer2 under/graduate students. We highlight four elements within the cycles of resistance: visibility, antihomophobic/ antitransphobic educational opportunities, impact/change, and reflection as we construct our “experience as story” (Connelly & Clandinin, 2006, p. 477). Our personal reflections provide a space to explore counternarratives to a Faculty of Education’s cover story—sentiments and actions that embrace safety and inclusion rather than systemic deconstruction. Our work exposes the ragged fabric that is individualized accounts of homophobia and transphobia and reconstructs the threads to make visible systemic issues, such as (hetero/cis)normative pedagogies and practice (see Britzman, 1995; Linville, 2009). In sharing this narrative we attempt to unravel and rework privileged understandings of sexuality and gender, and stitch together how we worked with and within an institution’s (hetero/cis) normative fabric to establish and nurture queer intellectual and physical spaces through cycles of resistance. Overall, it is the master narrative of safety and inclusion that we intended to unravel and refashion. ← 69 | 70 →

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

The queer theoretical insights of Britzman (1995, 1998) and Linville provide a lens...

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