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Curricular Innovations

LGBTQ Literatures and the New English Studies

Edited By William P. Banks and John Pruitt

Where others have explored the teaching of LGBTQ literature courses, Curricular Innovations: LGBTQ Literatures and the New English Studies explores the impact that queer writers and their works are having across the broader undergraduate curriculum of English departments, as well as beyond those department spaces. While courses that focus on queer texts provide more space for students to think about the complexities of queer lives, this book breaks out of the specialized LGBTQ classroom to consider how we might also restructure and reframe a diverse set of undergraduate courses by paying attention to the contributions that LGBTQ writers make. Beyond simply including a text or two to represent "difference," contributors to this volume take a more structural approach in order to demonstrate ways of theming or designing courses around language, desire, and sexuality. They also demonstrate what happens when queer texts are given freedom to shape other classroom spaces, discussions, and reading/writing practices. This collection offers a practical intervention into conversations about the purposes and places of LGBTQ literatures by making good on the challenges that queer theories have posed to higher education over the last forty years.

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8. Centering the Queer, Black, Female Voice: A Case Study of Reclaiming the Soul Through Literature (Veronica Keiffer-Lewis / Julie Keiffer-Lewis)

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8. Centering the Queer, Black, Female Voice: A Case Study of Reclaiming the Soul Through Literature

VERONICA KEIFFER-LEWIS AND JULIE KEIFFER-LEWIS

The California Community College System has a long history of commitment to student success and equity, which is further supported by its educational code. The California Legislature has taken this commitment seriously, putting forward a call to action in 1991 wherein community colleges would work to ensure “environments in which each person … has a reasonable chance to fully develop his or her potential” (Education Code §66010.2c). To this end, beginning in 1992, the state required an equity plan as minimum criteria for any state allocated funds. This trend continued, with ebbs-and-flows due to economic downturns then followed by boosts that shaped state regulations and the like. However, after the 2007 economic recession, campuses were no longer required to submit equity plans, and, without required engagement, commitment to equity waned. Thus, the Student Equity Fact Sheet prepared by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office in 2017 points out that the 2012 Student Success Act was passed as part of the reaffirmation of the State’s commitment to “advancing student success through a commitment to institutional equity.” This commitment was linked to substantial programmatic funding in the summer of 2014.

Although new opportunities were on the horizon due to this windfall, optimistic engagement was tempered by the growing racial achievement gap facing the educational system not only within the...

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