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Queer Praxis

Questions for LGBTQ Worldmaking

Edited By Dustin Bradley Goltz and Jason Zingsheim

Amidst rapid advances of mainstream gay and lesbian platforms, questions of essential sexual identities, queered rituals of family, queered notions of intimacy, queer considerations of time, and the possibility and value of queered systems of relation are largely absent. Resisting the public face of a normative and homogenous gay and lesbian community, and embracing a broadened conception of queerness, this book brings together 29 writers – a diverse community of scholars, lovers, and activists – to explore queer theory and embodied experiences within interpersonal relations and society at large. Enacting a critical intervention into the queer theoretical landscape, the book offers an alternative engagement where contributors centralize lived experience. Theoretical engagements are generated in relation and in dialogue with one another exploring collectivity, multiple points of entrance, and the living nature of critical theory. Readers gain familiarity with key concepts in queer thought, but also observe how these ideas can be navigated and negotiated in the social world. Queer Praxis serves as a model for queer relationality, enlisting transnational feminist, critical communication, and performance studies approaches to build dialogue across and through differing subjectivities.
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14. Strategies of Queer Mentorship: Cats in Hats Colluding in the Academy

Extract



JENNIFER LINDE AND BELLE EDSON

The sun did not shine.

It was too wet to play.

So we sat in the house

All that cold, cold, wet day

The choice that queer graduate students make to attend research institutions (R-1) with large, ambitious graduate faculties and cohorts comprised mostly of straight colleagues is a risky one. In this period of intense intellectual training queers face the control of insidious and overt norms of institutional homophobia and heterosexual privilege. Queer bodies in powerful organizational settings are potentially at risk, especially the newly initiated. The anticipated stress of entering a new job or a new school is compounded by the reality that most organizations do not put forth policies or foster attitudes that welcome newly arrived queer employees/students. Queer student bodies may be marked as “other;” their queerness forever entering the room ahead of their scholarship, pedagogy or successes. There is a possibility that the social relationships queer students form within the institution will be overly influenced by myopic identity politics that limit the learning of academic collegiality. In one of the most fruitful periods of growth for emerging young scholars, queer students may feel isolated, excluded, silenced and angry. Indeed, the years that they spend in the great house of graduate learning may feel very wet and very cold.

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