Show Less
Restricted access

Gender and Sexualities in Education

A Reader


Edited By Elizabeth J. Meyer and Dennis Carlson

This volume is about the education of gender and sexualities, which is to say it explores how gender and sexuality identities and differences get constructed through the process of education and «schooling». Wittingly or not, educational institutions and educators play an important role in «normalizing» gender and sexuality differences by disciplining, regulating, and producing differences in ways that are «intelligible» within the dominant or hegemonic culture. To make gender and sexuality identities and differences intelligible through education is to understand them through the logic of separable binary oppositions (man-woman, straight-gay), and to valorize and privilege one normalized identity within each binary (man, straight) and simultaneously stigmatize and marginalize the «other» identity (woman, gay). Educational institutions have been set up to normalize the construction of gender and sexual identities in these ways, and this is both the overt and the «hidden» curriculum of schooling. At the same time, the «postmodern» times in which we live are characterized by a proliferating of differences so that the binary oppositional borders that have been maintained and policed through schooling, and that are central to maintaining highly inequitable power relations and rigid gender roles, are being challenged, resisted, and in other ways profoundly destabilized by young people today.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

12. Spicing Up the Curriculum: The Uses and Pleasures of Erotica Noir in the Urban Classroom

Of Panties and Pedagogy


Chapter 12

Spicing Up the Curriculum

The Uses and Pleasures of Erotica Noir in the Urban Classroom

Alyssa D. Niccolini

Purple Panties is sitting on the desk. It sits brazenly, mockingly, provokingly in my classroom. Its cover displays an entanglement of voluptuous brown thighs. Above the ‘P’ in Purple, a hand cups a breast and a head tilts back in pleasure. Hips arch below the title, their curves echoing the elaborate sweeps of the font. Body & text. The hips are enwrapped in the scantiest of lavender satin.

I avert my gaze as I walk up and down the aisles of my classroom. I ask students to open their copies of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. Together we interrogate questions of race, class, and gender. We dissect representations of female bodies—particularly African American female bodies. We discuss rape and beauty. But as we talk, Purple Panties sits there on the corner desk. The gleam of well-oiled legs and satiny panties mockingly mirror the glossy purple Everbind© cover of The Bluest Eye. I try to override its presence by ignoring it. I struggle to silence it by asserting my pedagogy. I seek to belittle it by filling the classroom with Pulitzer prose and Nobel thoughts. But there it sits, bold-faced and unashamed, burning an amethyst flame in the margins of my room.

Purple Panties is a collection of lesbian erotica edited by Zane (2008). Heralded as the “Queen...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.