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Critical Studies of Southern Place

A Reader


Edited By William M. Reynolds

Critical Studies of Southern Place: A Reader critically investigates and informs the construction of Southernness, Southern identity, and the South past and present. It promotes and expands the notion of a Southern epistemology. Authors from across the South write about such diverse topics as Southern working-class culture; LGBT issues in the South; Southern music; Southern reality television; race and ethnicity in the South; religion in the South; sports in the South; and Southernness. How do these multiple interpretations of popular culture within critical conceptualizations of place enhance our understandings of education? Critical Studies of Southern Place investigates the connections between the critical examination of place-specific culture and its multiple connections with education and pedagogy. This important book fills a significant gap in the scholarly work on the ramifications of place. Readers will be able to center the importance of place in their own scholarship and cultural work as well as be able to think deeply about how Southern place affects us all.
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Chapter Thirty-Two: 32. Gay and Queer Men of Color at Southern Universities



Gay and Queer Men of Color at Southern Universities


The U.S. South is known for many things: food, hospitality, civil rights battles, and humidity. The South is rarely known for things such as equality, inclusiveness, or safe queer spaces. As a higher education professional with a focus on diversity and inclusion, I often wonder what my life and career would look like if I had stayed in the South. The South has a reputation for the ways it treats people of color, and the South also has a reputation for how it treats lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. As I examine how gay and queer men of color experience working at universities in the South, I also shed light on the experiences of those coming from multiple marginalized backgrounds. The narratives, conclusions, and recommendations shared in this chapter aim to guide institutions of higher education to become more supportive and inclusive of diverse populations.

Experiences and Perspectives

The experiences I bring to this topic have framed my perspective and have motivated me to analyze these stories. I was born in small-town Mississippi and lived there until I graduated high school and went to college in Mobile, Alabama. I later worked at and pursued graduate school at the University of Alabama, and I held my first job in Birmingham, Alabama. My time in the South was instrumental to my understanding of identity,...

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