Queer Theory, Queer Practice, Queer Teaching: An Exploration of and Experiment in Queer Pedagogy

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-0801-4007
King, Grant, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Felski, Rita, AS-English-Eng Lit Ops, University of Virginia

The concept of queer pedagogy appears oxymoronic: the former, the epitome of destruction of norms, which positions failure as success and abandons constraint, and the latter, the goal of which is to normalize, assimilate, and discipline its subjects. How, then, can teaching be done queerly? This thesis, consisting of two parts--first, a complete set of course materials (including a syllabus, a set of assignment sheets and sample lesson plans, and statement of teaching philosophy) for a hypothetical course that brings queer theory and queer literature to the high school level, and second, an extensive and fluid analysis that expands on those materials and existing work on queer pedagogy--offers an answer. The solution, it argues, is to aim to fail at the goals of institutional pedagogy, and to instead center challenging, supporting, and learning with students. Combining groundbreaking ideas in the teaching of English, including new approaches to participation, grading, and classroom management, it presents a queered pedagogy, which aims to create a space that encourages students’ learning, challenges normativity, and leads to a world of queerer writers, queerer readers, and queerer thinking.

MA (Master of Arts)
queer theory, pedagogy, queer pedagogy
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