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Queer Teachers, Identity and Performativity


Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education

Series editor: Yvette Taylor, London South Bank University, UK

What do we mean when we talk about 'queer teachers'? Do we mean self-conscious subjects who understand ourselves as 'queer', educators who do queer work within our professional lives, or do we mean that we, as researchers, read the experiences of our teacher-participants as subjects who perhaps perform queer? The very term is problematic. The...

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Queer Teachers, Identity and Performativity

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Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education

Series editor: Yvette Taylor, London South Bank University, UK

What do we mean when we talk about 'queer teachers'? Do we mean self-conscious subjects who understand ourselves as 'queer', educators who do queer work within our professional lives, or do we mean that we, as researchers, read the experiences of our teacher-participants as subjects who perhaps perform queer? The very term is problematic. The authors here grapple with what it means to be sexually or gender diverse and to work as a school teacher within four national contexts: Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the USA. Interrelationality remains central to academic discussions about education and identity, subjectivity and criticality. Queer teachers must live these truths, and as scholars of queer education we must be led by them. This new volume offers academics, educators and students a provocative extension of this pivotal topic for a broad audience of those engaged in contemporary education today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book goes beyond calling on queer teachers to come out of the closet and be role models. The chapter authors consider from different angles many of the ambiguities raised by such a premise: What exactly does it mean to be 'queer', or someone who lives outside the heteronormative? How do these lived experiences intersect with increasingly neoliberal 'cyborg' discourses of teaching as a profession, where teachers are expected to leave their humanity at the school gate? Might the closet be somewhat transparent, so that in and out are not so clearly defined? Does it really get better? And, if so, how might it get better sooner? Because there are teachers and children who are right now navigating the treacherous waters of heteronormativity. This book draws upon the voices of teachers to engage carefully and thoroughly with these issues." - Professor Renee DePalma, Universidade da Coruña, Spain
"Since my book was published in 1992, almost a quarter of a century ago, one would have thought that the plight of queer teachers may have improved over time. Not so. Although conditions of work have progressed to some extent, they have not done so universally. This collection is meant, in the words of the editors: "to trouble the ways in which power, language and the discursive (re)production of gender and sexual identities both play out within educational spaces and impact upon the lives of same sex attracted and gender diverse teachers." The anthology is an excellent re-view, giving the reader fresh perspectives of issues that still plague queer teachers. Anthologies are often uneven, but in this case, each article is a gem, each introduces the reader to different international contexts, and each deals with different and compelling aspects of being queer. When the editors state they want their book to have "at its heart a desire to do more than reiterate what the existing research tells" them, they, indeed, succeed. Their book is novel in its scope, the writing is crisp, the thinking intense and it is a book I definitely want on my shelf." - Professor Didi Khayatt, York University, Canada
"Spanning a diverse range of experiences and regions Queer Teachers, Identity and Performativity is an indispensible collection exploring how contemporary social and political shifts surrounding gender and sexuality are negotiated and felt by LGBTQ people working and learning in schools. An original and valuable contribution to existing research in a number of fields and associated social movements including transgender studies and educational studies, Queer Teachers, Identity and Performativity invites readers to continue to investigate, with pleasure, the troubles with normal and other pressing queer entanglements." - Professor Erica R. Meiners, Northeastern Illinois University, USA
"An impressive collection of contemporary applications of queer theory, and a vital text for anyone interested in anti-bullying efforts, inclusion, and improving the lives of queer teachers - and, likewise, the lives of queer students." - Associate Professor Tony Adams, Northeastern Illinois University, USA

"This book performs queer, in a way that captures its complexities and nuances in teachers' lived experiences. Reframing 'the wound' focus of much sexualities research, it illuminates how teachers challenge and subvert the heteronormative space of schooling, emphasising queer's productive possibilities. It is essential reading on 'doing queer' as teachers in schools, for the next generation of queer scholars and educators." - Associate Professor Louisa Allen, University of Auckland, New Zealand
"Queer Teachers, Identity and Performativity powerfully reminds us of the urgency to pursue critical research agendas that continue to interrogate the 'doing', 'being' and 'becoming' queer for teachers in schools. Each chapter wrestles with the institutional, social, discursive, embodied and material complexities of negotiating enduring heteronormative practices and policies for queer teachers as they go about their everyday professional lives. This is a compelling and generative international collection that opens up the contradictory socio-political sexual landscape that queer teachers are navigating, whilst advancing queer educational scholarship in the process." - Professor Emma Renold, Cardiff University, UK

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137441911
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 7/11/2014
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Harris is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Monash University, Australia.

Emily M. Gray is a Lecturer in Education Studies at the School of Education, RMIT University, Australia.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Marked Presence/Unremarkable Absence: Queer Teachers, 'Identity' and Performativity; Emily M. Gray and Anne Harris

1. Trans Teacher Experiences and the Failure of Visibility; Anne Harris and Tiffany Jones

2. Reframing Queer Teacher Subjects: Neither in nor out but Present; Tania Ferfolja

3. Teachers and Civil Partnership: (Re)producing Legitimate Subjectivities in the Straight Spaces of Schools; Aoife Neary

4. Out in Britain: the Politics of Sexuality Education and Lesbian and Gay Teachers in Schools; Naomi Rudoe

5. Every Child Matters, Pink Shorts and Bullying: LGBTQ Teachers and the Location of Difference within Schools in England; Emily Gray

Conclusion: Extravagance and Equity: Queer Tensions in Education; Cris Mayo

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