New wave queerness and the academy

Catherine Camps, CA Emmett

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    Some strides have been made in student perceptions of LGBT+ inclusivity across UKHE over the last 5 years, in so much as more lesbian and gay students are ‘out’ in academia (Valentine and Wood, 2009, p.11; NUS, 2014, p.27). However, student surveys (NUS, 2014, p.10) suggest growing reluctance in the student body to specify identifications in representations of sexual identity.

    A local informal evaluation of a PgCHE at Cardiff University, which strives to include discussion on LGBT+ representation, suggested challenges amongst academic staff in terms of willingness to accept all forms of sexual identification, suggesting a homonormative perspective within the academy.

    This session will utilise queer theory to explore how the gap between student and staff preferred representations of sexual identity can be explored in a PgCHE classroom. Specifically, we look at the possibility of the “third figure”, queerly both perverse and normal (Weber, 2016), as a means to help staff within the UKHE community engage with what Britzman (1995, p.156) terms the “limit of thought”.
    References

    Britzman, D. 1995. Is there a query pedagogy? Or, stop reading straight. Educational Theory 45(2), pp. 151-165.
    NUS. 2014. Education Beyond the Straight and Narrow: LGBT students’ experience in higher education. London: National Union of Students.
    Valentine, G. and Wood, N. 2009. The experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual staff and students in higher education research summary 39. Equality and Human Rights Commission.
    Weber, C. 2016. Queer International Relations: A Symposium. The Disorder of Things [Online] 21 November 2016. Available at: https://thedisorderofthings.com/2016/11/21/queer-international-relations-a-symposium/ [Accessed: 12 December 2016].
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