Intersectionality: Saying or Doing?

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Using UK-based case studies stretching across a 20-year period (2001-2021), this paper explores intersectional inequalities in educational experiences, whether in the ‘bottom reading group’, the ‘feminist classroom’ or in the queer reading list. It situates interviewees experiences in and through shifting social and educational climates, and via the policy frames of meritocracy, attainment, widening participation, inclusion, and ‘EDI’, alongside a queer-feminist critique of these veiling vocabularies. In glossing over persistent inequalities – and here I focus on class, sexuality and race – these terms fail to do the work of intersectionality, even when stated or invoked via a legalistic listing of discrete ‘protected characteristics’. Politically, and pedagogically, what queer-feminist strategies can be used across the long-term to do intersectionality, as educational labour and commitment? How might the easy use of ‘intersectionality’ un-do feminism(s) in and outside the classroom? This talk draws upon Working-Class Queers: Time, Place and Politics (Pluto, 2023) as an ongoing queer-feminist intersectional effort.
Period18 Nov 2023
Held atUniversity of Edinburgh, United Kingdom


  • Feminist Classroom
  • Pedagogy
  • Bottom Reading Group
  • Intersectionality
  • Social Class