Queer critical literacies

Navan Govender, Grant Andrews

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

(A)gender and (a)sexual diversity are often viewed as taboo and controversial topics in education, sparking resistance from some teachers, students, and communities to engage with these important topics. Additionally, critical approaches to teaching these topics in schools and universities are still emerging, with many educators feeling uncertain of how to frame discussions and lessons, especially in contexts of widespread discrimination against gender and sexual minorities. In this chapter, we build on a tradition of critical literacies and queer theory to develop a conceptual framework for queer critical literacies (QCL) as an approach to teaching topics of (a)gender and (a)sexual diversity. We review how various educators have approached QCL in their classrooms by guiding their students to practise what we identify as five forms of questioning, namely questioning representation, reading practices, the policing of (a)gender and (a)sexuality, knowledge systems, and self. Finally, we offer a pedagogical tool for doing QCL that can assist educators in their practice. The questions we offer allow educators and students to dialogically do the work of identification, deconstruction, disruption, and transformation in contextually relevant ways. Our framework of QCL queers the reading of texts and bodies, foregrounds queer identities and non-normative gender expression, and challenges heterosexism, patriarchy, and cisnormativity in language, texts, institutions, and everyday practices.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Critical Literacies
Editors Jessica Zacher Pandya, Raúl Alberto Mora, Jennifer Helen Alford, Noah Asher Golden, Roberto Santiago de Roock
Place of PublicationNew York
Chapter1.8
Pages82-93
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003023425
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • critical literacy
  • queer literacy
  • queer theory
  • literacy studies
  • multiliteracies

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