Comfort the disturbed.... disturb the comfortable: queering pedagogy and transmutations

McDonald, Janet (2007) Comfort the disturbed.... disturb the comfortable: queering pedagogy and transmutations. In: Beyond Tolerance: 2007 Diversity in Education One Day Conference, 24 Aug 2007, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia.

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In this paper I name and describe three key pedagogic principals that I fee are anchored in the themes of this conference of going Beyond and transgressing Tolerance, and my reserach on masculinities in institutions as well as the work I conduct in remote regional communities attests to moving beyond the often stagnant proposition of binary oppositions of masculine/feminine; gay/straight; rural/metropolitan. To take a stand on critiquing the binary can take you beyond the binary looking at how it is constructed and how it can be contested with multiple voices and affects; the comfortable will undoubtedly be disturbed under this premise. The two fields of theoretical discussion that I am passionate about reading in regard to trying to find a language for my pedagogy are critical pedagogy and queer theory. According to William Spurlin, they both “enable critique of the reproduction of knowledge and cultural narratives that serve the interests of dominant social groups” (10), to ultimately expose and contest normalising processes in society (Kopelson 20). What intrigues me most about queer theory is that is subsumes critical pedagogy and actively aims to dismantle the myth of binary oppositions; to move beyond “oppostitional designations for sexuality”, to “disorganise, rather than merely organise around our terms” (Kopelson 19; Sedgwick in Spurlin, 2002: 9). Queer theory offers a platform to discuss the various transmutations that occur at the site of “disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed”, whilst “queering” suggests an impulse to transmute.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Unpublished. Keynote address. This paper is a draft only and was given verbally to an audience of largely young people. It has not been formally published.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Visual Arts
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2009 04:49
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:20
Uncontrolled Keywords: queering pedagogy, queer theory, enablement, liberatory pedagogy, critical pedagogy
Fields of Research : 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes

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