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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Falling into a place: reading for renewal as queer pedagogy

Author: Breen, M. S.
Author Background:
Date 7/98
Type Journal
Journal Title: Journal-of-Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity
Volume/Pages 3(3): 233-244
Subject Matter Gays; Lesbians; Literature
Abstract This essay explores reading for renewal as queer pedagogy. Within the context of lesbian and gay literature courses, professors can teach students and themselves how to pull stories--beautiful, celebratory stories--out of the bits and pieces of stories of self-hatred and of suffering. If readers of gay and lesbian texts are to resist homophobic discourse, they must not only train themselves to recognize signs of queerness within even the most oppressive of narratives, but also seek out those texts whose discussions of narrative theory and identity politics promote queer visibility. Reading for renewal--that is, locating a place of transformative possibility either within the text or within the experience of reading the text within the classroom--is, the author argues, integral to practicing a queer pedagogy. (Journal abstract.)