Queer Desires and Critical Pedagogies in Higher Education: Reflections on the Transformative Potential of Non-Normative Learning Desires in the Classroom

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Journal of Feminist Scholarship


This article considers what a queer approach might offer in addressing some of the challenges of higher education in the contemporary neoliberal landscape. Despite a rich literature on queer issues in the classroom, most of the existing scholarship has focused on engaging queer students, being a queer teacher, or teaching queer content in the curriculum. Very little work has focused on what it means to take a queer approach to pedagogic techniques or how such an approach might impact educational practices more broadly. We ask: What does it mean in theory and practice to “queer” our teaching methods? What role can queer pedagogic practices play in contesting the marketization of higher education and the shift towards more instrumentalist and consumer-based modes of learning? We argue that a queer approach to pedagogy, which explicitly seeks to open up spaces for non-normative educational desires to emerge, potentially offers fruitful strategies for fostering critical and transformative learning.



Queer theory, Critical pedagogy, teaching methods, Education, Higher