Sunday, April 10, 2005

Queer pedagogy

YEsterday i went to my postgrad research seminar andsaw 3 queeruptors - yay!!!!

The reason why i mention this is that I'm curiousabout the whole Queeruption reading group thing. Some of us do queer theory for a living (i kid u not - and i'llattach a rates sheet if anyone wants!) Basically I'm interested (iun the most foucauldian manner possible) in interrogating WHO wants a reading group and WHY. And why the big white dudes (again)?

One of the most curious things i found in studentpolitics oooh 10 err or more years ago - was the astonishing discovery that all these cool radical theoreists on the left actually were regurgitating thefunky stuff they were being told in lectures! (nerdalert!) ie their theories actually had been aid for by hecs! I immediately thought this was suss. I still think itis suss. I really believe that those wonderful freefloating members of the activist socially mobile(could be up or down) fraternity do have fuck little articulation of OUR socieoeconomic allegiances when itcomes to theory. I really DO think that a fledgling academic or a bored ex uni student missing the halcyon days of gender studies tutes do have quite distinct and separate interests in what we want to do with theory than some dumpster diving kid whose been kicked out of home for being queer.

I also believe (old marxists that i am) that radical theory, when used and discussed WELL can be a tool of enlightenment and engagement for all of us. the other thing is an aspect of queeruption thatREALLY shat me off and still shits me off. I reallyhate big meetings, because to me they look like a big theatrical forum for poeple to expound their verbal prowess. The majority of poeple are silent and guess what? as gender bending as i wanna be - most of the voices are confined to the tesosterone fueled variety....... "the man" ain't dead yet!What's happening when people are playing "the man",the erudite hero and the revolutionary?what types of power structures are being reinforced?who's keeping quiet and are they really in rapture orjust bored and pissed off?

I am really amazed and somwhat peturbed by the enormous variety of theoretical and political interests amongst our merry band of deviants. (anna,my jaw is on the floor - can you please explain? - andi mean that in an open way - i don't see the point of me lecturing you -i am honestly really intrigued byyour views). the other thing is that I am interested in pedagogy and alternative forms of learning and teaching. I knowthat some of the non theory types, the non verbal quiet queeruptors are too! (Vale Leeila!). I am interested in ways of exploring ideas that are embodied and rich, and probably risky and fluffy. CRworkshops anyone?I also - find the idea of reading foucault or dear jurgen in public - ahhh frightening! their theories are bloody tricky and slippery and IF I GULP ANDSTAMMER - THEN WHO THE HELL ELSE WOULD BE SCARED OREXCLUDED BY THEM????

Having done another bloody rant, I'll lay my cards onthe table.I am a fledgeling academic in gender/queer studies. Iam also a pretty damn good teacher (from reports). Ienjoy teaching things like drawing that are manuallybased and fun and I love fluffy CR workshops.The ideas that I bring to Queeruption are temptered bya relationships with academia. I easily laspse intopracitsing my own oratory/writing style (witness thisposting) and I do and will get paid for repeatng muchof the same stuff I'd say in a queerution setting n anacademic one. this is problematic but beats the fuckout of washing dishes.

For me, being queer has been myticket out of the working class, and my use of theoryis extremely tempered by my own aspirationalinterests.On the other hand, I have lots of books, access to photocopying, journal articles and other such stuff. Ican compile reading lists, find accessible stuff anddo a mean powerpoint presentation.I have alsways been suspicious of academia, and am nowincreasingly anxious about the demise of education.

Ibeleive it is imortant to create spaces for people tohave ocnversaiotns and to read intelligentyl andcritically.I have also seen how certain people derive benefitfrom the types of activist based volunteer run forumsthat I have sweated blood over - and bascially lots ofthem are earning more cash than I am.However, if people want the services of someone whocan explore queer theory WELL, in away that is notelitist, then my services are at your beck and call.Just don't confuse it with the revolution. At that I'mpretty bloody hopeless.(but trying none the less)

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