Queer Pedagogies: Camping up the Difference

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Pedagogies of Difference: Rethinking Education for Social Change




Drawing on Pinar (1995), I suggest that thinking differently about our pedagogies begins by thinking more symbolically and metaphorically about what it means to be pedagogically Other. Autobiographical text, which is a form of symbolic representation, allows me to rethink who I am against the backdrop of my (em)placement in the South as a queer teacher. Thus, this is a story about my struggle to understand who “I” am and how I might rethink what it means to talk about pedagogical practices as the site of difference. The (un)self, in these poststructural, (post)-whatever times, webs within and between the complexities of story retelling, wandering, wondering. Teaching in the rural South, my sense of (un)self only grows more uncertain. As a queer Jewish Carpetbagger, I feel more and more schizophrenic and monstrous. I am Jewish, queer, and a Northerner through and through. To my students, I must seem alien. The notion of my (un)self has become monstrous. My (un)self is situtated against the backdrop of my student (body), my classroom filled with bodies. Who are my students? Rural Southerners. Many of them have confided in me that they are conservative, and many admit that they dream of erasing the pedagogical experience of the face-to-face, they dream of online courses, wishing our presences absent. They wish that they did not have to face me, perhaps they do not want to look at me, or face what they see, or face what they see within themselves. Ah, the d-generation: Digital.com.