This presentation will consider what it would mean to “queer” the teaching of writing in the first-year composition classroom. We will consider various aspects of queer theory in composition pedagogy, including the performative aspects of writing (particularly in autobiography), the limitations of genre constructs, and the rhetorical purpose of claiming or not claiming a queer identity (by teacher or student) in a classroom space. We will consider the work of Judith Butler, Jonathan Alexander, and other key theorists to discuss the intersections of gender, genre, literacy and sexuality. In doing so, we will propose ways in which composition classes could become spaces for students to learn how to use writing (both inside and outside of the academy) as a form of empowerment which allows them to better communicate themselves, their bodies, their sexualities, and their identities of orientation and gender.
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