Intimate Pedagogy: The Practice of Embodiment in University Classrooms

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In this article, I examine the intimacy of university classrooms, especially in the context of gender, sex, and sexuality. I suggest that students and professors constantly battle the intimacy that arises in pedagogical relationships. Despite our best efforts, these moments of intimacy intrude upon students' relationships with one another and professors' relationships with students. These intrusions are often unexpected and uncontrollable, and are inextricably tied to gender and sexuality. These moments when the facade breaks down, moments of embodiment, are when the greatest teaching can occur. In order to be great professors, we must attain a level of intimacy with our students. Intimacy, for the purposes of this article, means simply this: setting aside an assumed genderless, sexless professorial facade, and standing beside our students, embodied. In this article I build upon the work of pedagogical theorist Jonathan Alexander, putting forward the idea of a 'rhetoric of the body' to help understand the ways professorial bodies perform in the classroom. I then turn to the work of theorists bell hooks and Jane Gallop and their work on eros in the classroom, to discover connections between what I call embodiment – moments when professors lose the facade of a bodiless identity – eros, and pedagogy. Lastly, I take these ideas and examine a course in which I taught the U.S. Supreme Court opinion Lawrence v. Texas (2003), in which the Court declared anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional. In this course, content, pedagogy, intimacy, and embodiment came together in a practical demonstration of the theories I put forward here.

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Research on the experiences of trans* employees show that trans* individuals face disproportionate levels of harassment, discrimination, violence, and forms of aggression in the workplace. While broader organizational and workplace research exploring issues of trans* employees may be transferrable to higher education settings, higher education nevertheless has specific needs that make it distinctly different from non-higher education work environments. Although organizational scholars writing on workplace discrimination issues have offered recommendations for increasing trans-affirmation in workplace environments, little research has focused exclusively on trans* faculty on college and university campuses. Responding to calls for a nuanced understanding of trans* educators in more creative ways, this article (re)presents the experiences of six trans* identified post-secondary faculty in the format of a found poem that weaves together the voices of the participants into a collective narrative. When read through the lens of queer battle fatigue, the poem highlights the violence, marginalization, and forms of aggression experienced by trans* individuals that lead to feelings of exhaustion.
Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative inquires into the status of speech as conduct from the perpective of social theories of discourse. In a critical encounter with the work of Catharine MacKinnon and Mari Matsuda, this text asks whether and under what conditions hate speech and pornography can be considered "performative", and in what sense. Following the work of J.L. Austin, this work argues that there are at least two ways of construing the performativity of such expressions: (a) as perlocutionary and, therefore, producing a possible set of effects, and (b) as illucotionary and, therefore, as conduct itself. MacKinnon tends to construe pornographic harms as illocutionary, and Excitable Speech offers arguments against this construal. The book offers a theory of speech acts within the context of a doctrine of interpellation, derived from Althusser. According to this view, the names that persons are called are discursive occasions not only for social existence, but also for the possibility of the subversion of injurious utterances within discourse. Cases considered include R.A.V. v. St. Paul, Wisconsin v. Mitchell, the military regulations on homosexual conduct and expression. The book argues that the conflation of speech and conduct can work tactically in favor of sexually conservative public policy, and that regulation of injurious speech offers ambivalent consequences for policies that seek to redress racial discrimination. It also offers a way to think about the interpellative force of injurious speech through an account of the speech act that has both deconstructive and social dimensions.
s Successes: Links and Photosʼ, <http
  • Lynn Conway
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Toward a Feminist Theory of Readingʼ
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