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Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

Spelling Sexuality: An Ethnographic Study on Language and Queer Culture with UIUC Undergraduate Students

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PDF Scherkenbach_Research_Process.pdf (369KB) Research Process PDF
PDF Scherkenbach_Final_Paper.pdf (302KB) Final Paper PDF
Title: Spelling Sexuality: An Ethnographic Study on Language and Queer Culture with UIUC Undergraduate Students
Author(s): Scherkenbach, Laura
Subject(s): Language Queer LGBT culture reclamation sexuality
Abstract: My research addresses queer culture and language on the UIUC campus; how students currently use terms, such as “homosexual” and “queer” on campus, what terms are being eliminated or replaced from popular vocabulary and how students on the UIUC campus are reclaiming certain words or terms regarding queer culture.
Issue Date: 2012-05
Series/Report: GWS 467/HIST 396 Locating Queer Culture Spring 2012Instructor, Siobhan SomervilleOur goal for this course was to create original research projects about queer culture, with a special focus on our local context, the University of Illinois, in relation to the surrounding Urbana-Champaign area. Our guiding questions included: What are the various ways of defining “queer”? What counts as “culture”? Where do we find queer culture? How is queer culture produced, sustained, or transformed? How do institutions (such as universities) help to produce or erase queer culture? What roles do race, class, and/or gender play in the production and/or visibility of queer culture? Our course texts included selected examples of queer cultural production, including film, novels, television, magazines, and music. Assignments were designed around two research projects: (1) an archival research project on some aspect of local queer history and (2) an ethnographic research project on some aspect of contemporary local queer culture.
Genre: Essay
Type: Text
Language: English
Publication Status: unpublished
Peer Reviewed: not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-06-06

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  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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