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Title:Queering Composition and Identity: Moving Beyond Inclusion in Composition Classrooms and the Field
Author(s):Gunter, Kimberly K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Prior, Paul
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Sociology of
Abstract:This dissertation explores the negotiations of identity that occur in subject formation within academic writing and beyond. Compositionists have attended to writers' subjectivities that hinge on race, gender, and class status; have studied ESL writers and returning adult learners; and have lauded individualist expression and urged examination of writers' acculturation. However, we have largely ignored gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (GLBTQ) subjects. While I do argue against composition's frequent erasure of and its equally problematic token gestures toward GLBTQ students, teachers, and scholars, I ultimately argue that the field as a whole, composition instructors in particular, and identity-based communities outside of academia as well would be better served not by aiming toward inclusion but by queering identity altogether. While GLBTQ subjectivities are monumentally important to those who ascribe to them, this dissertation contends that GLBTQ subjectivity is so divergent as to be undefinable and in a sense mythic. I demonstrate this contention by working at the juncture of my own lived experiences as a lesbian compositionist; of a series of interviews with self-identified lesbians; and of GLBTQ student writers' navigation of subjectivity in the texts and talk they produced in a queer composition class I designed, proposed, and taught in the spring of 1999. Locating my work in relation to queer theory, composition theory, and critical and feminist pedagogies, I posit that unless identity is queered, subjects continue to be shackled in their subject formation, not just by heteronormativity but homonormativity as well. Pedagogically, queering subjectivity allows GLBTQ student writers in particular to begin forming academic voices that neither mandate they mimic a heterosexual objectivity nor accede to a prescribed, stereotypical gay position.
Issue Date:2001
Description:236 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3017086
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2001

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