|University of Utah
||Seminar on Gender and Sexuality in Education
|Office: 308C MBH
mailbox in 307 MBH
Focus on: Alternative and Hegemonic Spaces
||Class meets in OSH 234 on Wed. 4:35-7:35 p.m.
fax: 587-7801, receptionist: 587-7814
|Tu 1-4, W 2:00-4:30 and by appt.
|| email: Audrey.Thompson@utah.edu
The frequent appeals to “safe spaces” in the educational
literature seem to suggest that student (and teacher) safety is a
neutral, normal condition, with unsafe conditions an unfortunate
disruption in the norm. To create educational spaces in which all
students can learn, however, we may need to denormalize what counts as
safety, and to recognize how that form of safety is often constructed
to exclude particular groups. The purpose of this seminar is to
study how sexuality and gender are spatialized: the ways in which
particular spaces both shape and are shaped by what is recognized as
possible, legitimate, appropriate, and desirable in relation to
gender/sexuality. Because the construction of sexuality and
gender is also, at the same time, raced and classed, we will study
intersectionalities of gender/sexuality with race, class, culture, age,
as well as other dimensions of identity and situatedness.
(Note: Depending on the semester, the seminar on gender and sexuality in education may take
up different topics. Students may sign up for the course a second time, for a total of 6 hours, if
the topic changes.)
This class is intended to give master’s and doctoral students experience in shaping a
small research project; accordingly, the class will develop interview questions together, discuss how to look
at and photograph spaces, and collectively address researchable questions. The course
requirements include a final project in which each student examines a particular local space to
analyze the ways in which performances of sexuality and gender are organized. Such a space
might be a classroom, a GSA, an after-school club or camp, a staff room, a library, or a
cafeteria, for example. Although the space chosen for analysis does not have to be one
connected to formal education, the paper should take up educational considerations related to
The class will meet once a week, each time discussing the readings on the syllabus. To
participate actively in class, it is essential that you read carefully, prepare questions, and jot
down any issues you wish to discuss. I will make short presentations to provide necessary
background information. My primary role, however, will be to ask questions, clarify points
raised in our discussions, and summarize the important issues that we discuss.
Read the articles not solely as advancing particular arguments, but as complex moves to
address and challenge the silences, norms, narratives, and definitions advanced in the larger
debates. Ask: how do these readings work together? Rather than approach the readings as
positions with which one might agree or disagree, then, approach them as offering insights
about what to pay attention to in the construction of safe, queer, hostile, playful, educational,
hegemonic, and/or alternative spaces for the performance of sexuality/gender.
There are no books to purchase. Except for in-class handouts, all of the assigned readings are
on electronic reserve at the library. There are also some additional readings on e-reserve that
will not be assigned but that you might be interested in reading as further background.
Course requirements include carefully reading the assigned articles and
class regularly, and participating respectfully (please see below for
specifics). In addition, there
will be two brief photography assignments (one as part of the final
project), a midterm paper (6-7 pages), a one-page paper, a set of two
transcribed interviews (approx. 3-4 pages), and a final paper/project
on the politics of location
(10-12 pages). There is no final exam.
Class participation does not necessarily mean talking a lot. I would like everyone to try to
contribute in spoken words sometimes but I don’t expect that everyone will speak to the same
degree. How you participate is what matters: talking a lot does not equal thoughtful or better
participation. Indeed, I ask that no one dominate the group or make it difficult for others to
contribute. I expect everyone to listen carefully to others and to give one another what Marilyn
Frye calls “uptake,” so that the conversation takes careful account of everyone else’s
contributions. Listening doesn’t mean just refuting positions or using an interval of non-talking
to prepare one’s own next statement; it means taking in the strengths as well as the limitations
of the positions being argued for, and also trying to hear what is beyond speaking. All
members of the class do not have to agree, but we need to listen carefully and respectfully to
one another and to engage one another’s questions, concerns, challenges, and (re)framings.
Participation and attendance: 15% of grade
The midterm paper should discuss a key issue in the readings. At least three of the class
readings should be addressed in some detail.
First photography assignment: 5% of grade
Midterm paper: 30% of grade
One-page paper and interview transcripts: 10% of grade
Second photography assignment & presentation of project: 10% of grade
Final project: 30% of grade
For the final project, you are to perform an analysis of a particular geographical space in terms
of how it constructs gender and sexuality. See “The Geography of Gender and Sexuality in
Public Spaces” handout. For the two weeks before the final projects are due, each student will
give the class a brief oral presentation concerning the project, accompanied by photographs.
Both the midterm and the final project must be vitally informed by the course discussions,
lectures, activities, and readings. You should cite any references that inform your analysis;
wherever possible, give specific page numbers, even if you are not citing the text directly. It
does not matter to me which citation system you use or whether you make up your own, as long
as I can follow your system and can locate the passages you (should) have indicated. If you
plan to write academic papers or a master’s or doctoral thesis, I encourage you to familiarize
yourself with whatever citation format is most common in your field (e.g., MLA, Chicago, APA),
as it is best to have made formal citation habits more or less automatic before you get to the
thesis stage. However, this is up to you. For my purposes, it is enough that you indicate the
relevant author and page numbers of any work on the syllabus (e.g., Subero 192). However,
please do provide full bibliographic information for any outside readings upon which your paper
Schedule of Class Topics and Reading
How do conventions, time, spatial arrangements, and individuals construct gender/sex
possibilities? What makes a space appear heterosexual? masculine? feminine? queer?
When and how are the norms challenged or breached?
Wed. 27 Aug.
In-class readings (these will be handed out in class):
Handout: Photo Activity: Attending to Gender
- María Villaseñor, “Bountiful: If Your Ink Shows, Do Not Apply,” The Salt Lake Tribune, (Friday, August 15, 2008), B1-2.
- Didier Eribon, Insult and the Making of the Gay Self, trans. Michael Lucey (Durham, NC:
Duke University Press, 2004), Ch. 1-3
- Brett Genny Beemyn, Andrea Domingue, Jessica Pettitt, and Todd Smith, “Suggested
Tips to Make Campuses More Trans-Inclusive,” Journal of Gay and Lesbian
Issues in Education 3, no. 1 (2005): 89-94.
Video: William H. Whyte, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (New York: Municipal Art Society of New York, 1984).
Slide show on performances of gender
Wed. 3 Sept.
- Dolores Hayden, “What Would a Non-Sexist City Be Like? Speculations on Housing,
Urban Design, and Human Work,” Signs 5, no. 3 [Supplement] (Spring 1980):
- Sharon P. Holland, “Foreword: ‘Home’ Is a Four-Letter Word,” in Black Queer Studies:
A Critical Anthology, ed. E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson (Durham,
NC: Duke University Press, 2005), ix-xiii.
- Gustavo Subero, “The Different Caminos of Latino Homosexuality in Francisco J.
Lombardi’s No se lo Digas a Nadie,” Studies in Hispanic Cinemas 2, no. 3 (July
Handout: Paying Attention to Space
First photography assignment due: presentations to be given in small groups
G. Valentine, “(Hetero)sexing Space: Lesbian Perceptions and Experiences
of Everyday Spaces,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 11, No. 4 (August 1993): 395-413.
Wed. 10 Sept.
Closet and Hidden
Handout: Spatializing Gender and Sexuality
- Michael P. Brown, “Epistemologies and Geographies of the Closet,” in Closet Space:
Geographies of Metaphor from the Body to the Globe (London: Routledge,
- Carol Gilligan, “Teaching Shakespeare’s Sister: Notes from the Underground of Female
Adolescence,” in Making Connections: The Relational Worlds of Adolescent
Girls at Emma Willard School, ed. Carol Gilligan, Nona P. Lyons, and Trudy J.
Hanmer (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), 6-29.
- Martin F. Manalansan, IV, “In the Shadows of Stonewall: Examining Gay Transnational
Politics and the Diasporic Dilemma,” in The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of
Capital, ed. Lisa Lowe and David Lloyd (Durham, NC: Duke University Press,
Barbara A. Weightman, “Gay Bars as Private Places,” Landscape 24, no. 1 (1980): 9-16.
Wed. 17 Sept.
Constructing Norm and Other in
Handout: Midterm paper tips
- Alison Lee, “Reading the Classroom Dynamics,” in Gender, Literacy, Curriculum: Re-writing School Geography (London: Taylor & Francis, 1996), 71-99.
- Emma Renold, “Learning the ‘Hard’ Way: Hegemonic Masculinity and the Negotiation
of Learner Identities in the Primary School,” British Journal of Sociology of
Education 22, no. 3 (2001): 369-85.
- Cynthia Lewis, “Negotiating Classroom Culture in Peer-Led Literature Discussions:
What Are Our Social Roles?” in Literary Practices as Social Acts: Power, Status
and Cultural Norms in the Classroom (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates, Publishers, 2001), 85-118.
Wed. 24 Sept.
Materialist Theories of Gender
- Mary McIntosh, “The Homosexual Role,” Social Problems 16, no. 2 (Autumn 1968):
- George W. Smith, “The Ideology of ‘Fag’: The School Experience of Gay Students,”
Sociological Quarterly 39, no. 2 (Spring 1998): 309-35.
- Chrys Ingraham, “The Heterosexual Imaginary: Feminist Sociology and Theories of
Gender,” Sociological Theory 12, no. 2 (July 1994): 203-19.
Wed. 1 Oct.
Politics and Performativity of
- Adrienne Rich, “Notes toward a Politics of Location,” in Blood, Bread, and Poetry:
Selected Prose, 1979-1985 (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1986),
- Chris Shilling, “Social Space, Gender Inequalities and Educational Differentiation,”
British Journal of Sociology of Education 12, no. 1 (1991): 23-44.
- Ian Grosvenor, “On Visualising Past Classrooms,” in Silences and Images: The Social
History of the Classroom, ed. Ian Grosvenor, Martin Lawn and Kate
Rousmaniere (New York: Peter Lang, 1999), 83-104.
Linley Walker, Dianne Butland, and Raewyn Connell, “Boys on the Road: Masculinities, Car Culture, and Road Safety Education,”
in Masculinities and Schooling: International Practices and Perspectives, ed. Blye W. Frank and Kevin G. Davison
(London, Ontario: Althouse Press, 2007), 111-28.
Wed. 8 Oct.
Midterm paper due
- Adrienne Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence,” Signs 5, no. 4
(Summer 1980): 631-60.
- Carolyn Epple, “Coming to Terms with Navajo ‘Nádleehí’: A Critique of ‘Berdache,’
‘Gay,’ ‘Alternate Gender,’ and ‘Two Spirit,’” American Ethnologist 25, no. 2 (May
- Judith Roof, “Buckling down or Knuckling under: Discipline or Punish in Lesbian and
Gay Studies,” in Who Can Speak? Authority and Critical Identity, ed. Judith Roof
and Robyn Wiegman (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995), 180-92.
FALL BREAK October 13 - 17
Wed. 22 Oct.
Handout: The Geography of Gender and Sexuality in Public Spaces
- Richard A. Friend, “Choices, Not Closets: Heterosexism and Homophobia in Schools,”
in Beyond Silenced Voices: Class, Race, and Gender in United States Schools,
ed. Lois Weis and Michelle Fine (Albany, NY: State University of New York
Press, 1993), 209-35.
- Gill Valentine, “(Re)Negotiating the ‘Heterosexual Street’: Lesbian Productions of
Space,” in BodySpace: Destabilizing Geographies of Gender and Sexuality, ed.
Nancy Duncan (London: Routledge, 1996), 146-55.
- Cathy J. Cohen, “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of
Queer Politics?” in Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology, ed. E. Patrick
Johnson and Mae G. Henderson (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005),
Stewart Kirby and Iain Hay, “(Hetero)sexing Space: Gay Men and ‘Straight’ Space in Adelaide, South Australia,” Professional Geographer
49, no. 3 (August 1997): 295-305.
Collective development of interview questions
Wed. 29 Oct.
*** CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TO READ; WRITE ONE PAGE ABOUT HOW IT CONTRIBUTES TO A
SPATIALIZED UNDERSTANDING OF SEXUALITY/GENDER
- Lawrence D. Berg and Robin A. Kearns, “Naming as Norming: ‘Race,’ Gender, and the Identity Politics of Naming Places in Aotearoa/New Zealand,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 14, no. 1 (February 1996): 99-122.
- Mark E. Casey, “The Queer Unwanted and Their Undesirable ‘Otherness,’” in Geographies of Sexualities: Theory, Practices and Politics,
ed. Kath Browne, Jason Lim, and Gavin Brown (Aldershot, Hampshire, UK/Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2007), 125-35.
- Patricia Cooper and Ruth Oldenziel, “Cherished Classifications: Bathrooms and the
Construction of Gender/Race on the Pennsylvania Railroad during World War II,”
Feminist Studies 25, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 7-41.
- Sheila Cunnison, “Gender Joking in the Staffroom,” in Teachers, Gender and Careers, ed.
Sandra Acker (New York: Falmer Press, 1989), 151-67.
- Tara Goldstein, Vanessa Russell, and Andrea Daley, “Safe, Positive and Queering Moments in
Teaching Education and Schooling: A Conceptual Framework,” Teaching Education 18,
no. 3 (September 2007): 183-99.
- Clare Hemmings, “From Landmarks to Spaces: Mapping the Territory of a Bisexual
Genealogy,” in Queers in Space: Communities, Public Spaces, Sites of Resistance, ed.
Gordon Brent Ingram, Anne-Marie Bouthillette, and Yolanda Retter (Seattle, WA: Bay
Press, 1997), 147-62.
- Nancy López, “Rewriting Race and Gender High School Lessons: Second-Generation
Dominicans in New York City,” Teachers College Record 104, no. 6 (September 2002):
- Biddy Martin and Chandra Talpade Mohanty, “Feminist Politics: What’s Home Got to Do with
It?” in Feminist Studies, Critical Studies, ed. Teresa de Lauretis (Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 1986), 191-212.
- Valerie Ann Moore, “‘Doing’ Racialized and Gendered Age to Organize Peer Relations:
Observing Kids in Summer Camp,” Gender and Society 15, no. 6 (December 2001):
- Wanda S. Pillow, “Exposed Methodology: The Body as a Deconstructive Practice,”
International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 10, no. 3 (July-September
Wed. 5 Nov.
and Poststructuralist Analyses of Gender and
Handout: Project and presentation tips
- Kay Anderson, “Engendering Race Research: Unsettling the Self-Other Dichotomy,” in
BodySpace: Destabilizing Geographies of Gender and Sexuality, ed. Nancy
Duncan (London: Routledge, 1996), 197-211.
- K. Tsianina Lomawaima, “Domesticity in the Federal Indian Schools: The Power of
Authority over Mind and Body,” American Ethnologist 20, no. 2 (May 1993):
- Ki Namaste, “The Politics of Inside/Out: Queer Theory, Poststructuralism, and a
Sociological Approach to Sexuality,” Sociological Theory 12, no. 2 (July 1994):
One-page paper and Interview transcripts due
Wed. 12 Nov.
- Lance Trevor McCready, “Understanding the Marginalization of Gay and Gender-Non-Conforming Black Male Students,” Theory into Practice 43, no. 2 (Spring 2004):
- Adi Kuntsman, “Belonging through Violence: Flaming, Erasure, and Performativity in
Queer Migrant Community,” in Queer Online: Media Technology and Sexuality,
ed. Kate O’Riordan and David J. Phillips (New York: Peter Lang, 2007), 101-20.
- Todd Heibel, “Blame It on the Casa Nova? ‘Good Scenery and Sodomy’ in Rural
Southwestern Pennsylvania,” in Spaces of Hate: Geographies of Discrimination
and Intolerance in the U.S.A, ed. Colin Flint (New York: Routledge, 2004),
Wed. 19 Nov.
Small group work on projects: Bring your materials for group analysis
- Cynthia Neal Spence and Manju Parikh, “A Women’s College Perspective on the
Education of College Men,” New Directions for Student Services no. 107 (Fall
- Tansin Benn, “Muslim Women and Physical Education in Initial Teacher Training,”
Sport, Education and Society 1, no. 1 (1996): 5-21.
- Edén E. Torres, “The Virtues of Conflict: Challenging Dominant Culture and White
Feminist Theory,” in Chicana without Apology/Chicana sin vergüenza: The New
Chicana Cultural Studies (New York: Routledge, 2003), 129-44.
Wed. 26 Nov.
Identity and Culture
- Janice M. Irvine, “A Place in the Rainbow: Theorizing Lesbian and Gay Culture,”
Sociological Theory 12, no. 2 (July 1994): 232-48.
- James Messerschmidt, “From Patriarchy to Gender: Feminist Theory, Criminology, and
the Challenge of Diversity,” in Female Gangs in America: Essays on Girls,
Gangs and Gender, ed. Meda Chesney-Lind and John M. Hagedorn (Chicago:
Lake View Press, 1999), 118-32.
- Anne Campbell, “Self-Definition by Rejection: The Case of Gang Girls,” Social
Problems 34, no. 5 (December 1987): 451-66.
Carol A. B. Warren, “Interaction Ritual,” in Identity and Community in the Gay World (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1974), 44-67.
Wed. 3 Dec.
Fear and Power
- Victoria Bissell Brown, “The Fear of Feminization: Los Angeles High Schools in the
Progressive Era,” Feminist Studies 16, no. 3 (Fall 1990): 493-518.
- Kevin K. Kumashiro, “Reading Queer Asian American Masculinities and Sexualities in
Elementary School,” in Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the
Dialogue about Sexualities and Schooling, ed. William J. Letts IV and James T.
Sears (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999), 61-70.
- Nadine Naber, “The Rules of Forced Engagement: Race, Gender, and the Culture of
Fear among Arab Immigrants in San Francisco Post-9/11,” Cultural Dynamics
18, no. 3 (November 2006): 235-67.
Gill Valentine, ”The Geography of Women’s Fear,” Area 21, no. 4 (December 1989): 385-90.
Short oral presentations of your final projects, Part 1
Wed. 10 Dec.
Short oral presentations of your final projects, Part 2
- Annette Henry, “‘Invisible’ and ‘Womanish’: Black Girls Negotiating Their Lives in an
African-Centered School in the USA,” Race, Ethnicity and Education 1, no. 2
- Michelle Fine, “Sexuality, Schooling, and Adolescent Females: The Missing Discourse
of Desire,” in Beyond Silenced Voices: Class, Race, and Gender in United
States Schools, ed. Lois Weis and Michelle Fine (Albany: State University of
New York Press, 1993), 75-99.
- Christina M. Misa, “Where Have All the Queer Students of Color Gone? Negotiated
Identity of Queer Chicana/o Students,” in Troubling Intersections of Race and
Sexuality: Queer Students of Color and Anti-Oppressive Education, ed. Kevin K.
Kumashiro (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001), 67-80.
Wed. 17 Dec.
due by 4:30 p.m.