Pedagogies of Queer and Trans Repair
Letters from Queer Geographic Classrooms
In this article, four scholars in feminist, queer and transgender (trans) geographies, and critical race geographies bring forth experiences of teaching about race, gender, sexualities, ability, and citizenship status in contemporary United States and Canada. We utilize “queer epistolary,” a form of letter writing as speaking out loud, co-reflecting, caring, and supporting each other. In doing so, the article suggests that a queer, trans, feminist, and critical race geographic pedagogy requires ongoing community building (both virtual and material) in order to nurture and sustain the work of racialized, queer, and trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming geographers. This article presents our exchange as a way of illuminating how geography classrooms are laden with power asymmetries, and how our embodied experiences as queer and trans people are tangled in the messy power exchanges of the classroom. We argue that queering the geography classroom necessitates critical explorations of (settler) colonialism, racial capitalism, regionalisms, and geopolitics alongside our own bodies and subjectivities. Queer and trans geographic pedagogies challenge us to locate ourselves, alongside our students, within the personal and geographical specificity of power geometries in the classroom setting. This task is weighted with political urgency while simultaneously attaching vulnerability to the queer and trans geographers who embody the vexing differences that we teach.
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