The Open UniversitySkip to content

Unfixing knowledges: Queering the literacy curriculum

Walsh, Christopher S. (2007). Unfixing knowledges: Queering the literacy curriculum. In: Australian Association for Research in Education International Education Research Conference, 25-29 Nov 2007, Fremantle, Western Australia.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (306kB)
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


In the literacy classroom, students have few opportunities to use their literacy practices to contest narratives of race, class, gender and sexuality. Instead, extensive time is spent completing literacy activities associated with what 'good' readers and writers do. Students' literacy practices are often formulaic, repetitive, and serve classroom management strategies producing a mythic narrative of good literacy teaching. This paper introduces a queer literacy curriculum that poses pedagogy as a series of questions: What does being taught, what does knowledge do to students? How does knowledge become understood in the relationship between teacher/text and student? (Lusted, 1986) It emphasizes developing critical analyses of heterosexism, heteronormativity and normativity with the goal of helping students understand binary categories are not givens, rather social constructions we are often forced to perform (Butler, 1990) through available discourses. The paper highlights an interruption into the literacy curriculum where, through collective memory work, students investigated, analysed and contested the usually-not-noticed ways a small understanding of heterosexuality has come to structure their lives.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: 2007 The Authors
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 19579
Depositing User: Christopher Walsh
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2010 15:59
Last Modified: 11 May 2019 17:42
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU