BODY OF KNOWLEDGE: BLACK QUEER FEMINIST THOUGHT, PERFORMANCE, AND PEDAGOGY
Lewis, Mel Michelle
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation, "Body of Knowledge: Black Queer Feminist Thought, Performance, and Pedagogy," considers the ways in which the body, identity, and performance function as "equipment" for teaching and learning in the college classroom and beyond. The project identifies, names, and examines the ways in which the body functions as a text for some instructors who self-identify as Black queer feminist women, as they draw attention to or deflect attention from their own corporeal presence as racialized, gendered, and sexualized subjects in the feminist classroom and in the broader campus community. For pedagogues whose "embodied text" highlights the nexus of race, gender, and sexuality, identity informs and constructs the classroom. These intersections can disrupt the classroom, and shape the pedagogical project. This dissertation explores the ways in which such pedagogues work to harness their "otherness," or differences from expected teaching identity, and to engage their creative pedagogical power through embodiment and performance. Using two feminist case studies and a self -study, I employ an intersectional feminist approach that envisages the body as a text for teaching about race, gender, and sexuality in higher education. This project theorizes and applies a framework for studying the intersection of creative pedagogy and subversive identity by emphasizing the utility of embodied performance as an instructive tool. The work draws from and contributes to scholarship on intersectionality, the lived experiences of women of color and queer women; and the traditions of feminist studies, Black studies, LGBTQ studies, and feminist and critical pedagogies, particularly addressing the experiences and concerns of teachers in higher education with multiple intersecting identities who work across multiple disciplines. Documenting, the experiences, challenges, and reflections of three Black queer feminists for whom teaching itself is both a commitment and an identity, is as much a contribution as more abstractly theorizing a Black queer feminist pedagogy.