This article is the first one that includes data from my doctoral research. It is both exciting and a little scary to let out some this data into the world as I continue to work on my dissertation!
The article is entitled “‘I don’t care what’s under your clothes’: the discursive positioning of educators working with trans and gender-nonconforming students,” and here is the abstract:
This paper examines the meanings educators produce about their experiences working with trans and gender-nonconforming students, and the effects of this discursive process. In this paper, I draw on 62 interviews with school staff conducted in British Columbia to examine how educators understand their role in an institutional context (a school) that is shaped by systems of power that legitimise and enforce sexual and gender conformity. By drawing on the dominant narratives available to them, educators recounted their experiences through discursive resources that tend to distance them from the institutional systems of power they were operating within. Four specific discursive resources through which the educators’ experiences became intelligible are described: (1) relying on bullying discourses, (2) framing themselves as open-minded individuals, (3) emphasising external institutional obstacles and (4) acknowledging their complicity in systems of power. Through these discursive framings, the role that educators themselves play in shaping the field of legibility and legitimacy in schools is downplayed, thus limiting the potential to resist and displace existing systems of power and generate systemic transformations.
Sexualities is a journal that I love; they’re always publishing fascinating articles and the journal is such an incredible resource for people working in the field of sexuality/gender. So I am pretty excited that they have just published one of my manuscripts!
This article is an analysis of how readers reacted to the character of Buffy going ‘heteroflexible’ by sleeping with another woman. It’s a follow-up on an article I wrote on how the storyline was handled by Whedon and his team, which was published in Sexual Rhetoric in the Works of Joss Whedon. I originally presented this new paper at the 4th Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses in 2010 (one of the best conference to attend if you want to see convivial academic collaboration and support), where it won the Mr. Pointy Award for best conference paper.
The article is entitled “When the heterosexual script goes flexible: Public reactions to female heteroflexibility in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books,” and here is the abstract:
The phenomenon of heteroflexibility, wherein a heterosexual character engages in same-sex intimacy, provides a good example of how modern narratives of sexuality can contain promises of subversion yet also shore up heteronormative schemas. To fully understand how the notion of heteroflexibility functions to broaden and/or restrict our understandings of (female) sexuality, we need to examine how these narratives are taken up by the audience. This article explores this tension by analysing how readers reacted to a heteroflexible storyline featured in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books. By examining how this story was interpreted, rejected and/or embraced by readers, I show that readers who disliked the heteroflexible storyline as well as those who enjoyed it draw on liberal discourses that obscure how heteronormativity operates. This in turn limits heteroflexibility’s potential for disrupting dominant heteronormative discourses.
An article I co-authored with Kristi Kenyon and Dr. Wendy Roth was just published in the latest issue of the Canadian Journal of Higher Education. It is always a great feeling to see an article finally in print, but this one is particularly satisfying because we had been working on it since the end of the first year of my Master’s! It is on a topic (international students) totally different from the work that I usually do, but one that I find fascinating, especially as someone who would identify as an ‘in-between’ international student.
The article is entitled “The Ambiguities of International Student Status: American Undergraduate Students in Canada“, and here is the abstract:
As Canadian universities seek to attract more international students, one of the largest groups of international students has received little programmatic attention: Americans. Relying on 120 qualitative interviews with undergraduates at the University of British Columbia, we ask how the experiences of these American students differ from those of other international students, and how well international student services meet the group’s needs. Although American students resemble domestic students in some respects, they face similar adaptational challenges as other international students in others. Yet American students are often less prepared to meet those challenges because of low expectations of cultural and institutional difference, and because they do not see themselves as part of the international student community toward which services are directed. By targeting services on the basis of broad administrative categories created for financial purposes, the university reduces the take-up of the very services students need.
You can read the full text of the article here.
An article of mine was published today in the Journal of LGBT Youth. This is my first peer-reviewed publication in a professional journal, so it is a little landmark of its own. In it, I discuss the implications of an anti-homophobia education program that I was involved in while living in Paris. This was a really important article for me in terms of personal and academic growth, as it allowed to reflect critically on my experience as an activist in the field of anti-homophobia education. I think connecting practice to theory is an invaluable exercise when you work in an area where social change matters so much.
The article is entitled “Working to ‘Increase Respect and Reduce Stigma’: Thinking Through the Possibilities and Limits of an Antihomophobia Education Program in Paris.” Here is the abstract:
Drawing on the author’s volunteer experience, this article uses the insights of queer pedagogy to review the rationale and practices of a French antihomophobia education (AHE) program. This analysis further serves to question three foundational aspects of AHE, namely the role of dialogue, identity politics, and the impetus of normalization. Although AHE opens up possibilities for creating more positive school cultures (for queer youth and others), it is essential to recognize how this work can shore up the heteronormative foundations that it hopes to unsettle, so that we can learn from current limitations and implement more effective models of intervention.