, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 77-90
Date: 10 Nov 2012

The Ellen DeGeneration: nudging bias in the creative arts classroom

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Abstract

Research in the areas of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) issues in education has been growing steadily over the past 10 years with the help of Fine and Weis (Silenced voices and extraordinary conversations: re-imagining schools, 2003), Rasmussen (Becoming subjects: sexualities and secondary schooling, 2006), Tolman (Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage girls talk about sexuality, 2002) and others. Simultaneously, LGBT figures in popular media such as Ellen DeGeneres have influenced the rhizomatic growth of communities of difference (Fine et al. Harvard Educational Review, 67(2):247–285, 1997), significantly influencing classroom intersubjectivities in both spoken and unspoken ways. Creative arts industries and classrooms offer new possibilities for expression of alternate positionalities and new vistas of difference (including similarity), and this article argues the value of holding these difficult conversations toward liberatory pedagogies. The classroom encounter described in this article stresses the urgent need for continuing sexualities diversity dialogue in schools, highlighting its compatibilities with antiracist, anticlassist and antipatriarchal narratives.