Performative Texts and the Pedagogical Theatre: Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home as Compositional Model

  • William Cordeiro
  • Season Ellison


In this chapter, Cordeiro and Ellison reflect on their use of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, a rich, multimodal text they have incorporated in many of their freshman- and sophomore-level Honors composition and general population first-year seminar classes. As they discuss, they have used and approached Fun Home from a variety of angles: generically in relation to the Bildungsroman, as a Gothic novel, as a memoir, as a graphic novel, and as a model of performativity embedded by and within the text, highlighting the ways in which Fun Home both performs and is about identity performance. Cordeiro and Ellison foreground the concept of “pedagogical theatre” to illustrate how strong pedagogy should be fluid, flexible, shifting, nebulous, and always in rehearsal, as, like the characters in Bechdel’s novels, educators and scholars continually negotiate their relationships with students, with texts, and with writing.

Works Cited

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Cordeiro
    • 1
  • Season Ellison
    • 2
  1. 1.Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA
  2. 2.Bemidji State UniversityBemidjiUSA

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