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By Esther Kingston-Mann

This selection of essays written by means of non-traditional school on non-traditional scholars files a posh and hard technique of pedagogical transformation.

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Extra info for Achieving Against the Odds. How Academics Become Teachers of Diverse Students

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Needless to say, I was deeply embarrassed and disconcerted upon reading this. I tried to run back over my every word in the course. Had I ever said, either directly or indirectly, that I am a lesbian? No, I was certain I had not; in my hypervigilance about this topic, that would never have slipped out. Had I raised the topic of minority sexuality often? No, only in the single, uncomfortable instance of the bear story. Feminist analysis, however, had been among the critical threads of the course.

And whether I come out sooner or later, I avoid a bombshell style of self-disclosure (à la “I’m here, I’m queer, get used to it”). I may refer to gay and lesbian people as “we” rather than “they” or, more explicitly, may note that I am among those our fundamentalist authors condemn when they write of homosexuals. ” The closet, however, is amazingly resilient. ” This would have been “outing” me, had I not already come out on my own only a couple of classes earlier. Nonetheless, the start that went through the room after Alan said this was as undeniable as a fire alarm.

In unmixed company, people may communicate in such cognitive shorthand, but in the mixed company of the public sphere, this does not take us very far. Like claims about the origins of homosexuality, appeals to authority do not so much show how one’s positive or negative judgment came about as they legitimate a judgment that has already been made on other grounds. Appeals to contemporary practice do not resolve much either, since many people across the political spectrum think that something may be radically wrong with the contemporary world.

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