Queer in the Classroom: 4 Pedagogy Panels Worth Checking Out

Being a queer writer in the classroom offers its own challenges.  How do we integrate and treat gender and gender identity in creative writing spaces?  How do we deal with insensitivity in workshops and discussions?  Do we “come out” in our classrooms, particularly when we live in conservative areas?  And how do we address students who are writing about sex, especially when its non-normative or queer sex?  Whatever the case, here are 4 panels that address queer issues inside our classroom walls.

Gender Outlaws: Teaching Gender Identity in Creative Writing 

This multigenre, gender-diverse panel will discuss inclusive pedagogical approaches that move beyond the gender binary in order to expand their students’ creative writing potential. Panelists offer examples of practical application in the classroom and also discuss the challenges they faced, such as seeking institutional support for LGBTQIA+ curriculum, incorporating lessons into classes that aren’t designated as gender special topics, and teaching a classroom of cis-identified students. Panelists: Jody KeisnerMeg DayChing-in ChenMisha RaiAlea Hall 

Details: Room 22, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor.  Thursday 9:00am

From Pronouns to Pedagogy: Queering the Creative Writing Classroom.

Outside of the rare queer lit class, creative writing curricula remains overwhelmingly cis- and hetero-centered, and queer experience, marginalized or ignored. Addressing practical concerns, such as confronting insensitivity in the workshop and integrating diverse texts, alongside theoretical questions of queer literary aesthetic and semiotics, this multi-genre panel examines how we cultivate LGBTQ+, trans and genderqueer-inclusive creative writing classrooms––to the benefit of all our students. Panelists: Kathie BergquistTrace PetersonCharles Rice GonzalesC. Russell PriceMecca Jamilah Sullivan

Details: Room 13, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor.  Friday 10:30am

Bless Our Hearts: Teaching While Queer in the South.

Teaching as a queer writer in the South has its own set of benefits and challenges, from Southern hospitality and humor to conservative religious values and students with little exposure the nontraditional literary canon. Should writers “come out” in the classroom? How can we address diversity in the classroom while making students feel respected and welcome? How does one address homophobia, racism, and sexism as a queer person? Panelists offer tips for teaching while queer in the South.  Panelists: Brandy T. Wilson, Douglas Ray, Lu Vickers, Julie Marie Wade, L. Lamar Wilson

Details: Meeting Room 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor.  Saturday 1:30pm

Teaching / Sex / Writing.

What are the pleasures and dangers of teaching work about sex and working with student writing about sex? How can we balance our own vulnerabilities with those of our students? This panel will consider how teachers whose own work investigates sex—especially queer or non-normative sex—negotiate the classroom, how much of ourselves we bring to teaching in an era of heightened awareness of trauma. Five LGBTQ writers who teach in various contexts (K–12, college, community workshops) lay it all bare. Panelists: Andrea LawlorSamuel AceVi Khi NaoRonaldo V. WilsonMyriam Gurba

Details: Room 17, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor.  Saturday 1:30pm


Over the next 5 days, we’ll highlight upcoming LGBTQ-themed AWP panels to help you plan your AWP schedule.  If you’d like your panel or event featured in an up-coming post, please do not hesitate to  contact us!

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