Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (5-6):618-634 (2010)

The perceptibility and intelligibility of queer students and teachers have been a central theme in queer politics in education. Can queer teachers be ‘out’ to their colleagues and students? Can queer relationships be seen at the school prom? Can queerness be seen and heard? At the same time, perceptibility and intelligibility are by no means uncontested political goals. This paper analyzes different school initiatives by and/or for queer students and asks how political these initiatives are from the perspective of Jacques Rancière's conception of politics. In particular, it employs Rancière's work on the ‘distribution of the sensible’ to analyze conditions of visibility and sayability and the political risks and benefits that gaining visibility and sayability carries for queer students and teachers. The paper brings Rancière's distinction between identification and subjectification into conversation with Judith Butler's work on the governing of intelligibility by social norms, and the promise of ‘insurrectionary speech’. Finally, Rancière's work on the role of allies in political interventions that shift the distribution of the sensible provides a fresh reading of Gay‐Straight Alliances in schools and the work of queer allies more generally.
Keywords visibility  distribution of the sensible  queer politics  recognition  Judith Butler
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DOI 10.1111/epat.2010.42.issue-5-6
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Undoing Gender.J. Butler - 2004 - Routledge.

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