Week 8: Queer Studies & Pedagogy

As I read through Prof. Brim’s book, I realize that queer studies are interconnected with different social factors such as class, woman, race, and poverty. Although queer studies are a somewhat unfamiliar subject to me, I could see a little glimpse of how queer studies are happening in the U.S. and a vivid description of Brim’s class’s authentic atmosphere. One of the fun parts of the book is that some young women students’ chief goal is not to graduate as quickly as possible so that they can forestall marriage or resist increased pressure to marry. On the other hand, one of the heartbreaking parts is about a queer homeless student holding back tears, “this is the first time they’ve kicked me out for good.” Although I could not fully understand the student and Poor Queer Studies Mothers’ difficult situations, it is nice to hear that queer studies could be used as an educational ladder for students’ social mobility. And it is also touching story that when a mother brought her child to one of the queer studies’ classes, every student there treated her child so considerably, and that experience led the students involved in the class to a deep level of understanding of queer words.  Additionally, it is interesting to know that continuing to live at a parent’s home while commuting to college is considered an overwhelmingly low-income and working-class experience in the U.S. (If what I understood from the text is correct). In Korea, students prefer commuting to colleges from their homes, and there is no such bias. This point makes me think that colleges should be considerate of not only for their students’ studies or grades but also of their socioeconomic status, which is the most significant determinant for their likelihood to graduate. Colleges should try to create as many part-time job opportunities on campus as possible for low-income students and provide them with a long period of study years so that many working students can finish their studies successfully while managing their lives properly.


Pedagogy roundup: This is one of the ideas that came to mind as I took this higher-edu class. As an international student, sometimes I felt like “I do not know what this means” in the class. I think it might be due to language or cultural barriers, or it might be because I’m learning new academical terminologies (I’m not saying this negatively. I am enjoying taking this class. Please don’t get me wrong😊). I am still learning English, which I love to learn, and I’m also experiencing new cultures in NYC as a student who studies in a different cultural context.

Just as someone brought up some of the immigrant student issues in the class, I think my new cultural experience as an international student connect not only to other international students but also to many immigrants who are still coming to the U.S. This point leads me to question, “are American students (especially American-born students) ready enough to accept various immigrant students to their classes and their college lives? Are U.S. colleges well prepared to receive immigrant students as their actual members?”

To answer these questions, I think about pedagogy related to “understanding other cultures by experiencing those cultures.” As we talked a lot about “inclusivity” in the class, being aware of other people’s cultures from other countries or regions is important to becoming inclusive, and and should not be considered a trivial matter. Creating opportunities to understand and experience other cultures in class will allow American students to be knowledgeable about how they should interact with culturally different students. And creating opportunities to understand other cultures also would help American-born students have more open-minded attitudes toward immigrant students. Furthermore, this approach may contribute to making the U.S. society more inclusive to each other despite of racial, ethnic, and gender differences. So, I suggest this pedagogy:

-At the beginning of the college semester, every student in class presents about “introducing his/her ethnic or country cultures” in front of other students so that all students can recognize that they have been grown up in different cultures and family backgrounds.   

-During the presentation, immigrant or international students can use their native language sometimes to give American students opportunities to experience how a study using other languages is different from a study in their mother tongues. This experience can be called “becoming an exchange student abroad.”

-Second, third or higher generation immigrant students also should introduce their parent’s previous country’s cultures. By doing so, they could learn not to forget their original national identities.

-Students can share exotic foods of different countries and wear their home or parent’s home-country’s traditional dresses during the class with explanations about when they wear those dresses.

3 thoughts on “Week 8: Queer Studies & Pedagogy

  1. Lucien Baskin

    Thank you for sharing about the different class implications of commuting to university in the United States and Korea. In light of the discussions of mothering, I am curious about the class-gender intersection of this difference. Your point made me think about Janan’s discussion of the unique space of the residential college campus in the US for students with so few opportunities to take risks in neoliberal society, making me wonder about the status of commuting in different nations with varying social safety nets.

  2. Katina Rogers (she/her)

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful and illuminating post! I deeply appreciate hearing the things that stand out to you, whether similarities or things that are unexpected. I am also very interested in Matt’s discussion of “queering graduation rates” to allow some women to stay in school longer, to postpone marriage and motherhood—maybe we can talk about the ways that things that are assumed to be good (e.g., graduating in x number of years) may in fact be at cross-purposes to an individual student’s goals.

    And, thank you too for the rich pedagogical ideas. On a very concrete note for our particular class, I wonder if we as a class could decide on a specific zoom “reaction” to indicate that a definition would be helpful—I bet others have similar questions, and sometimes it’s hard to jump in when conversation is flowing.

  3. Matt Brim

    Hi Everyone,

    David, it seems to me that whether you intended it or not you’ve got a project on your hands–maybe for our class but maybe not. Moving forward, keep your responses somewhere handy and take them out every once and a while for a quick review. Add a little bit here and there. Raise your ideas in other classes and other educational settings. See where it goes!

    Katina, I love your idea for a new zoom “reaction”!!


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