Advertisement

Puncturing the Silence: Teaching The Laramie Project in the Secondary English Classroom

  • Toby Emert
Chapter
  • 659 Downloads
Part of the Queer Studies and Education book series (QSTED)

Abstract

Emert describes a collaborative research project in which he partnered with four grade 9–12 English teachers who were introducing an explicitly queer text in their classrooms for the first time. The teachers developed instructional units on The Laramie Project, a documentary-style play about the brutal 1998 attack on gay college student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. The play is often produced in high school theaters but is rarely studied in English classes. The compelling narrative engaged and moved the students and invited them to converse about the sociocultural constructions of identity, society’s expectations regarding gender, and issues of justice and personal responsibility. The chapter details the teachers’ experiences, offers an exemplar assignment, and summarizes reflections written by the participating teachers and their students.

Keywords

Laramie Project Secondary English Teachers Exemplary Assignment High School Theater Gender Creative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Cianciotto, J., & Cahill, S. (2012). LGBT youth in America’s schools. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Counsell, C., & Wolf, L. (2001). Performance analysis: An introductory coursebook. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Ellis, V. (2009). What English can contribute to understanding sexual identities. English Journal, 98(4), 52–55.Google Scholar
  4. Emert, T., & Hall, M. (2015). Greater satisfaction from the labor: Creative writing as a text response strategy in the teacher education classroom. In G. Harper (Ed.), Creative writing and education (pp. 57–67). Bristol: Multilingual Matters/Channel View Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Foultier, A. P. (2013). Language and the gendered body: Butler’s early reading of Merleau-Ponty. Hypatia, 28(4), 767–783. doi: 10.1111/hypa.12040.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hammond, W., & Steward, D. (2013). Verbatim, verbatim: Contemporary documentary theatre. London: Oberon Books.Google Scholar
  7. Jackson, Y. (2011). The pedagogy of confidence. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  8. Kaufman, M. (2001). The Laramie project. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  9. Kitchen, J. (2015). Inqueeries into self-study: Queering the gaze on teacher educator identity and practice. In M. Taylor & L. Coia (Eds.), Gender, feminism, and queer theory in the self-study of teacher education practices (pp. 127–141). Boston: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  10. Mayo, C. (2014). LGBTQ youth and education: Policies and practices. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  11. Miller, s. (2015). A queer literacy framework promoting (a)gender and (a)sexuality self-determination and justice. English Journal, 104(5), 37–44.Google Scholar
  12. Payne, E. C., & Smith, M. (2011). The reduction of stigma in schools: A new professional development model for empowering educators to support LGBTQ students. Journal of LGBT Youth, 8(2), 174–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Rosenblatt, L. (1969). Toward a transactional theory of reading. Journal of Literacy Research, 1(1), 31–49.Google Scholar
  14. Russell, V. T. (2010). Queer teachers’ ethical dilemmas regarding queer youth. Teaching Education, 21(2), 143–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Swartz, P. C. (2005). It’s elementary in Appalachia: Helping prospective teachers and their students understand sexuality and gender. In J. T. Sears (Ed.), Gay, lesbian, and transgender issues in education: Programs, policies, and practices (pp. 125–146). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Thompson, F. T., & Austin, W. P. (2010). The gender role perceptions of male students at a prestigious, single-gender, Catholic high school. Education, 130(3), 424–446.Google Scholar
  17. Unger, N. C. (2007). Teaching “straight” gay and lesbian history. The Journal of American History, 93, 1192–1199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Vare, J. W., & Norton, T. L. (2004). Bibliotherapy for gay and lesbian youth: Overcoming the structure of silence. Clearing House, 77(5), 190–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Open Access This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/), which permits any noncommercial use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toby Emert
    • 1
  1. 1.Agnes Scott CollegeDecaturUSA

Personalised recommendations