Achieving Against the Odds. How Academics Become Teachers of by Esther Kingston-Mann

By Esther Kingston-Mann

This selection of essays written via non-traditional college on non-traditional scholars records a fancy and tough technique of pedagogical transformation.

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I was teaching an introductory course dealing with sev18 Coming Out and Leading Out 19 eral religious traditions, and I was trying to lead a discussion on “Song of Bear,” a piece of old lore attributed by Ann Cameron to the Nootka women of Vancouver Island. Long ago, the story told, a young woman had left the menstrual hut to bathe in the stream. While she was bathing, she saw a bear watching her from the bank and trembling with desire. ” “I love you, too,” the woman replied, but this only made the bear cry harder, because the situation was even worse than it seemed.

Nonetheless, to be judged inappropriate or unprofessional for coming out would damage my reputation and therefore endanger my livelihood. The threat of that judgment was therefore a form of ostracism, and it had operated as such in my life through the fear and anxiety I had carried for years. As I learned from my colleagues, the judgment was encoded in a notion of the private or personal, which, like the notion of the natural, presented itself as a criterion for judgment while actually legitimating a pre-existing taboo.

The threat of that judgment was therefore a form of ostracism, and it had operated as such in my life through the fear and anxiety I had carried for years. As I learned from my colleagues, the judgment was encoded in a notion of the private or personal, which, like the notion of the natural, presented itself as a criterion for judgment while actually legitimating a pre-existing taboo. I am not being facetious, then, when I propose a merciless campaign of outing heterosexuals! As it is, straight people rarely reflect on their sexuality as a personal choice or preference because they tacitly assume it as the norm.

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