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Teaching on the Down-Low: presenting queer theory to a broad audience

Author(s): Jo Burkholder

Year: 2015

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Because we so often think about archaeological theory as something for "advanced" students, and gender and queer theory still regularly get little 'air-time' in most courses, it is unusual to introduce students to these perspectives at the level of general education and introductory course work. Personal experience in teaching Archaeology of Gender in two religiously conservative states - Kentucky and Wisconsin - over the last 15 years suggests that there are ways in which we can move students to a place where the construction of gender systems and heteronormativity can be actively, if not openly, critiqued. This paper will present two case studies that explore the ways in which presenting aspects Queer Theory in 'non-threatening' ways benefits students - regardless of sexual identity. In turn, it looks at examples of how this kind of teaching has had an impact on my own thinking about archaeological practice and interpretation.

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Teaching on the Down-Low: presenting queer theory to a broad audience. Jo Burkholder. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395583)


Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America