While language plays a crucial role in shaping how we think about gender and sexual identity, the foreign language classroom generally stays remarkably mute or critically obtuse when it comes to sensitizing language learners and instructors about the language of sexual and gender diversity.
This presentation, which is part of my ongoing research on queer theory and queer pedagogy, aims at devising ways to apply these theoretical frameworks to teaching practices that acknowledge queer visibility in the classroom. The goal of this presentation is to examine strategies to enhance inclusion, recognition and visibility of sexual and transgender minorities in the foreign language classroom.
My understanding of queer pedagogy is that in order to challenge classroom practices that erase the visibility of LGBTQ individuals we need to be inventive and critical instructors, willing to address in class what most textbooks and language manuals omit. What I aim for is opening up the discussion on how language instructors might develop tools and strategies to guarantee a safe space of affirmative visibility for sexual and transgender minorities in our classrooms.
João Nemi Neto is a Lecturer in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures here at Columbia. João received his B.A. in English and Portuguese Languages and Literatures and his M.A. in Education – Teaching of Portuguese and PFL at Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil. He also earned an M. Phil in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Languages and Literatures at the GC/CUNY and holds a PhD with an Interdisciplinary Concentration in Lesbian/Gay/Queer Studies at the Graduate Center/ CUNY. His dissertation is titled “Anthropophagic Queer: A Study on Abjected Bodies and Brazilian Queer Theory.” His research focuses on Queer Theory(ies) in Latin America and contemporary literature in Portuguese and Spanish and Queer Pedagogy. Before joining the department, he taught at Hunter College in New York City and at the American School of São Paulo. João has taught Spanish, English and Portuguese as foreign languages in Brazil and in the United States.