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Journal of Lesbian Studies

Jillian Carter Ford
I conducted semi-structured interviews with eight self-identified Black lesbian classroom teachers. Seven participants taught in three districts in the same large metropolitan area in the U.S. Southeast; one participant taught in a smaller city in a bordering state. In response to the vague prompt to describe the intersections between their sexuality and their schooling experiences as a teacher, every participant spoke explicitly about her unwillingness to lie about her sexuality if asked. In this article, I argue that honesty is a critical component of Black women's experiences, the necessity of which can be tied to womanism...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Dominique C Hill
What are the hesitations, dangers, and potentialities to inviting students to peruse my body? What possibilities arise from centering and leading with the body in the teaching/learning process? What risks and possibilities does this enactment pose to a Black lesbian educator? This auto/ethnography journeys through and reflects upon my experience enacting what I have coined "embodied vulnerability" as a pedagogical practice. Within this essay, I explore the interrelationship of race, gender, and embodiment (or, the performance of self)...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Kaila Adia Story
Although a Black femme identity has been defined and embodied by many as an identity with Black feminist roots and revolutionary potentials, Black femmes are still rendered hypervisible and invisible through racist and heteronormative politics. Similarly, embodying a Black femme identity as a professor in academia often engenders these same pretenses of hypervisibility and invisibility. This essay explores what this existential conundrum has been for me as both a Black femme and professor of Black queer and feminist studies, while illuminating the mix of forces within academia that have attempted to stifle my chosen sexual identity and gendered performance...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Alexis Pauline Gumbs
In 1974, warrior poet mother Audre Lorde published the poem "Blackstudies," a freeform dream villanelle about her complicated experience as a Black lesbian feminist English professor at the City University of New York during the dynamic period when students rose up in protest. The university granted open admissions, and cultural nationalists who taught at City University worked to create a Black Studies program. In the poem, she describes her vantage point at this particular historical and pedagogical moment from the seventeenth floor within a dreamscape where she navigates the stereotypes, silences, and urgencies that shaped her experience as an educator...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Bettina L Love
Through narrative inquiry, utilizing in-depth interviews and field observations, the goal of this research is to begin a dialogue within the field of education and mentoring scholarship that expands the mentoring of Black males beyond traditional norms of sex and gender identities/performances to reimagine the ways in which Black female masculinity can be a site of mentoring for Black and Brown boys.
October 10, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Natasha Bingham
This article analyzes print media interviews of Moscow lesbians in Moskovsky Komsomolets in 2004 and 2005 using qualitative content analysis. The qualitative content analysis shows recurring and consistent themes: (1) the stereotypes lesbians face; (2) public negativity toward same-sex relations and the impact on their families; (3) the expectations of heterosexuality and all that that entails; (4) the existence of lesbian-only spaces in Russia and the importance of those spaces; and (5) the complexities of navigating motherhood, previous heterosexual relationships, and current partnerships...
October 6, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Jason Zingsheim, Dustin Bradley Goltz, Alexandra G Murphy, Teresa Mastin
This article examines the discursive construction of female same-sex sexual identities in Nairobi. We identify the discursive forces of "choice," devaluation, and invisibility as influential within Kenyan media representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex citizens. Using creative focus groups and participant observation, we demonstrate how same-sex attracted women in Nairobi resist and rearticulate these discursive forces to assert their identity and agency as individuals and as a queer community...
September 16, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Mel Michelle Lewis
This article examines gender expression as central to the pedagogical projects of Black lesbian feminist pedagogues teaching interdisciplinary material related to race, gender, and sexuality. Participants discuss the ways in which their own masculinity, femme identity, and gendered performances influence instructive practices in the classroom and collegiality on campus. Being a "genuine article" of intersectionality theory plays a role in creative applications of the body as text and the institutional impediments to education as the practice of freedom for pedagogues whose marginalized gender, racial, sexual, and political identities closely align with their subject matter and influence campus roles and relationships...
September 15, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Shereen Inayatulla
Autoethnographic self-reflection is a strategy for teachers to examine their pedagogies and academic workspaces at large. In the process of moving from teaching composition at an institution in the Midwest to one in Southeast Queens, this author describes significant shifts in how she perceived herself as a Brown queer pedagogue. In order to analyze these shifts in ways that advance her pedagogical praxis, the author evaluates the research tools available to her and offers a hybrid method for reflection, which she calls "vulnerable automythnography...
September 15, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Ann Russo
In this article, I reflect on relationship and movement building across power lines that I have experienced or witnessed in and outside of academia. I argue that the "anesthetic aesthetic" of whiteness, as illuminated by Mab Segrest, compels those like myself who are trained to be white to distance ourselves from the pain and suffering of others (as well as our own) in order to accept and assimilate into the hegemonic normative systems of power. I offer stories from my experience of feminist and queer organizing that demonstrate how this distancing looks and feels, and places of where it might be transformed...
September 15, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Misty De Berry
little sister: An Afro-Temporal Solo-Play is at once a memory-scape and a mytho-biography set to poetry, movement, and mixed media. A performance poem spanning from the Antebellum South to present-moment Chicago, it tells the story of a nomadic spirit named little-she who shape-shifts through the memories and imaginings of her sister, the narrator. Through the characters little-she and the narrator, the solo-performance explores embodied ways to rupture and relieve the impact of macro forms of violence in the micro realm of the everyday...
September 12, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Aimee Carrillo Rowe, Francesca T Royster
This introductory article considers the importance of queer woman of color theorizations of affect in thinking more fully the recent interdisciplinary turn to affect. The affective turn has vitally invited culture and feminist critics to interrogate emotion beyond the individual to examine the political and cultural production of emotion. Even as women of color are often associated with excessive affect, the theoretical contributions women of color make to the field of affect studies are often overlooked. Our introduction and this special issue more broadly examine how this solipsism shapes projects invested in critical knowledge production, as well as the stakes of centering a queer woman of color genealogy...
September 12, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Z'étoile Imma
This article explores the politics of representing Black queer and trans subjectivities in the recent documentary film and photography of South African lesbian visual activist Zanele Muholi. While Muholi's work has been most often been positioned as an artistic response to the hate-crimes and violence perpetuated against Black lesbians in South African townships, most notably acts of sexual violence known increasingly as corrective rape, I argue that Muholi's documentary texts trouble the spatial, gendered, and highly racialized articulations that make up an increasingly global corrective rape discourse...
September 9, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Claudia Garcia-Rojas
The aim of this article is to demonstrate how women of color feminism predates and disrupts dominant dialogues in the field of White affect studies. I introduce the concept of White affect studies as an arena of inquiry that draws from Western-European theories and literatures and architects a sociopolitical structure of affect that positions White affects as universal. Scholars contributing to the field of White affect studies posit theories of affect, embodiment, subjectivity, phenomenology, violence, war, and more, while disregarding the theoretical contributions made by women of color feminism in thinking through these notions and social issues...
September 9, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Adelina Anthony, Aimee Carrillo Rowe
This interview explores how performing artist, activist, writer, director, performer Adelina Anthony stages queer women of color affects as a complex terrain to mobilize a decolonial imaginary. Anthony's characters are complex, contradictory, surly, and resilient with whom audience members connect and feel deeply. Especially for queer women of color, who rarely get to see their own experiences on film or on stage, Anthony's work provides a critical forum for discussing, imagining, naming, and envisioning the connections between our personal struggles and broader forces of imperialism, heterosexual capitalism, and settler colonialism...
September 9, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Francesca T Royster
This article explores Black queer country music listening, performance, and fandom as a source of pleasure, nostalgia, and longing for Black listeners. Country music can be a space for alliance and community, as well as a way of accessing sometimes repressed cultural and personal histories of violence: lynching and other forms of racial terror, gender surveillance and disciplining, and continued racial and economic segregation. For many Black country music listeners and performers, the experience of being a closeted fan also fosters an experience of ideological hailing, as well as queer world-making...
September 9, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Ashley K Randall, Casey J Totenhagen, Kelsey J Walsh, Caroline Adams, Chun Tao
Sexual minorities are exposed to stressors in the workplace (workplace minority stress), which can be detrimental for well-being (e.g., levels of anxiety). The present study examined whether a particular set of relationship processes, dyadic coping, served to moderate the association between workplace minority stress and symptoms of anxiety. Using a dyadic sample of 64 female same-sex couples, we found that partner problem-focused supportive dyadic coping (DC) and emotion-focused supportive DC (marginally) buffered, whereas partner delegated DC and negative DC did not moderate, the association between workplace minority stress and symptoms of anxiety...
September 9, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Tushabe Wa Tushabe
Drawing on lessons from the experiences of women who exchange same-sex erotic energies, this article suggests that advocates of same-sex human rights should take into account epistemic erasures colonized people experience when activism and policies regarding sexual freedom ignore various linguistic and community structures that create spaces for diverse ways of knowing and being. Since the late 1990s, the discourse on homosexuality in Uganda has motivated important debates concerning human values of sovereignty, rights, and family, and has expanded freedoms of sexual expression while at the same time conditioning these freedoms to be experienced in colonial ways of self-knowledge...
September 9, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Brenna M Munro
Tracing a series of intertextually linked short stories from the 1990s to the present by women writers from Nigeria and its diaspora-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Unoma Azuah, Chinelo Okparanta, and Lola Shoneyin-I suggest that although the figure of the African lesbian appears "new" in the context of heightened contemporary attention to the issue of homosexuality, this figure has a literary history. Ghanaian Ama Ata Aidoo's novel Our Sister Killjoy: Or, Reflections From A Black-Eyed Squint (1977) inaugurates this formation, in which the imagining of female same-sex desire is entangled with articulating the experience of migration under the shadow of imperial histories...
September 7, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Kimberly F Balsam, Sharon S Rostosky, Ellen D B Riggle
While prior research has compared same-sex to heterosexual relationships, very little attention has been paid to the unique experiences of women dissolving same-sex relationships, especially in the context of shifting legal and social policies. The current study examined the experience of 20 women who dissolved their same-sex relationship between 2002 and 2014. Participants were drawn from a longitudinal sample of same-sex and heterosexual couples and were interviewed using a semi-structured protocol. Interviews focused on three primary research questions: reasons for dissolution, emotional reactions, and role of legal status...
September 7, 2016: Journal of Lesbian Studies
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