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Queer pedagogy, queer history, and the road to inclusion


This talk will take the form of a live talk via Zoom, followed by a Q&A session.

Speaker Biography

Hannah Ayres is a third year PhD student in the department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. She is researching queer re/presentation in museums and how queer individuals create, critique, and internalise these re/presentations. She has previously taught on modules to do with gender, research methods and queer theory. Hannah has also helped to produce guidance for the University of Warwick on inclusive teaching for trans and gender-diverse students (https://warwick.ac.uk/…/interd…/genderinclusiveteaching/). She is broadly interested in queer history; public history; queer theory; memory studies; visual sociology; gender and social theory. She is the current convener of queer/disrupt alongside Nick Cherryman, and helps to manage and oversee the group’s activities.


What does inclusion look like in university classrooms?

This is a question often posed by equality and diversity departments within universities and the answers presented are often posed as straight forward and simple – don’t make students feel uncomfortable, make everyone feel welcome and included etc. I feel that the question of inclusion is infinitely more complicated and does not, unfortunately, have a simple answer. Taking queer history (and the study of sexuality and gender in history) as a case study, I aim to unpack some of the complications that can arise from trying to incorporate an uncritical politic of inclusion. I argue that we should adopt some of the skills developed through queer pedagogy: allowing our work to disrupt established norms and taken for granted knowledge; truly incorporating topics beyond surface level engagement; allowing a place where students feel able to critically engage with difficult topics in a safe way and to allow space for discomfort and emotive responses to enter the classroom.

This talk will be done in collaboration with Warwick SU as part of their Hidden Histories series.