Revolutionary Pedagogies: Cultural Politics, Instituting Education, and the Discourse of Theory

By Peter Pericles Trifonas | Go to book overview

STRANGE FRUIT

Race, Sex, and an Autobiographics of Alterity

William F. Pinar

Introduction

Gender and race conflate in a crisis.

(Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 1996, 84)

As a feminist man, it is clear to me that I must confront my own manhood, understood of course not essentialistically, but historically, socially, racially, in terms of class and culture. The main issue of the twentieth century may have been-may remain-the color line, but this line does not stay within itself, by itself, dividing what would otherwise be a monolith: humanity. The color line traverses other planes, inhabits other problems, especially educational ones. Race and gender intersect and, as Gates (1996) observed, conflate. The racial crisis is gendered, and the crisis of gender is racialized. Within these intersections of race and homosexuality, I want to work autobiographically to perceive the lives of four men and the historical moments they inhabited. In particular, I want to outline the shadows they cast over me and us, European-American men. In so doing, I sleep with bodies of knowledge which might help reconfigure the lived practices of male self-constitution, and, in so doing, reformulate self and other: an autobiographics of alterity. Curriculum understood as currere is a form of social psychoanalysis, a complicated conversation with myself and others, the point of which is movement: autobiographic, political, cultural. I employ the method of currere in search of a passage out of the impasse that is fin-de-siècle America, the impasse in this individual life which shares with others the dilemma of being an American, an American man, an American white man, in my case, an American white man who is queer.

It is clear that autobiography is not just about oneself but also about the Other.

-30-

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