Lecture by Kris Knisely, September 11, 2020

Kris Knisely, Assistant Professor, French and Intercultural Competence, University of Arizona

Un-Boxing Gender: Toward Trans-Affirming L2 Pedagogies

Language education represents a site for identity (re)construction, mediated through language acquisition and use (Atkinson, 2011). Through acts such as speaking, reading, and writing, learners must linguistically position themselves and be positioned by others. In this way, language education encourages learners’ reflections on their own identities in relation to the broader social world (Dornyei, 2014; Norton, 2013). Although language learning allows students to explore new linguistic and cultural identities, there is often limited attention to gender and sexual diversity in the curriculum, textbooks, research, and pedagogy of language classrooms (Nelson, 2009), leaving many educators to report feeling particularly un- or under-prepared to engage in gender-just language teaching. This webinar will discuss the broad ways that we, as teachers, can queer our L2 classrooms, materials, and pedagogical approaches to serve all of our students. Practically-focused, the content of this webinar will draw on Kris Knisely’s research into the ways that non-binary speakers of French are presently challenging, subverting, and adapting a grammatically binary linguistic system. In turn, this example will allow us to collectively consider the unique pedagogical opportunities that the identification and teaching of non-binary language forms affords. This pedagogical discussion addresses questions of curricular scope and sequence and argues for the theorized value for all students of teaching these non-standard forms in terms of increasing classroom inclusiveness, fostering tolerance of ambiguity, and the development of linguistic and intercultural competencies.

Download Knisely handout as a PDF

Friday, September 11, 2020
3 – 5 pm
Zoom Registration Required