This article argues that pedagogy may help us respond to the precarity of higher education by reclaiming the forms of provisionality, accident, and exposure endemic to collaborative learning. Putting kinship theory into contact with studies of contagion, I suggest that the classroom’s contingency, temporariness, and interpersonal exposure yield a form of queer kinship that is contracted rather than intentionally developed. This kinship, a social iteration of the unintentional, symbiotic collaborations that anthropologists have described as “emergent ecologies,” burgeons in the wake of harm and helps us respond collectively to the precarity that constitutes our (experience of the) world. Ultimately, I argue that in a moment when the changing climate of higher education inspires (and perhaps even requires) paranoia, such a pedagogical practice constitutes a significant reparative gesture, enabling us to reckon with the ways in which higher education has abandoned us without requiring us, in turn, to abandon it.

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