Ruminating on the work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick around failed pedagogy and a confused cat, I consider ways to provoke new streams of critical thought in my composition students around issues of gender and sexuality without “pointing.” Thinking about Jean Genet's novel Querelle and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's film of the same name, I delineate the specifics of how I teach these two difficult, often incomprehensible texts in an introductory class. In reviewing the confusion these works can provoke in student discourse upon reading and viewing the texts, I emphasize the role of disorientation and dislocation in the mapping of student thinking and writing, ultimately reemphasizing the importance of nondemagogic, malleable pedagogy in the teaching of sexuality and gender, particularly with composition students who are exploring and amplifying their voices. Teaching Querelle is like unleashing a virus of confusion and intrigue on student writers, but the incoherence it creates also creates opportunities to explore new ideas and horizons in these developing thinkers/writers.
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Rob Faunce; Teaching Querelle in the Composition Classroom. Pedagogy 1 April 2012; 12 (2): 343–352. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-1425047
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