Research with LGBTIQ+ educators is a growing field within broader studies of gender, sexuality and education. Within this field, the experiences of adults working in educational spaces have traditionally taken a backseat to research engaging with the experiences of same sex attracted and gender diverse young people in schools. In research that has considered the experiences of LGBTIQ+ educators, a number of key issues appear over time and across contexts: the pressures of working in a heteronormative environment; the negotiations between private and professional worlds; and choices around coming out at work. Having worked in the field for almost 20 years, it remains clear that queer educator stories, including my own, are not happy ones.

In this presentation she will work with queer educator stories in relation to Sara Ahmed’s idea of the ‘unhappy queer archive’ to reimagine the figure of the LGBTIQ+ educator and the stories we tell about or lives. Here, the unhappy story will be framed as a generative interruption to normative educational environments that have the potential to create change and to help us to understand our experiences differently.


Originally from Walsall, UK, Emily is a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies and the Higher Degrees by Research Delegated Authority at RMIT’s School of Education. Emily’s interests within both research and teaching are interdisciplinary and include sociology, cultural studies and education. She is particularly interested in questions of gender and sexuality and with how these identity categories are lived and experienced within social institutions. Her key research interests therefore lie with questions related to gender, social justice, student and teacher identity and with wider social justice issues within educational discourse and practice. Emily is also concerned with popular culture, public pedagogies and audience studies, particularly with online fandom and with media and popular culture as pedagogical tools. Emily is co-founder of #FEAS Feminist Educators Against Sexism, an international feminist collective committed to developing arts-based interventions into sexism in the academy and other places.


This seminar will be held using the video conferencing software Zoom. If you would like the link, please email sees.seminars@uq.edu.au.