Feminist Pedagogy for Sociology: Negotiating belonging in Australian Higher Education

Seminar presented by Dr Genine Hook, Lecturer, Sociology, University of New England

3:00pm Thursday 4 May 2017

A2 Arts Lecture Theatre, UNE


This paper draws on the theme of affective relationality within education and ways potential capacities are negotiated and deactivated through affect as a movement of boundary unmaking and unbelonging. I seek to enact a queerying manoeuvre, a reading through and with, which seeks to re/intervene in gendered educational practices and produce academic work that affirmatively re/generates feminist entanglements.

Education is a critical site for the maintenance and privilege of hierarchies that enable affective violence/s on bodies in ways that reiterate normalised inequity. I seek to examine inequities in education through relationalities, or what Butler (2015) discusses as ‘that form of relationality that we might call ‘ethical’’ (p.11), as a felt obligation that is too often affectively violent. Butler implicates relationality as both uneasy and unstable, and difficult to deny.  This conceptualisation of ethical does not concern conduct but rather ways to understand ‘the relational framework within which sense, action, and speech become possible’ (Ibid. p. 12; emphasis added) and for whom, it beckons us to respond or not in particular ways.

Gender inequity in higher education is reproduced through everyday education intra-actions which can distract and alienate. The ‘doing’ of gender and power within university classrooms is often risky and contested in the delivery of queer and gendered content.  Belligerent and sexist students grapple with feminist activist pedagogy in ways that may attempt to re-claim dominance and normative hierarchies.  Drawing on an example of problematic student conduct towards me both within the classroom and the subject’s online learning forum (LMS), I reflect on this impact on my teaching practice and my understandings of myself as an un/belonging academic.


Dr Hook was awarded her PhD from the Faculty of Education at Monash University in May 2015.  Her research was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Thesis Excellence in 2015 and in July 2016 published her first book with Palgrave Macmillan UK titled; Sole Parent Students and Higher Education: Gender, Policy and WideningParticipation. Dr Hook’s theoretical interests include gender performativity and queer theoretical frameworks, her research work include gender and higher education; gender and familial norms; and social policy.

Launch seminar recording