Kerri Jefferis and Suzanne van Rossenberg

Queering sites of learning

In the Winter term of 2016 we ran the first edition of the extra-curricular, interdisciplinary module ‘LGBT Politics in your practice’ recognized through the university’s new ROLE (Recognition of Learning from Experience) modules. In this paper we would like to look back at the activities and contextualise the outcomes. The six-week module consisted of weekly workshops, discussions, presentations by artists and lecturers, visits to locations and a one-week queer occupation of the Atrium in the Grove building. Also the students had the opportunity to participate in the Winter Pride Awards exhibition. The module coincided with UK’s LGBT History Month and was supported by the Centre for Academic Practice Enhancement (CAPE). Participating students and staff members were from a mixture of disciplines, like Fine Art, Graphic Design, Journalism and Creative Writing, Fashion Communication, Textiles and Visual Culture.

In our presentation we will discuss the relevance and function of a module that revolved around LGBTIQ research and topics. Set out as an Art and Design module, it dealt with the political-epistemological dimension of producing knowledge through inter- or transdisciplinarity, combining different disciplines and practice and theory. Simultaneously, the module created —literal— space for different practice, research and ways of teaching. It formed a non-hierarchal kind of student and staff recognition and (peer) support —a ‘queer space’ that both groups experienced as great additional value. Therefore, it was decided to continue the meetings after the module. Lastly, the module became a platform for cross-departmental interaction and communication, temporarily intersecting and supporting the activities of the LGBT Staff Forum and the LGBT Students’ Assembly.

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