Theorizing an intersectional approach to feminist composition pedagogy

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Abigail Moody (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Michael Boatright

Abstract: In this thesis, I address the absence of intersectionality in feminist scholarship, particularly in the study of feminist composition pedagogy. As a discipline, Rhetoric and Composition concerns itself with shifts in social discourse and their material implications. I argue that educators in this field who employ feminist pedagogical practices have a responsibility to be attentive to activist discourse, and, as such, must begin including intersectional theory in their feminist research. Freire’s discussions of classroom power relations and critical literacy coupled with hooks’s attention to intersectional oppressions provide a foundation for future scholarly discussions of intersectional feminist pedagogical practices in composition classrooms. Using queer student identities as a target population, I argue that feminist composition pedagogues need to re-embrace the work of Paulo Freire and bell hooks in order to begin articulating feminist pedagogical practices that are intersectional in nature. Historically, both feminist scholarship and intersectional scholarship have tended to exclude queer populations; however, in light of increased visibility of LGBT+ persons in recent years, the ways in which intersectional concerns manifest themselves in this community are becoming more evident. As classrooms are made up of a diverse array of students and often stand in as microcosmic mirrors of society at large, it is crucial that educators develop pedagogical methods that are mindful of intersecting modes of oppression within the queer community. I argue for a more inclusive feminist pedagogy that is mindful of intersectional concerns, as well as for further scholarly work exploring ways to make feminist pedagogy more intersectional.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Composition, Feminism, Feminist Pedagogy, Intersectionality, Pedagogy, Rhetoric
Feminist theory -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Queer theory -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Gender identity -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Intersectionality (Sociology)

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