i’ve been meaning to get this published for sometime now. it is a great read and hope you get something from it. the essay below was written by a number of students from different majors and was presented in a sociology class at ucsc.

“Que(R)ying of literature/fiction/history/geography is telling our histories. Allowing our histories to speak to one another to tell a different kind of truth. To establish that these different radical discursive spaces that are continually changing as our identities morph into different beings. As we move away from heteronormative structures to a different kind of accepting of queer. So that queer can then be centralized as Qwo-li Driskill says, it diminishes this heteropatriarchial structure because it challenges it.

Students at University of California Santa Cruz are working with Critical Race and Ethnic Studies as a political and decolonizing project that challenges structures of power and domination. Through our research we found the institution perpetuates Colonialism/Genocide, Capitalism/Slavery, and War/Orientalism which Andrea Smith calls the “Heteropatriarchy and the three pillars of White Supremacy.”

The project of our ‘Zine leads us to examine queer studies and queer intersectionalities with a critical and analytical lens. While taking a more Radical Pedagogy approach to education by looking at literature, fiction, history, and geography and images that make sense to our lives gaining a general understanding of the power behind queer. This is including parts of our hearts and souls and placing them in history mapping the queer subject into our text. By showing different movements of queer history to be unearthed, we find that many books and scholars remain in the heteronormaitve binary of Western thought. We have learned there are multiple ways to queer a subject that is located in literature, fiction, history, and geography through the process of queering.

This process of queering subjects is not limited to spaces that the queer inhabit, but the movement into different space allows for this queering process to happen. One can only see the presence of queerness, when there is friction prevalent within this hierarchal patriarchal structure. We argue, this is decolonizing the university in itself, giving presence to those who have been silenced by the very Power structures we described.

As our paper also suggest, War is at a constant presence surrounding the queer subject, which perpetuates the “othering” that is created by the Nation-state. This “othering” is happening in different parts of history, which is being encompassed by the political project of ethnic studies. Critical Race and Ethnic Studies would give justice to those histories not told within history books allowing Non-Western and queer understandings of the world to have a claim in the university. The way that we centralize queer is a radical understanding that challenges the Nation-state and the universities inability to work outside of oppressive power dynamics.

We have argued that Critical Race and Ethnic Studies can work to critique and challenge power structures and allow for a space of libratory education for queer understandings and knowing. As one looks through the zine they will find the designers have looked at literature, fiction, history, geography trying to understand how Queer liberation is a project of importance at the university.  It is our understanding that this project can provide the tools necessary to continue the resistance towards dominant and hegemonic ways of understanding.”

the essay was originally supplied with a pretty radical and expressive zine. i would also like to thank the students for this contribution to the blog.



About UCSC Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES)

This blog is maintained by students throughout UCSC. We recognize that students have been working around Ethnic Studies for multiple decades and at many levels of the university. We claim no ownership over any movement or material that is produced. We ask that any materiel used from the blog is cited and used for only educational purposes. Most importantly that it is done with honor and respect for the many people who worked in the struggle for Ethnic Studies. We would also like to point out that the name Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) was created to acknowledge the intellectual development of Ethnic Studies since the beginning of this struggle. The name came from countless meetings and hours with many different undergrads, graduate students, and faculty.
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