Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2018 Issue »

    Intimate Possibilities

    The Beyond Bullying Project and Stories of LGBTQ Sexuality and Gender in US Schools

    In this article, Jen Gilbert, Jessica Fields, Laura Mamo, and Nancy Lesko explore the Beyond Bullying Project, a multimedia, storytelling project that invited students, teachers, and community members in three US high schools to enter a private booth and share stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) sexuality and gender. While recent policy making and educational research have focused on links between LGBTQ sexuality and gender, bullying, and other risks to educational and social achievement, Beyond Bullying aimed to identify the ordinary stories of LGBTQ sexuality and gender that circulate in schools and that an interventionist framing may obscure. After offering an overview of the method in Beyond Bullying, this article connects narratives of LGBTQ desire, family, and school life to the intimate possibilities—who students and teachers are, who they want to be, and the social worlds they want to build—available to them in schools.

    Click here to access this article.
    Jen Gilbert is an associate professor of education at York University, Toronto. She studies LGBTQ sexuality and gender, youth and schooling, and sexual health education. She has edited special issues of the journal Sex Education, one on the failure of abstinence-only sex education and another on trans youth in education, coedited with Julia Sinclair-Palm. She is author of Sexuality in School: The Limits of Education (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), winner of the AERA Division B (curriculum) Outstanding Book Award. With Sharon Lamb, she is coediting The Cambridge Handbook of Sexual Development: Childhood and Adolescence. Her current research explores discourses of consent in sexual health education. 

    Jessica Fields is a professor of sociology and sexuality studies at San Francisco State University. With Laura Mamo, Nancy Lesko, and Jen Gilbert, she leads the Beyond Bullying Project, a community-based storytelling project (funded by the Ford Foundation) that aims to understand and interrupt ordinary hostility in high schools to LGBTQ sexualities. Fields is the author of Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality (Rutgers University Press, 2008), which received the 2009 ASA Race, Class, and Gender Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award. Her second book, Problems We Pose: Feeling Differently About Qualitative Research (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming), explores emotion as an opportunity to reimagine power and knowledge production in the researcher/researched relationship and as a source of insight (not an obstacle to understanding) into social categories of difference, including race, gender, and sexuality. Her work appears in Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Sex Education, Sexualities, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, and Social Problems, among other journals.

    Laura Mamo is a professor of health education and associate director of the Health Equity Institute at San Francisco State University, where she studies the intersections of gender, sexuality, health, and medicine with a focus on the technoscientific, biomedical, and social and cultural dimensions of health inequalities. Her work has appeared in Social Science & Medicine, Signs: Women in Culture and Society, and American Sociological Review, among other journals. She is the author of Queering Reproduction: Achieving Pregnancy in the Age of Technoscience (Duke University Press, 2007); coeditor with Adele Clark, Jennifer Fosket, Jennifer Fishman, and Janet Shim of Biomedicalization: Technoscience, Health, and Illness in the U.S. (Duke University Press, 2010); and coauthor with Jennifer Fosket of Living Green: Communities That Sustain (New Society Press, 2009). Her research has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. 

    Nancy Lesko, the Maxine Greene Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, teaches in the areas of curriculum, social theory, gender studies, and youth studies. Her research interests focus on gender and sexualities in school, systems of reasoning about youth, and affective dimensions of schooling and research. Her recent publications include Act Your Age! The Social Construction of Adolescence (2nd ed., Routledge, 2012) and Keywords in Youth Studies (with Susan Talburt, Routledge, 2011), and she is coediting a new book, Feeling Education: Affect, Encounters, Pedagogy. Her current research project, Public Feelings Toward Teachers, maps teachers’ changing perceptions of the testing and accountability movement.
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    Summer 2018 Issue


    Friday Night Lights Out
    The End of Football in Schools

    Book Notes

    Teaching Controversial Issues
    Nel Noddings and Laurie Brooks

    Learning as Development
    Daniel A. Wagner

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