Poor Queer Studies

Confronting Elitism in the University

Poor Queer Studies

Book Pages: 264 Illustrations: Published: April 2020

Author: Matt Brim

Activism, Gender and Sexuality > Queer Theory, Pedagogy and Higher Education

In Poor Queer Studies Matt Brim shifts queer studies away from its familiar sites of elite education toward poor and working-class people, places, and pedagogies. Brim shows how queer studies also takes place beyond the halls of flagship institutions: in night school; after a three-hour commute; in overflowing classrooms at no-name colleges; with no research budget; without access to decent food; with kids in tow; in a state of homelessness. Drawing on the everyday experiences of teaching and learning queer studies at the College of Staten Island, Brim outlines the ways the field has been driven by the material and intellectual resources of those institutions that neglect and rarely serve poor and minority students. By exploring poor and working-class queer ideas and laying bare the structural and disciplinary mechanisms of inequality that suppress them, Brim jumpstarts a queer-class knowledge project committed to anti-elitist and anti-racist education. Poor Queer Studies is essential for all of those who care about the state of higher education and building a more equitable academy.


“Through his ethnographic accounts of the lives of his students, Matt Brim charts out in startling detail how queer studies produces class inequity. Having all the makings of a classic in queer studies and pedagogy studies, his book should be required reading in every intro to queer studies course at the undergraduate and graduate level. The field has needed Poor Queer Studies for a long time.” — E. Patrick Johnson, author of Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women


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Price: $26.95

Open Access

Fall 2019 Sale
Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Matt Brim is Associate Professor of Queer Studies in the English Department at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York, author of James Baldwin and the Queer Imagination, and coeditor of Imagining Queer Methods.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction. Queer Dinners  1
1. The College of Staten Island: A Poor Queer Studies Case Study  29
2. "You Can Write Your Way Out of Anywhere": The Upward Mobility Myth of Rich Queer Studies  64
3. The Queer Career: Vocational Queer Studies  99
4. Poor Queer Studies Mothers  135
5. Counternarratives: A Black Queer Reader  159
Epilogue. Queer Ferrying  194
Notes  203
Bibliography  225
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0820-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0682-4
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