Article

Queering ‘the idea of the university’: Two queer conceptualizations of discursive deployment in higher education literature

Authors: Emily F Henderson (University of Warwick) , James Burford (La Trobe University, Australia)

  • Queering ‘the idea of the university’: Two queer conceptualizations of discursive deployment in higher education literature

    Article

    Queering ‘the idea of the university’: Two queer conceptualizations of discursive deployment in higher education literature

    Authors: ,

Abstract

‘The idea of the university’ is an expression which is frequently employed in discussions of what the university is, was, or could and should be. This article presents an exploration of the expression ‘the idea of the university’ reconceptualized as a queer signifier. Building on existing literature that works against the assumption that queer studies would always concentrate on people who identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer), the article takes as its object of study the expression ‘the idea of the university’. Firstly, ‘the idea of the university’ is discussed in relation to the queering potential of figurative language, in particular metaphors. In the formulation ‘the idea of the university’, ‘university’ is placed in subjugation to ‘idea’, which opens up what could be termed queer slippage in the signification process. Secondly, the article uses the political resignification of ‘queer’ as a springboard to address the citation practices that lead to the resignification of the expression ‘the idea of the university’. Thus, the article presents these two interlinked queer theorizations of the discursive use of ‘the idea of the university’ in higher education literature.

Keywords: queering higher education, idea of the university, metaphors

How to Cite:

Henderson, E. F. & Burford, J., (2019) “Queering ‘the idea of the university’: Two queer conceptualizations of discursive deployment in higher education literature”, Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis 8(2), p.13-26. doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/jctp.8201

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Published on
15 Nov 2019