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Up Schitt’s Creek? Comedy as a slantwise pedagogical encounter with queerness

Henry, Seán orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-8365-6632, Bryan, Audrey orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-0888-9276 and Neary, Aoife orcid logoORCID: 0000-0003-1196-6487 (2023) Up Schitt’s Creek? Comedy as a slantwise pedagogical encounter with queerness. Teachers College Record, 125 (10). ISSN 0161-4681

Background: Pedagogical approaches to learning about LGBTQI+ themes and experiences remain a largely understudied topic in teacher education. This is partly due to anxieties around exploring these themes in nuanced and sensitive ways, with many teacher educators feeling ill-equipped to navigate the complexities of exploring so-called “difficult knowledge.” Purpose: In response to this, the purpose of this paper is to offer reflections on the pedagogical value of comedy for exploring such themes and experiences in teacher education, focusing especially on the situational comedy (sitcom) Schitt’s Creek. We turn to comedy given our interest in the capacity of comedic modalities to offer “slantwise” pedagogical encounters with LGBTQI+ themes and experiences, that is, nonaffronting encounters that resist damage-centered narratives of LGBTQI+ people and are open to multiple queer futures. Research design: In exploring how the sitcom offers teacher educators and student teachers these kinds of encounters, we provide a reading of three episodes of Schitt’s Creek through a “queer utopian” lens. We analyze a purposive sample of episodes from the series that speak directly to LGBTQI+ themes and experiences. We accompany this analysis with prompts for teacher educators to use in discussing these episodes in the teacher education classroom. Conclusions: We suggest that the sitcom offers teacher education an opportunity for student teachers and teacher educators to access a queer utopianism that can be encountered not only in the specifics of Schitt’s Creek’s plotlines, characters, and/or settings, but also, perhaps more primarily, through the affective dimensions of watching the sitcom itself. The piece comes to a close with some thoughts on the significance of comedy for exploring the relationship among affect, education, and social justice more generally
Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:queer pedagogy; queer utopia; teacher education; affect; Schitt’s Creek
Subjects:Humanities > Film studies
Social Sciences > Education
Social Sciences > Sociology
Social Sciences > Gender
DCU Faculties and Centres:UNSPECIFIED
Publisher:Sage Publications
Official URL:https://doi.org/10.1177/01614681231219317
Copyright Information:© 2023 Teachers College.
ID Code:29342
Deposited On:08 Jan 2024 12:32 by Audrey Bryan . Last Modified 23 Feb 2024 15:19

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