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This study asks, What are the material conditions under which queer studies is done in the academy? It finds a longstanding association of queer studies with the well-resourced, selective colleges and flagship campuses that are the drivers of class and race stratification in higher education in the U.S. That is, the field of queer studies, as a recognizable academic formation, has been structured by the material and intellectual resources of precisely those institutions that most steadfastly refuse to adequately serve poor and minority students, including poor and minority queer students. In response, “poor queer studies” calls for a critical reorientation of queer studies toward working-poor schools, students, theories, and pedagogies. Taking the College of Staten Island, CUNY as a case study, it argues for structural crossing over or “queer-class ferrying” between high-status institutions that have so brilliantly dominated queer studies’ history and low-status worksites of poor queer studies.


Originally published in:

Brim, M. (2018). Poor queer studies: Class, race, and the field. Journal of Homosexuality, 1-19. DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2018.1534410



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