Elly Bulkin

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1980


In all that has been written about teaching women's literature, about classroom approaches and dynamics, there is almost no discussion of ways to teach lesbian literature. As a teacher, you hesitate to write about it in detail (if at all) for the same reasons you hesitate to emphasize it—or even discuss it—in class and out: the fear of losing your job, of being denied tenure; the fear that, regardless of your sexual and affectional preference, you will be dismissed by your students as "just a lesbian." You may be concerned that students who feel hostile, skeptical, or even friendly toward feminism and the women's movement will be irretrievably "lost" if you focus "too much" attention on lesbianism. You may feel doubts about colleagues' reactions to what you teach and how you teach it. There is also the threat that the validity of a hard-earned women's course, women's studies program, or women's center will be undercut, and funding jeopardized, if it becomes perceived as a "dyke effort."



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