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'I teach therefore I am': lesbian studies in the liberal academy
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 07:40 authored by Sally Munt
The article discusses the origins of Lesbian Studies as arising out of an intellectually engaged grassroots lesbian community and an emergent Women's Studies within the academy. The article contrasts Lesbian Studies in the UK with the USA, which has 'professionalized' work in Lesbian and Gay Studies, which concomitantly has produced its own problems. Feminism bequeathed to Lesbian Studies the axiom 'the personal is political' and this is discussed as both a positive and a negative inheritance. The academy itself collapses the personal on to the Lesbian Studies lecturer which produces particular pressures from students, colleagues, the institution, and upon one's own intellectual trajectory in the form of the 'taint' of subjectivity. Finally the article attempts to identify an ambivalent relationship to liberalism which has made a limited space for Lesbian Studies but also continues to seek to police that sphere.
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