A Gender Gap in Literacy? Exploring the Affective Im/materiality and “Magic” of Allure with/in a First Grade Classroom
Within this article, I think with (Jackson & Mazzei, 2012) posthumanist theories of affect and assemblage (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987) to argue that literacy learning within a first grade classroom (NYC) involved allure (Thrift, 2008), or more-than-human technologies of public intimacy that were affectively contagious and seemed to take on a life of their own. By doing so, I contribute a new dimension to literacy-gender debates by exploring how the im/material practices of allure emerge to produce entanglement, bliss, and even violence. While male students’ entangled reading practices disrupted popular assumptions of “failing boys,” thereby making new gendered and literate subjectivities possible, these practices, at times, further reinforced rigid heteronormativities. Ultimately, attending to literacy learning as alluring invites more ethically response-able (Barad, 2007) considerations that take seriously how the forces of gender, sexuality, and race work to animate/contain bodies, spaces, and things, as well as shape the un/making of students as “successfully literate.”
Copyright (c) 2020 Bessie P. Dernikos
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