Uplifting Gender and Sexuality Education Research

Year: 2019

Author: van, Leent, Lisa, Coll, Leanne, Jones, Tiffany, Taylor, Yvette

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Working in gender and sexuality (G&S) education and research can be a meaningful, impactful and ultimately uplifting experience. However, efforts at stymying G&S work, research and research careers have been seen both historically and recently amongst multiple contexts for many different reasons. This backlash to G&S education and research work exists for example in:

* extremes of conservative policies, politics, court decision making, and media backlash attacking or restricting our work;
* well-intended feedback from general academic supervisors, not necessarily in the field, and promotion process or reward structures which push researchers to fit traditionally ‘safe’ education or policy fields and the achievements they most value over newer pathways with more creative impacts; and
* the scarcity mentalities and win-lose thinking about grant assessment and publication peer-review responses amongst G&S researchers themselves who can believe that the limits on their own opportunities mean limiting others in their own field would somehow ensure ‘more opportunity’ was available to only themselves.

This presentation follows a 2018 seminar event in which G&S researchers and educators from various parts of the world came together to discuss their successes and failures, and the complexities in their chosen careers organised by several members of the editorial team and their research peers. The book aims to build on the momentum around the goal we discovered we all shared at that event: to combat the negative discourses on G&S work in education and research. It aims to encourage or ‘uplift’, showcase and celebrate as emotionally ‘uplifting’ the important and innovative work now being done in this quickly expanding international field. It pro-actively envisions G&S education workers, researchers and stakeholders as collectively helping each other to shatter the ceilings on how we as peers in a shared field think about the value of the work done in this area and the exciting impacts it can have on societies. It calls for, affirms and offers examples of pathways towards exciting and dynamic collaborative work in G&S in education, research and policy… whilst also acknowledging the complexities of this work in detail and being very clear about the context-specific barriers people face in these fields.