Judith Butler's Critique of Binary Gender Opposition in Gender Trouble: A Task-Based Lesson Sequence

In M. Eisenmann & C. Ludwig (ed.), Queer Beats: Gender and Literature in the EFL Classroom. Frankfurt, Germany: pp. 439-460 (2018)
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This chapter presents a task-based lesson sequence based on Judith Butler's Gender Trouble. Gender Trouble is a great piece of philosophical literature. However, as philosophical literature is a genre rarely found in EFL teaching, this chapter first demonstrates in detail the merits of this genre for the teaching ofEnglish for Academic Purposes. After a brief analysis of the source text, which deconstructs the entire sex-gender link and presents both sex and gender as free-floating, this chapter presents task-based methodology and how it is utilized in a lesson aimed at building gender awareness and acceptance. In the target task students are asked to take the role of an ethics teacher at an Irish high school, in which the discussion arose whether the school should introduce unisex toilets and changing rooms in order to not discriminate against transsexual students. Tue study of Butler's philosophy will provide students with both the knowledge and language to accomplish this task. Open follow-up discussions often lead to powerful ethical insights in the context of gender, homo- and transsexuality.
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