Queering “The Misfit”: Locating a Curriculum of Place Within Flannery O’Connor’s Fundamentalist Narrator

Reta Ugena Whitlock


“You can’t be queer and a fundamentalist.” That was what seemed to me a dismissive rejection of my submission by the editor of a prominent curriculum journal. The editor seemed to object to my reluctance to scathingly and utterly denounce the ideals and practices of fundamentalist Protestantism, the first and only Christian faith I have ever known. The editor doubted the relevance of my research to a curriculum studies readership in a post-911 world. Nevertheless, I consider fundamentalism quite relevant to curriculum studies today, and it is central to my discussion of a curriculum of place. I also assert that there are a number of people who identify as queer and fundamentalist; we write curriculum, teach schools, attend schools as students, serve as system administrators and board members, and continue to struggle to make sense of our conflicting identities.

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