The Queer Continuum

The rhetoric and writing discipline places a great deal of value on finished products. To create a finished project, scholars often rely on linear logics and text. This project, Queer Continuum, is aimed at challenging a linear logic and textual value system from a queer perspective. For example, Wysocki asks,  “How might the straight lines of type we have inherited on page after page of books articulate to other kinds of lines, assembly lines and lines of desks in classrooms (14)? “

Or, perhaps, to gravestones? How might the teaching of linear composing practices that lead to finished projects stifle other kinds of composing; queerer kinds of composing? In what ways does that stifling of queer work lead to the stifling of queer people? Thinking about, creating, and theorizing about queer, non-linear modes of composing is one way to push back against these stifling means of production. Such acts, while seemingly small, may indeed be an important factor in creating life-affirming spaces for queer students and scholars. Stacy Waite, in “Cultivating the Scavenger,” writes,  “I advocate for queer methodologies because I am queer, because queer teenagers all over the world are killing themselves at horrifying rates, because if oppression is really going to change, it’s our civic duty to think in queerer ways, to come up with queer kinds of knowledge-making so that we might know truths that are non-normative, and contradictory, and strange. (64)”

Composition scholars have a civic duty to create non-linear composing spaces for themselves and their students. Queer lives depend on it.

Thus, Queer Continuum is a digital project created to enact the theoretical call for more non-linear projects that can support queer composers. The website has no real beginning or end– it is an exercise in anti-finality, in circular logics, in an avoidance of a finished product. Drawing from queer and rhetoric scholars, this project is aimed at putting into practice what it calls for theoretically– to create spaces where non-linear composing practices can be highlighted, to provide an example of a queer text that can be presented to writing students and scholars, and to explain why such work would be important within the rhetoric and composition discipline.

Elise Dixon

2017-2018 CHI Grad Fellow Cohort

PhD Candidate, Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures