A literary analysis of queer texts: guidelines for senior and further education and training English language teachers
Research shows that South Africans are in general a queer-phobic nation. This study’s hope is that positive exposure to queer individuals could be instrumental in changing these prejudices. This study starts by exploring and critically analysing different themes from selected queer texts (the search for identity; prejudice and abuse; and religious zealotry), critically analysing the portrayal of queer characters in the selected texts; and determining what social messaging is prevalent in the queer texts. The aim is to find ways to introduce learners to the positive and negative realities of the queer characters' experiences in a heteronormative society. This first endeavour is followed by an analysis of what is stated in the South African Department of Education’s Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) for English Home Language (EHL) and English as First Additional Language (EFAL) (Senior and further education and training [FET] phases) in terms of including queer literature in the syllabus to determine to what extent queer literature is included in suggested and compulsory set works. I conclude the study by providing guidelines that may be used by Senior phase and FET English language teachers as criteria for selecting queer texts, together with strategies to use when teaching these texts. The study followed a qualitative approach with the use of critical hermeneutics as strategy of inquiry. The novels selected for this study are Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (2013), Geography Club by Brent Hartinger (2004), and Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (1985).
- Education