UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Restorying the wounds of education : vulnerability, hope, and the (queer) child Mazerolle, Sylvie


In this thesis, I ask: How might the concepts of vulnerability, hope, and the child queer thinking about what education is and does, especially in relation to trauma? To bring this question to life, I envision this project as a creative, improvisational ‘scene of constraint’ (Butler, 2004b, p. 1 as cited in Farley, 2018, p. 19) that includes vignettes and literature that speak to each concept. Bringing disorientation (Ahmed, 2006, 2010), queerness (Muñoz, 2009), and cruel optimism (Berlant, 2006, 2011) in conversation with these concepts, while gesturing towards post qualitative inquiry (St. Pierre, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017a, 2017b), I use this work to examine the question of how it is “that we become available to a transformation” of what education is and does, “a contestation which compels us to rethink ourselves, a reconfiguration of our ‘place’ and ‘ground’” (Butler, 1995, p. 132 as cited in St. Pierre, 2011, p. 614). As in my educative journey, this thesis dances with the vulnerability of ‘undoing and redoing’ what (I think) I know about trauma and hope, and what (I think) I wish to uncover to support children in the realm of education. My work remains haunted by the confusion of the ‘posts’ (St. Pierre, 2011), the unknowability of the decolonial as a settler educator (Tuck and Yang, 2012), and the “shock to thought” (Massumi, 2012 as cited in Jackson, 2017, p. 671) that is an examination of losing children and youth at the site of education. Woven from a ‘broken web’ (Rich, 1981), this thesis restories trauma and restores vulnerability-as-strength, hope-as-radical-action, and the (queer)-child-as-guide, leaving space for the next steps that might allow us to take better care of ourselves, each other and the more-than-human world.

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