Academic Absurdity of the Week: Who You Callin’ Abby Normal?

It’s Monday, and as usual it only takes about one minute to round up candidates for the academic absurdity of the week. Let’s just go straight to the abstract from the Journal of Homosexuality—I’ll offer commentary afterward:

The Violence of Heteronormativity in Communication Studies; Notes on Injury, Healing, and Queer World-Making

Gust A. Yep Phd

Heteronormativity is everywhere. It is always already present in our individual and collective psyches, social institutions, cultural practices, and knowledge systems. In this essay, I provide some sketches for a critical analysis of heteronormativity in the communication discipline. More specifically, I examine the symbolic, discursive, psychological, and material violence of heteronormativity, and begin exploring ways to heal, grow, transform, and contemplate new possibilities in our social world. To accomplish this, this essay is divided into five sections. First, I discuss the study of sexuality in Communication. Next, through the notion of injury, I focus on the violence of heteronormativity. Third, using the concept of healing, I discuss ways of unpacking heteronormativity through a critique of hegemonic heterosexuality. Further, I offer potential ways for queer world-making through the lens of queer theory. I conclude by exploring the need for more sexuality research in the discipline by engaging the productive tensions between constructive and deconstructive impulses.

With apologies to Young Frankenstein (which unaccountably missed the comic potential of a “heteronormal” brain), let me see if I can “deconstruct” this a bit more clearly. Start with “Heteronormativity is everywhere.” Even better is the phrase down toward the end, “hegemonic heteronormativity.” Simple proposition: “heteronormativity” will need to remain “hegemonic” if the human race is going to perpetuate itself. Once upon a time that was easy to understand. But that was before we lost the ability to sort out bathrooms.

As always, you can buy the article for a mere $41.