In Poor Queer Studies Matt Brim shifts queer studies away from its familiar sites of elite education toward poor and working-class people, places, and pedagogies. Brim shows how queer studies also takes place beyond the halls of flagship institutions: in night school; after a three-hour commute; in overflowing classrooms at no-name colleges; with no research budget; without access to decent food; with kids in tow; in a state of homelessness. Drawing on the everyday experiences of teaching and learning queer studies at the College of Staten Island, Brim outlines the ways the field has been driven by the material and intellectual resources of those institutions that neglect and rarely serve poor and minority students. By exploring poor and working-class queer ideas and laying bare the structural and disciplinary mechanisms of inequality that suppress them, Brim jumpstarts a queer-class knowledge project committed to anti-elitist and anti-racist education. Poor Queer Studies is essential for all of those who care about the state of higher education and building a more equitable academy.
Matt Brim is Professor of Queer Studies in the English department at CSI, with a faculty appointment at The Graduate Center in the Women's and Gender Studies M.A. Program. He teaches a variety of courses in LGBTQ literature and women's studies, often with a focus on black feminist/queer studies. His most recent book, Poor Queer Studies: Confronting Elitism in the University (Duke University Press, 2020), reorients the field of queer studies away from elite institutions of higher education and toward working-class schools, students, theories, and pedagogies. His other books are the co-edited collection Imagining Queer Methods (with Amin Ghaziani; NYU Press, 2019), and James Baldwin and the Queer Imagination (University of Michigan Press, 2014). He has published in venues including the Journal of Homosexuality, the Journal of Modern Literature, and the Gay and Lesbian Review, and he wrote an interactive online study guide for teaching the HIV/AIDS documentary film United in Anger: A History of ACT UP, directed by Jim Hubbard. He has served on the board of directors for CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies, and with Dr. David Gerstner he cofounded the Queer CUNY Faculty and Staff Working Group. For three years, Brim and Dr. Cynthia Chris coedited WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, published by the Feminist Press. He is currently an associate editor for the James Baldwin Review. With Dr. Kelly Josephs, he is Academic Director of the Faculty Fellowship Publication Program, a university-wide initiative that advances CUNY’s institutional goal of supporting a diverse professoriate. Brim is currently coediting a volume titled Queering Sharing: Toward the Redistribution of Resources around the University.