Dr. Catherine Connell is a qualitative researcher focused on the intersections of gender, sexuality, and work/organizations. Her forthcoming book, School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom, considers the experiences of gay and lesbian identified teachers in California and Texas. In the book, Connell asks: how do gay and lesbian teachers grapple with their professional and sexual identities at work, given that they are constructed as mutually exclusive, even indeed as mutually opposed? School’s Out explores how teachers struggle to craft a classroom persona that balances who they are and what’s expected of them in a climate of pervasive homophobia. The book explores the tension between the rhetoric of gay pride and the professional ethic of discretion in the context of other complicating factors, from local law and politics to race and gender privilege.
Dr. Connell’s next research project will consider the legal and cultural ramifications of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on the US military. She is currently at work on a content analysis of the media’s framing of the repeal, and will soon begin ethnographic and interview research with current and former LGB soldiers. She is also interested in understanding how the continued official exclusion of transgender identified soldiers affects trans veterans and their access to benefits.
In addition to her research and teaching, Dr. Connell serves as the faculty advisor for Q, BU’s Queer Activist Collective.