In their new article published in a Special Issue of GAIA: Ecological Perspective for Science and Society, Guido Caniglia from the KLI and Coleen Vogel from University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (South Africa) move from a provocative analogy: that transdisciplinary sustainability researchers are to academia what queer people are to a heteronormative and sex/gender binary world.
Both may experience disorientation and need to learn how to transgress established norms, such as discipline-based academic norms for transdisciplinary researchers. Queer people and scholars have extensively dealt with (dis)orientation and celebrated transgression, for instance when talking about non-aligned sexual orientation transgressing heteronormative assumptions.
The authors suggest that queer theory can help transdisciplinary sustainability researchers to embrace the state of disorientation and to raise questions that intensify the transgressive orientations of their work. This is especially true when their research is transformation- or action-oriented and aims to contribute to better understanding and fostering just and equitable sustainability transformations.
Caniglia, G., & Vogel, C. (2023). On being oriented: Strengthening transgressive orientations in transdisciplinary sustainability research through queer theory. GAIA-Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society, 32(1), 167-171.