Wide shot of networking event

September 14, 2023, by aayar4

How an LGBTQ+ Curriculum Helped Me Work Towards My Career Goals

By Amaia Robertson Nogues, American Studies and English student blogger

Let’s take a trip down memory lane: you’re 18 again, confused about your future, and are drowning in ye olde university English Lit curriculums full to the brim with Shakespeare and Chaucer. Whilst I’m sure there are plenty of people who jump with glee at the first sign of soliloquies, that’s never really been my thing. One of the main reasons I decided to study at the University of Nottingham was its varied curriculum that didn’t abandon LGBTQ+ authors to the last forgotten bullet point in the lecture.

As part of my American Studies and English degree at Nottingham, I’ve been lucky enough to have been introduced to a variety of queer writers, public figures and academics. For instance, one of my favourite modules I have taken has been the course, Recent Queer Writing, which helped me discover some great new titles to add to my bookshelves. If you haven’t already heard of them, I highly recommend Alison Bechdel, Ivan Coyote, Ali Smith and James Baldwin to name a few!

One of the most intriguing classroom discussions on these authors’ texts which I found particularly insightful where our considerations of whose voices are highlighted within this queer genre, and how quick profits and equitable, truly inclusive treatment are often at odds with each other. These conversations eventually inspired me to write about heteronormativity and intersex activism as part of my final year dissertation, and has really helped form my next research project surrounding the implications of robotic and assistive technologies on LGBTQIA+ families.

Small talk around dissertation projects can really bring up some interesting or unexpected conversations, especially if you are passionate about a specific area. For me, this topic ended up leading an interesting discussion with my career mentor who introduced me to several great LGBTQ+ professional networks (for instance Out Professionals and The Pride Network) which has since allowed me to get to know a bunch of really interesting and inspiring professionals.

As a student, you never know what will inspire your next idea or a new direction. However, if you are passionate about an area of study, being able to find an academic or professional community which shares your enthusiasm can be invaluable. Having a diverse and inclusive university experience is essential to fostering new ideas, innovations and communities, and I am excited to see what lies ahead!

Access the University of Nottingham staff and student LGBTQIA+ networks.

Posted in Student Bloggers