Up Schitt’s Creek?: Comedy as a slantwise pedagogical encounter with queerness

SEAN HENRY, Audrey Bryan, Aoife Neary

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Pedagogical approaches to learning about LGBTQI+ themes and experiences remain a largely under-studied topic in teacher education. In response to this gap, the purpose of this paper is to offer reflections on the pedagogical value of comedy for exploring such themes and experiences in teacher education, focusing especially on the situational comedy (sitcom) Schitt’s Creek. We suggest that the sitcom offers teacher education an opportunity for ‘slantwise’ pedagogical encounters with LGBTQI+ themes and experiences, i.e., non-affronting encounters that resist damage-centred narratives of LGBTQI+ people and are open to multiple queer futures. In exploring how the sitcom offers teacher educators and student teachers these kinds of encounters, we provide a reading of three episodes of Schitt’s Creek through a ‘queer utopian’ lens. We accompany this analysis with prompts for teacher educators to use in discussing these episodes in the teacher education classroom. The piece concludes with some thoughts on the significance of comedy for exploring the relationship between affect, education, and social justice more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-101
Number of pages21
JournalTeachers College Record
Issue number10
Early online date9 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Dec 2023


  • queer pedagogy
  • Schitt’s Creek
  • teacher education
  • queer utopia
  • Education


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