memoir that matters

The ground begins to shake in the table of contents, and by the introduction the first crack has opened up underneath our feet–William F. Pinar praise for Queer South Rising

I am a curriculum theorist who blogs about growing up and living in the South as a gay Christian. I write in an easy-flowing, often humorous narrative style of memoir.

I am a writer, blogger, professor, LGBTQ Christian in the UCC, progressive Whitlock_Window
Southerner, and Spiritual Health Resident. I have a Ph.D. and MDiv. My non-fiction narrative writing includes personal essays, and storytelling: memoir that matters. 

My book, This Corner of Canaan: Curriculum Studies of Place & the Reconstruction of the South was published by Peter Lang in 2007. Here are endorsements for the book:

This remarkable book combines passion and honesty to remind us why the South still matters so much in American life. Writing in a voice entirely her own, [Whitlock] shows us a South that is both profoundly new and profoundly old. Edward L. Ayers, Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and president emeritus, University of Richmond.


This Corner of Canaan

“As one both deeply familiar with and perpetually puzzled by the United States ‘South,’ I found [Whitlock’s] careful rendering of the contradictions of nostalgia, mystery, home, and grace insightful in its evocation of the lived and yet-to-be-lived meanings of place. She offers those of us who navigate this landscape of lushness and sensuality of silences and normalization, ways to think about how we can contribute to rescripting the meanings of this particularly queer social geography. Susan Talburt, Professor and Director, Institute for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Georgia State University.

Queer South Rising: Voices of a Contested Place is a 2013 collection of essays about the South by people who identify as both Southern and queer. Topics range from religion, politics, sexuality, race, and education, inviting readers interested in the South and queer themes to engage with the narratives it holds. This collection shatters perceptions about a nostalgic, romanticized Southern culture in general. Here are endorsements by one of my favorite writers, Dorothy Allison, scholar E. Patrick Johnson, and my friend and mentor, Bill Pinar:

This is simply wonderful! Reading these pieces is invigorating–like getting a call from my mama–as if she had never died and had just been hiding out in the mountains somewhere. Suddenly I feel like I am not alone, that I have family close by. These essays are resonate powerful tales and wonderfully complicated examinations of what most of the world does not even acknowledge, my people and our messy lives. Dorothy Allison, Writer, Feminist, Activist; author of Bastard Out of Carolina and Two or Three Things I Know for Sure.

This collection is bound to stir things up. The ground begins to shake in the table of contents, and by the introduction the first crack has opened up underneath our feet. William F. Pinar, Canada Research Chair, University of British Columbia.


Queer South Rising

For years the South has been neglected as a site of intellectual inquiry in queer studies. Queer South Rising fills this void by culling diverse voices to speak to the beauty and pain of living below the Mason-Dixon line. E. Patrick Johnson, author of Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South and Black. Queer. Southern. Women: An Oral History. He is the chair of African American Studies and Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University.

About Ugena: A native of North Alabama, Ugena holds a B.S.Ed. in English and History from Athens State University, a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Coppin State College, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with a specialization in Curriculum Theory and Women’s & Gender Studies from Louisiana State University. She is Professor of Curriculum & Instruction and Women’s and Gender Studies at Kennesaw State University. She has a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from the McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University.

More of Ugena’s work can be found on Ugena’s Faculty Page and Vitae

The title of her blog is Just Keep Swimming, which is some of the best advice she has ever received. profile_picture_symbol

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