Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 23, Issue 1 (January 2010), pages 49 – 64.
This article offers a reading of the 2006 film The History Boys, which depicts eight male working-class grammar school students preparing for exams to enter Oxford and Cambridge and two teachers who prepare them.
The author reads the film's subjunctive mood, which gestures to possibility and an 'otherwise', as connected to an analytic of 'after-queer' that complicates linear understandings of youth, sexuality, development, and education.
The author elaborates three intertwined themes: the boys' multiple relations to school knowledge; the blurring of categories of youth and adult through circulations of sexuality; and the dislocation of desire from predictable categories of identity.
The author connects the unpredictability and creativity of identities and desires to the need to open the research imagination to a subjunctive methodology that dwells in complicated temporalities, uncertain knowledges, and disorder that underlies seeming orders.