Preprint version. Published in Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, Volume 10, Issue 5, October 1, 2010, pages 394-396.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Elizabeth Meyer was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Joe Kincheloe was our teacher, our mentor, and our friend. In our experiences in higher education, we had learned that it was virtually impossible to have these three different kinds of relationships with one person; particularly with an established, respected scholar who was as prolific as he was. He wasn’t arrogant or inaccessible or a diva or blinded by the hubris that can come with being deemed an “expert in the field.” He was Joe, the Vols fan and blues musician from Tennessee who proudly told anyone who would listen about his honorary membership in the Lesbian Avengers. When we first met him, he was also Dr. Joe L. Kincheloe, the Canada Research Chair in critical pedagogy at McGill University and renowned scholar and author or editor of more than 40 books. However, the mere presence of Joe and his work in cultural studies, social theory, and critical pedagogy existing in the Ivory Towers of top-tier research universities was an act of subversion. He preferred T-shirts and jeans to jackets and ties. He befriended the custodial staff before getting to know the department chairs, and he never made it to a meeting on time because he was busy listening to someone. Even more than his presence, his teaching subverted the expectations and the unwritten rules of these elite institutions.