Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair(s)

Beth Buyserie


Beth Buyserie


Jessica Rivera-Mueller


Chen Chen


In 2023, the Utah legislature passed bills that alter how secondary education teachers can talk about “divisive topics,” usually referring to topics of race, LGBTQ, or other systemic topics like classism and nationalism. Many teachers committed to anti-racism and anti-queerphobia do not want to water down topics of race and LGBTQ, but they also do not want to lose their jobs for teaching race and LGBTQ in a way that the law restricts. Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory have typically been framed as anti-White, anti-cishet, or overall divisive by State critics due to their radical ideologies, but this comes from an incorrect assumption that radical ideologies aim to cause anti-Whiteness etc. I argue that Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory can be reframed to show how they benefit both White and cisgender/heterosexual (cishet) identities, as well as Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) and LGBTQ identities when they are implemented in secondary education curriculum about racial and LGBTQ topics. This thesis investigates how secondary education teachers who are dedicated to anti-racism and anti-queerphobia can incorporate elements of Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory and reframe them in a way that demonstrates to the State and to students how anti-racism etc. are beneficial to White/cishet identities as well as BIPOC and LGBTQ identities. Special care is taken to ensure that all theory and pedagogical strategies at the time of writing this thesis are compliant with Utah state laws and regulations regarding "divisive" topics in secondary education. Specifically, this thesis outlines theories and pedagogical strategies secondary education teachers can implement into their English and/or multidisciplinary curriculum. The main audience is secondary education teachers who may be less familiar with this work, but also any educators—whether they be other secondary education teachers, university educators, DEI directors, non-profit advocacy organisations, White, BIPOC, cishet, LGBTQ, etc—who are looking for ways to apply radical theory and pedagogy in a way that is designed to reach even the most uninformed recipient.