About Brian Ammons

Brian Ammons is an educator, spiritual director, author, and ordained Baptist minister. He lives and works in the intersections of gender, sexuality, spirituality, and justice. He is a former faculty member in Duke University's Program in Education, and currently serves as Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC.

Chick-Fil-A, Jonathan Merritt, and the Conservative Politics of Outing

Brian Ammons has some very serious concerns over the outing of evangelical Jonathan Merritt, and asserts that if boycotts are tricky business, then the outing of another person should be considered even more so.

Sandusky, Scapegoats, and Systemic Violence

I’ve avoided writing about Sandusky. In fact, until very recently I’ve avoided reading or talking about Sandusky, too. As a survivor of a serial sex abuser, I know myself well enough to know that engaging the media coverage of the case with moderation and restraint would be a challenge for me. More often than not, […]

Suess, RPI, SNL, and the early works of Anthony Michael Hall

Burrows (2005) and Nugent (2007) both cite Dr. Seuss’ If I Ran the Zoo (1950) as the first documented used of the word “nerd.”  Seuss’ nerd is not much of a character, but appears in a list of creatures the protagonist might include in the zoo were he in charge.  The nerd, hailing from Ka-Troo, […]

The Nerd Emergence: A History(ish)

Just as Hall asks, “Is a ‘queer’ history even possible?” (2003, p.21), I wonder about the possibility of writing a history of the nerd.  Just as there has been sexual activity between same-sexed bodies in other places and times, there have also been those who preferred to spend their time in libraries and laboratories in […]

Nerd Aesthetics

If, as Butler (1990) suggests, gender is the repetition of acts and gestures, performances that may be somewhat malleable but cannot be escaped (as one can not step outside of the discursive process), then “camp” might be understood as the queering of those performances through the intentional exaggeration and remix of those acts and gestures.  […]

Queer the Nerd

Somewhat ironically, my first introduction to queer theories came in the form of biblical criticism (how nerdy is that?). Derived from literary theories, these queer approaches to scriptural analysis consist of reading strategies that either disrupt heteronormative assumptions, privilege queer identifications, or both. In Queering Christ (2002), Goss suggests three primary strategies for reading scripture […]

Queering the Nerd/Nerding the Queer

What can queer theories offer in examining nerd masculinities?

Failing Shop: Musings on Nerd Masculinity, or Anthony Hall was the man

“See we had this assignment, to make this ceramic elephant, and um–and we had eight weeks to do it and we’re s’posed ta, and it was like a lamp, and when you pull the trunk the light was s’posed to go on. My light didn’t go on, I got a F on it.”