Recently in Class Summaries Category

Day 12: December 8

Before moving into our discussion of facebook, here are a few announcements:

  • Your social media resource content for our blog must be posted by next Wednesday, our last class! I just added categories for each group. Also, once you post your resources, I will add them as links in our social media resources page. To make room for this page, I took the reading schedule and put it at the end of the course syllabus page. As part of your resource guide, please include a brief (1-2 paragraph) explanation of your resources, I will include your explanation (along with links to your various entries) on the social media resources page. 
  • Here's a reminder of remaining assignments, including your final statement.
Here's a breakdown of today's class:

Vulnerability, Privacy, Community, Safety

As instructors, how much access (to our personal lives, to our time) should we give our students? How is this question complicated when we become facebook friends with our students?

How do we negotiate our various selves/roles/identities on facebook? Can it be productive to make our "personal/private" selves visible for those who normally only encounter our "professional/public" selves? What are the benefits of this visibility? The drawbacks? 

Does this visibility enable us to be vulnerable to/in the midst of others in potentially productive ways? What are the limits/dangers of this vulnerability?

How do public and private function in a feminist classroom? On facebook? (How) do these spaces complicate and demand a rethinking of the public/private distinction?

What is privacy? Check out this trailer for a longer video on "Choose privacy week"

Should/can a feminist classroom be a safe space? Is facebook a safe space?

safety: (from Fisher, 140):
  • physical 
  • social 
  • psychological 
  • discourse
"Honest participation in feminist discourse meant bringing as much of yourself as you could to such discussions, drawing on experiences, feelings, and ideas that might promote liberating actions" (Fisher, 141).

Is trust important to feeling safe? Or in engaging even when one doesn't feel safe? Does facebook make us more/less trustworthy?

trust     self-disclosure     honesty   vulnerability  safety

privilege and "differential vulnerabilities" (Fisher, 150)

Kishimoto and Mwangi: "However, just like Munro, we 'seek simultaneously to create and disrupt notions of the subject' (1) and thereby create fluid spaces in which to articulate and make sense of our positionalities in different contextual landscapes" (90). Does facebook allow for these types of negotiations? Is it a fluid space where we can make sense of our various positionalities?

On self-disclosure Mwangi writes:

Self-disclosure is the element of explaining who I am, where I come from and where I am going, as well as my professional background at the beginning of the course. I often feel obligated to do this to establish my presence in the classroom. It is like letting the students know--"hello, I am here! And I have something to offer!!"--Self-disclosure becomes a way of not only authenticating my presence in the classroom but also talking back to myself acknowledges up front that I am in a position of vulnerability and thereby invokes a reminder to myself that I am braced to do what I need to do (92). 

On a false sense of safety Kishimoto writes:

This false sense of safety implied by surveillance is only creating a controlled and predictable environment that does not challenge the hegemonic system, thereby ignoring our subjective positionalities (94). 

On the value of being unsettled (troubled?) Mwangi and Kishimoto write: 

To imagine that learning only occurs in a place of "calm" is to miss the ways in which contradictions, ambiguities, anger, pain, and struggles can be sources of energy to facilitate critical consciousness necessary for individual and social change (98). 

Day 11: November 17

Today we are discussing twitter and lived experience, daily habits, authenticity and sharing. Before we get into that, here are a few announcements:

  • No class next week
  • Here's the entry that I posted with a recap of final assignments. Any questions?
  • Any other questions (you can post them as comments to this entry too)?
Here's a breakdown of the class:
  • Pedagogical questions
  • Discussion of readings and topic
  • Break at 5:20
  • Begin Twitter group's presentation/assignment at 5:30
A few thoughts...

Today we are discussing twitter and its value (or lack of value) for our practices and visions of feminist pedagogy. We could talk about the limits and possibilities of twitter in many different ways in relation to feminism and feminist pedagogies. For example, how does twitter work for (and/or against) activism? Lots of folks are critically reflecting on this question. Earlier in the semester, we discussed Malcolm Gladwell's article about twitter and "Why the Revolution Will not beTweeted" (check out ha78na's response here). Over at DigiActive, they put together a guide to Twitter for Activism. And Ronak Ghorbani offers up a series of podcasts + analysis on tweeting feminists. We could also talk about how twitter works in encouraging back channel conversations in classrooms (during lectures and discussions) and in conferences. We already started to talk about the problems and possibilities of twitter in this way in our discussion of "Designing Choreographies for Attention" a few weeks ago. Sample Reality offers up an interesting take on the value of "snark" in the classroom. In terms of using twitter for conference conversations, check out how it was used in the 2010 NWSA conference (they had the live feed on their website). A couple of my queering desire students used it to live tweet yesterday's Interrogating Complicities conference too. 

While we can continue these conversations today (and online), I wanted to add in another important topic concerning twitter and feminist pedagogy: Lived Experience, Daily Habits, Authenticity and Sharing. Here are some key questions for me: 

  • What sort of authentic expressions are possible via twitter? 
  • Is authenticity counter to/in conflict with performativity/performance? 
  • Ped Question (danny): How is performance informed differently for different bodies? Do spaces like Twitter allow for a "true" reflection of ourselves or do we perform there too?
Lived Experiences: 
  • Can we use twitter to express (and value) our lived experiences? 
  • What are the problems and possibilities of expressing/relying on/invoking lived experiences?
  • In a youtube video about twitter it is suggested that twitter is concerned with documenting "the real life that happens between blog posts and emails." What value do you see in expressing and documenting these aspects of real life?

  • See johnnyblaze513's ped questions.
  • How are those expressions valued and/or devalued when presented in twitter-logic (with 140 characters + random followers + the impulse to be witty and "cute" and quick)? 
  • What happens when our authentic/crafted/performed tweets are taken up by others? Joel Johnson writes
It's a website where people post things they choose to display to the public, including--unless one has a perfect follower-to-follows ratio or a private account--several people you don't know at all who choose to pay attention to your life, your thoughts, and whatever else you choose to share.

Rather than worry that I might be viewed as a sociopath for using Twitter exactly in the way for which it was designed, I choose to instead be excited about all the new people and perspectives that are right at my eyeballs' fingertips. But that doesn't mean I want--or am even capable of--becoming fast friends with every single person I observe (or read, or watch, or whatever) on the internet. No one really wants that--except for creepy people.

Is Twitter designed in order to "other" people? Does it encourage us to pay attention to each other in ways that are objectifying and oppressive? Can we imagine sharing and expression of self in ways outside of this model? Does twitter allow for that? What does Zandt think? How is Johnson defining "creepy" people here?

  • Can sharing help build up trust and empathy?
  • How should we think about sharing in relation to the binary of production/consumption?
  • Check out what Deanna Zandt has to say about the value of social networks for sharing and mapping relationships:
We've always belonged to multiple spheres, but in the offline world, the piece that was missing was clear documentation or mapping of those relationships. We could exchange information about ourselves, but physical limitations and social expectations prevented us from widespread information sharing. You wouldn't, say, set up a conference call with a bunch of people you know casually to talk about your family vacation... it would have been expensive and culturally weird. 

Now using a variety of tools -- email, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, microblogging services like Twitter -- we have the ability to create maps of our relationships. I don't mean maps in the pictorial sense, like a giant family tree or anything. I mean maps in the pathway sense. We are able to create and use very direct pathways to engage in immediate, many-to-many conversations with people in our social networks by sharing our experiences with one another. 

Those pathways create the opportunity for us to take advantage of our relationships in revolutionary ways, particularly when we share information with each other, rather than simply receiving information passively from sources outside of our personal relationships.

What benefits and drawbacks can you imagine in this ability to map and take advantage of our relationships?

Daily Habits: 
  • Does twitter/tweeting encourage us to be more "authentic" or less authentic or both?
  • What sorts of practices does it encourage or discourage? 
  • Are we more authentic when we tweet a lot--is tweeting about amassing lots of tweets that, when taken collectively, make visible a tentative crafting of a version of the authentic self? Is tweeting a lot, without careful reflection, central to twitter's "authentic" possibilities? Is this something to encourage or discourage in the classroom? 
  • Can/should we (as instructors) use twitter to express our beliefs? What is relationship between "authenticity" and beliefs? 
  • What about our "feelings"--can we express them through twitter? ( this part of the "snark" that Sample Reality discusses?) Does twitter encourage us to express our "outlaw emotions" (Fisher, 69)? What are the benefits and drawbacks of those expressions?
  • On page 74, Fisher discusses the need for spontaneity and intentionality in theory-buliding (especially theory built from/in relation to experience). How do spontaneity and intentionality work within twitter/tweets? How does Orenstein imagine them working? How have we negotiated them in our tweets?
One last set of questions: Is twitter fundamentally flawed? Is it possible to use it subversively and disobediently (in ways that it was never intended) in order to further our feminist goals? How might we use it in tandem with other methods (a both/and instead of either/or model)?

Even more thoughts...

I have been thinking and writing about twitter a lot this semester. Here are a couple of my recent entries:

Day 10: November 10

Today we are continuing our discussion of blogs and feminist pedagogy. I thought we could spend some time in the media lab looking at the "it's diablogical" site and discussing my workshop on blogging tips/strategies/assignments. Here's a breakdown of our class:


  • Slightly revised reading schedule for next week:
17         Feminist Pedagogy and Twitter: Lived Experience, Daily Habits,         
              Authenticity and Sharing

Ped Questions: 

  • one (what is lost in virtual CR?)
  • two (engagement)
Workshop on blogging:
Blog as Resources

Classnotes 11/3


Conversation today orbited around voice, silence, and power, a discussion propelled largely by the Mimi Orner reading, "Interrupting the Calls for Student Voice in 'Liberatory' Education: A Feminist Poststructuralist Perspective" from Feminisms and Critical Pedagogy. I've arranged my notes on the discussion according to how it moved thematically. For instance, Orner early on provides a list of binary oppositions - dualisms (78) such as oppressor/oppressed or voice/silence. Such binaries formed a recurring track of discussion.

Day 9: November 3

For the next two classes, we will focus our attention on blogs in the feminist classroom. Before we get to that, remember to sign up for a learning activity and a blog resource assignment. You can sign up by commenting on the respective entries. Here's a breakdown of who has signed up so far:

Learning Activity:

Blogs: perhaps we should cut this one?

Twitter: Madison, Meg, Aditi

Facebook: Reina, Brittany, Jacqueline

Youtube: John, Alyssa, Erin, Jenny

Missing: Erika and Danny--make sure to sign up either twitter or facebook.

Blog as Resource:

Syllabus: Brittany, Aditi

Suggested Readings: Jenny, John

Modules: Alyssa

Manifesto/Statement (as video?):

Key Concepts explained (does this fit with modules?):

Many of you still need to sign up. 

Here are some questions that we will be taking up today:


Inspired by arux001's (Aditi's) questions, I am struck by Orner's use of poststructuralism and its effects/affects. For example, she writes:

It seems possibly naive to think that there can be anything like genuine sharing of voices in classroom.

I wonder: Really? What is genuine sharing? Does it have to be essentialist or necessarily require that we ignore/forget/reject how power functions in the classroom?

What does seem possible, on the other hand, is an attempt to recognize the power differentials present and to understand how they impinge upon what is sayable and doable in that specific context (81)?

Is this language (of recognizing power differentials) alienating? Does it move us to struggle? Inspire us to engage? What happens to our sense of community/self/engagement when we reject "sharing" and replace it with "recognizing one's power differentials"? While this question may seem loaded, I am genuinely interested in the limits and possibilities of poststructuralism for feminist praxis. And I am interested in what it might mean to think about sharing and authenticity in relation to (as opposed to in opposition to) poststructural understandings of the subject/self. 

Finally, a return to the question of space--physical, virtual, public, "private", safe, inside/outside of the academy. Here are my questions from last week:

  • How does physical space work in social media? 
  • How can we use our physical spaces (classrooms or "public" spaces) in our efforts to teach with/through social media? 
  • How should we negotiate online/offline spaces? 
  • How do they work against/with each other? Citing Saskia Sassen, Daniels writes: "there is no 'purely digital' or exclusively 'virtual' electronic space; rather the digital is always 'embedded' in the material" (109)--what does this mean/how does this work in relation to social media in the classroom? 
  • What challenges do we face with the physical spaces in which we are assigned to teach? How can we work to overcome those challenges? 
  • What happens to non-verbal communication in social media? What gets lost/gained when we can't "read" each other's body language/gestures?
See you later this afternoon!

Addendum: Just finished my virtual handout for a presentation that I am giving at Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA) on Friday (see #5). 

Hmmm....I keep thinking of more things that I want to discuss: 
1. the role of comments on blogs. 
  • What kind of engagement do comments encourage/discourage--productive, counterproductive? 
  • Are there others ways to engage in/with blogs? 
  • Other ways to develop community? Should we monitor comments? If so, what guidelines should we use?
2. Reading blogs/using blogs as (re)sources in class discussion.
  • Does blog reading require different reading skills?
  • How much blog reading is manageable for students (undergrads/grads)?
  • When is having so many links stimulating? When is it just overwhelming?
  • Should blog entries be used as reading sources for students? What are the logistical difficulties of assigning blogs?

Day 8: October 27


Today we begin the second half of the class, which involves bringing feminist pedagogy to bear on social media, like blogs, twitter, facebook and youtube. Our readings for today are intended to get us thinking, in general terms, about the potential value (and lack thereof) of social media. Before we get to our discussion, here are a few announcements:

Assignment is worth 200 points. You can work individually or collectively. Here are some suggested "assignments" (primarily taken from our discussion two weeks ago + open thread):

  1. (The process of crafting a) Syllabus
  2. List of suggested readings + blog/online resources--maybe we could include tips on accessing pdfs + sites where you can find pdfs without needing access through a university
  3. Learning Modules for using fem ped in a variety of contexts
  4. Statement/Manifesto? on critical thinking, media literacy or the purpose/goal of education
  5. Key concepts explained
You can sign up for one of these assignments and determine with your group (in consultation with me--as blog administrator) on how to complete it. 

Now, onto the readings. Here are a few themes from the readings that seem important to this general discussion:

Digital Literacy

  • What is it? 
  • See Feint Left's pedagogical question for this week. 
  • What skills/abilities/tools should be included in our vision of digital literacy? 
  • How important is understanding the technology (particularly form a technical perspective) for our vision of digital literacy? How do we manage our time (for research, for teaching content) while still experimenting with/learning about new online technologies?
  • Where should it be taught? How should it be taught? 
  • How/why is digital literacy important for feminist pedagogy?
  • How central should it be for the feminist classroom? How do we balance it with our other pedagogical aims (see oobserver's pedagogical question for this week)? How does this change depending on the context/our particular classrooms and lived experiences?
  • What kind of digital literacy do educators need? What are the different ways in which feminist teachers should participate in promoting/practicing/teaching digital literacy?

  • See Riddlemethis55's pedaogical question for this week. 
  • How does/should/can attention work in the feminist classroom? In No Angel in the Classroom, Berenice Fisher suggests that feminist teachers need to shift student's attention (away from common sense ideologies/dominant understandings and towards critical awareness/other forms of knowledge) and to ensure that they keep paying attention (when the subject is uncomfortable or they don't want to discuss a reading/topic). How can we balance the need to shift attention with the need to pay attention?
  • In "Designing Choreographies" Gordon and Bogen talk about distraction, capturing attention and keeping attention. How do they understand these terms? How can be productive/unproductive in feminist classrooms? 
  • Gordon and Bogen also offer the example of the urinal and using a slight modification of physical space (adding a picture of a fly) to gently nudge attention instead of commanding it (5). How is our ability to pay attention and the various strategies that can be used to nudge/command/direct our attention affected by our positionality? Do all people pay focused attention in the same way? Who should decide that they are paying attention in the right way? What assumptions about attention, focus, proper behavior are made in this narrow vision of focused attention (see danny's entry and comments). How does Daniels address this issue in Rethinking cyberfeminisms? What do we make of her claim (coming from Domain Error!) that "cyberfeminist writing often assumes an 'educated, white, upper-middle-class, English-speaking, culturally sophisticated readership'" (104)?
  • What about paying attention as techno-mindfulness (Musto)? Musto indicates that she puts a "techno-mindfulness" clause into her syllabi (104). What should this statement look like?  Here's mine: 


In this course, we will experiment with online technologies as a way to engage in feministpraxisTwo key words here: experiment and praxis. While we will devote some serious attention to learning the basics of how to use social media (especially blogging and twitter), our main focus will be on experimenting with these technologies by bringing them into conversation with feminist pedagogies and by pushing at their limits and using them in (sometimes) unexpected ways. The purpose of this experimenting is to critically reflect on feminist pedagogy and social media, while simultaneously engaging in practices of them. Another purpose of our experiments is to have fun, to be inspired, and to find ways to engage with technology in productive (effective, critical and creative) ways inside and outside of the feminist classroom. This class requires that you spend considerable time on our course blog and following our twitter feed each week. This time is not intended to be merely in addition to other readings/assignments, but a central part of our critical exploration of feminist pedagogy.

Could we develop this statement collectively with your students--like johnnyblaze513 suggests in his fem ped example? 

Physical Space

  • How does physical space work in social media? How can we use our physical spaces (classrooms or "public" spaces) in our efforts to teach with/through social media?
  • How should we negotiate online/offline spaces? How do they work against/with each other? Citing Saskia Sassen, Daniels writes: "there is no 'purely digital' or exclusively 'virtual' electronic space; rather the digital is always 'embedded' in the material" (109)--what does this mean/how does this work in relation to social media in the classroom?
  • What challenges do we face with the physical spaces in which we are assigned to teach? How can we work to overcome those challenges?
  • What happens to non-verbal communication in social media? What gets lost/gained when we can't "read" each other's body language/gestures

Day 7: October 20

Here's a breakdown of today's class:

  • Announcements?
  • Anything that you want to discuss from your classes? Examples of feminist pedagogy? Experiences that need some critical reflection, etc? My example: managing disrespectful blog comments
  • Pedagogical Questions one and two
  • Reading Discussion
  • If time, continue with discussion of "what is critical thinking?," add in: serious engagement and evaluating students. What are some methods that you use? What are some of your class goals?
A few questions/thoughts about the reading:

Critical pedagogy needs to move away from saying that students need this or my critical perspective since such an approach merely replaces one (socially hegemonic) framework for seeing the world with another (academically hegemonic) one. Rather than aim for understanding of some critical perspective, antioppressive pedagogy should aim for effect by having students engage with relevant aspects of critical theory and extend its terms of analysis to their own lives, but then critique it for what it overlooks or forecloses (Kumashiro 49). 

  • What is the difference between understanding and effect?
  • How can this be practiced in the classroom?
  • What's the difference between understanding and engagement? Can we engage without understanding?
What is "good" writing?
What is "serious engagement" and critical thinking?
How should we evaluate students' writing/ideas/participation?

Four Ethical Questions concerning Kumashiro's 4th Method (69-70):

Question One: Is it ethical and to intentionally and constantly lead a student to crisis?
Question Two: Are all experiences with crisis antioppressive?
Question Three: Does working through crisis invade a student's privacy?
Question Four: Do all form of repetition constitute oppression and do all resignifications constitute antioppressive change?

What do we think about these questions?

On page 75, Sam talks about how students need time to process new ideas/questions/challenges and that teachers need to have patience. Elenes and hooks also mention patience in their work. How do teachers learn patience? How can we demonstrate/practice it? Is this difficult? How are we encouraged or discouraged to practice this patience?

And, here are some tweets that I did earlier today:

Many of our readings have promoted the value of risk and risk taking. KCF (my diabloging partner) and I just discussed this on "It's Diablogical!" How do we manage risks? How do those risks work differently for different folks in the classroom? What resources can/should we draw on for supporting us in our risk-taking? Are there ways to ensure that we can keep taking risks and not get burned out? How do we account for own physical/emotional/intellectual/spiritual needs while still being an effective (whatever that means?) teacher?

Day 6: October 13

Today we are engaging with hooks and Teaching to Transgress (+ a brief critical essay on hooks too). Here's a breakdown of class:

  • Announcements?
  • Practical Questions one and two
  • More discussion inspired by the blog (ped examples, questions, etc)
  • What is critical thinking? (handout from last week + M. Apple's 7 point description in Yancy + 5 hats + other texts?)
  • Move into discussion of hooks
  • More brainstorming on blog as ped resource site

Here's a clip from a recent (3.8.2008) presentation by hooks:

Day 5: October 6

Today we are discussing feminist pedagogy and critical pedagogy. Here's a list of our readings for today:

  • Ellsworth, Elizabeth. "Why Doesn't this Feel Empowering?" in Feminism and Critical Pedagogy
  • Torres, Edén. "Wisdom and Weakness" in Chicana Without Apology
  • Anderson, Robert C. "Teaching (with) Disability: Pedagogies of Lived Experience" in The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies
  • Freire, Paulo. Excerpts from Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Learning to Question


Day 4: September 29

Today we are discussing readings by AnaLouise Keating, Megan Boler and C. Alejandra Elenes. Much of their work discusses the problems and the possibilities of teaching transformation. 

Check out this video of Megan Boler discussing some of her post-pedagogy of discomfort work on "ironic citizenship," truth and digital media:


Here is a breakdown of today's class:

  • Announcements
  • Questions/Discussion
  • Practical Discussion: Collaboratively developing a definition of critical thinking 
  • Readings for next week are all up on WebVista, including brief excerpt from Freire's Learning to Question and Ch.2 from Pedagogy of the Oppressed. 
  • Reclaiming the University
  • Ethnic Studies Week information
Pedagogical Questions:
  • Practical questions 1 and 2
  • Theoretical question 1
More Reading Discussion:
  • common language
  • common sense, ideologies, critical thinking, status quo stories
  • transformation
  • emotions
  • student resistance/teacher resistance
  • invite, engage, explore, confront, unsettle, disrupt, enrage
  • active listening, witnessing/spectating
  • nonjudgmental listening, openness, reciprocity, exchange, same side of the river
  • truth, authenticity
  • (in) attention
  • emotional/physical/intellectual habits of learning, reacting, reflecting, transforming
  • being proper/improper or professional/unprofessional
Practical Exercise: 
  • What is critical thinking? 
  • Should it be a goal in our pedagogical practices inside/outside of the classroom?
  • How should we define it? Implement it? 
What do you think about bell hooks' discussion of it (especially starting at 3:30) in this video, and her claim that "popular culture is where the pedagogy is..."

Day Three: September 22

The following is a breakdown of what we are planning to in class today. If you have any questions or comments related to today's class, you can post them as comments to this entry. 

  • Announcements/Questions
  • Discussion of Pedagogical Questions
  • Small Group Exercise
  • Practical Reflection on small group work
  • Keep thinking about blog as public resource 
  • Any other readings that you would like to include? Topics for discussion?
  • Thoughts about blogging/tweeting? 
  • Use blog and twitter more--try experimenting. Did you see my "live-tweet" of No Angel?
  • Here's the sign-up sheet
  • Questions?
Pedagogical Question Discussion
Small Group Exercise
  • Do Exercise
  • Large group discussion/reflection
Practical Discussion
  • How do/should/can small groups work in a feminist classroom?
  • Strengths/weaknesses of small groups?
  • Do they help foster collaboration/making connections?
  • Examples of effective/ineffective use of small groups
Thoughts on blog as public resource?

For more reading...
Critical thinking and modes of/methods for evaluating kept coming up in our readings. What is critical thinking? How do we critically engage with each other's work/ideas in ways that are in support of our feminist aims? What are those aims? These questions remind me of an article that I read on the Chronicle of Higher Education this summer: In Praise of Tough Criticism. Check out my response on my trouble blog. Reactions?

Day Two: September 15

Today, we are talking about teaching with online technologies. We will review how to use our course blog and sign-up for/use twitter. I will show you some ways that I use blogs in my classrooms. And we will start our (hopefully) ongoing critical reflection on the limits and the possibilities of social media in the classroom. Finally, if we have time, we will start brainstorming ideas for how to turn our blog into a resource site for feminist pedagogies.

Step 1: Getting Started or How to Log In and Set up my Alias

1. Go to
This is the UThink main site for U of M blogs.

2. Log in by clicking on the link (login to UThink) located under About Uthink on the right hand side of the page.

3. If you are not already logged into the system, you will be required to submit your x500 and your password. If you are already logged in then clicking on login should take you directly to your Dashboard. Your dashboard will list any blogs for which you are an author (courses, personal blogs).

To access our blog, click on "System Overview" at the top on the left hand side. I have added all of you to our blog as authors, so you should see our course, "feminist pedagogies" on your list of blogs. Click on it. (If you don't see it, please let me know.)

4. Now you should be on the author page for our blog. This is where you can create entries, upload files, and insert images.

5. For those of you who haven't used UThink before: You can set up your own alias for posting. This means that when you post an entry or a make a comment, only your alias will show (not your email address or your name). As the blog administrator, I will be the only person who knows that it is you posting. If you are a little nervous about posting, this is a good way to stay somewhat anonymous.

Always remember that our blog is a public blog. This means that anyone has access to it and can read. Keep this in mind as you are writing your entries and comments. For more on why I think the blog as a public site is a good thing, see this entry from one of my course blogs from last year.  

Step 2: Creating a Basic Entry 

6. Now that you are on the author (or the behind-the-scenes) site for our blog and now that
you have signed in and created your posting name/alias for our blog, you can create an entry. Click on create (located on the right hand side right above--or between--the course title) and scroll down to entry. Click on it.

7. You should now be on a page titled "Create Entry." You can create a title for your entry by typing in the box, "Title." Then, type your entry in the bigger box below.

8. A note about body vs. extended entry:
Above the big box where you type your entry, there are two options: body and extended. If you are writing a particularly long entry, you could post the opening paragraph in the body section and then the rest of the entry in the extended section. When people look at your entry on the blog, they will only see the part you wrote in the body with a link at the bottom that says something like: "continue reading entry x." This can be helpful in making the blog visually more compact, but it not necessary.

9. When you are finished typing your entry, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on save (If you want to preview your entry first, click on preview. This can be helpful in making sure that you formatted everything correctly and that you put in the right address for your links). Once you have saved the entry, click on the view site button which is located at the end of the row that starts with the "create" button.

10. A note about categories and tags: 

a. categories: On the right-hand side of the screen (and just below the text box), is a section called categories in which you will find a list of different categories for this blog. It is very important that you click on the box of the appropriate category for your assignment. Doing this ensures that the blog stays organized and easy to search. For your various assignments, I will clearly identify which category you should select for your entry. Categories will include: Pedagogical Questions, Class Notes, etc. 

b. tags: Right after the text box (where you type your entry) is a much smaller box labeled "tags." Tags work like key words and can be used to identify the key topics in your blog. So, if you are writing a blog about Roseanne as a queer character or the Twilight series as reinforcing heterosexual romance, you could tag your entry with the keywords:
Roseanne, television shoes, working class, anti-capitalism or Mormonism, heteronormativity, vampires. Type the keywords in and separate them with commas. Put these keywords in before you save your entry. These tags will be reflected in our tag cloud which is located
midway down on the right hand side.

Step 3: Creating links, inserting images and embedding youtube clips.*

*These should all be done before you hit save and post your entry.

11. Links: Okay, so now you have typed in your brilliant entry about the queer relationship between Harry Potter and his mentor, Albus Dumbledore, but the whole thing looks kind of...boring. One basic way to make it more interesting (not to mention interactive) is by
adding in links to other sources (that you have referenced in your entry or that point to more information on the topic or that offer a different perspective). For the purpose of our blogs, your links should not merely be thrown into your text. Instead, you must address and explain them (but more on that later). Technically speaking, the way to add a link is to highlight the text that you want to create a link for (like David Halperin and his discussion of pederasty in ancient Greece). Then click on the image of the chain (you will find this image in the row of buttons above the text book). Enter the address for the link and then click on save.

12. Images: But, wait, you say. Links aren't enough. You want more things to add to your entry. You want images.

a. First, find the image you want. Probably the easiest way to do this is opening up a new tab, going on Google images and putting in a keyword to search. That's where I have found most of my the one to my left.

Because this is a basic primer, let's stick with google images. So, you have typed in "The Brady Bunch" and found a great image of the family that you want to use. Click on the image. Then click on "see full size image". Drag the image onto your desktop. Now you are ready to upload the image into your entry.

b. Now, switch back to the entry you have been working on.
Put your cursor at the place in your text that you want the image to appear (like where you are discussing the Brady Bunch). Then click on the button (which is a few after the link button) that looks like an image and is called "insert image." Click on the "new upload image" link and then browse on your desktop for the image of the Bree that you just found on google images. Now that the new image is uploaded, you will be given a bunch of file options. It is up to you how you want the image to look, but here is what I usually do. I click on "display image in entry," "use thumbnail (manually adding in a width of 150 pixels)" and "Link image to full-size version in a popup window." In terms of alignment--left, right, or center--pick whichever works best for you.

13. Youtube clips: Now that you have started adding things, you can't stop. Links and images aren't enough. You want to embed cool youtube clips in your entry. Here's how:

a. First, find the youtube clip that you want. Open up another tab and go to youtube.
I put in "Susan Stryker" as a keyword search and found these really cool book reviews for Trans/Queer related texts by the scholar, Reese Kelly.


Now you need to embed the clip. To do this, you need to find the embed box (located on the right hand side under the video), highlight the embed text and copy it.

Note: For a fancier version of the youtube clip youcan now customize your embed clips. Once you click on embed, more options (including color choices and size options) will show up. Click on the color and size you want. Also make sure to click the box, "show border."  Now copy the embed text and follow the next step.

b. Now go back to your entry and put your cursor on the place that you want to insert the youtube clip. Before pasting it in, make sure that you have changed the format (located above the insert image button) to none (away from rich text or covert line breaks). The embed
text will not work in rich text; it will just show up like a bunch of code. Once you have switched the format to none, paste in the embed text. You are done and ready to save!

Twitters tutorial on how to sign up for twitter:

Since twitter has its own helpful tutorial, I thought I would just post a link to it instead of writing my own. Here it is. Here are some other things to remember:

1. Once you sign up, make sure to follow the class. You can do this by clicking on the link in the upper right hand corner that says: Find people. Search for "femped2010". Click on it. This will take you to the course twitter account. Click on the button, right below the course name/button, that says: follow. Now you are following the class. 

2. As you all begin to follow the class, I will be putting you in a list named, "class-list." Click on the list (located on the right hand side, halfway down the page) and find your classmates. Click on their accounts and follow them too. 

3. Make sure to mark all of your entries for class with this hashtag: #fp2010. 

Some Examples of How I Use Blogs/Twitter

Your Blog/Twitter Assignments for this Class

Check out the blog/twitter assignments for this class here. I have included a log that should help you keep track of your comments/entries/tweets. 

Using Technology inside (and outside?) the Classroom

How should/can/do we use technology in the classroom?

  • Can we teach naked? What would that mean? 
  • What are the implications of teaching with social media (and other forms of online technologies) for feminist pedagogies, particularly in terms of teaching methods, authority and the teacher/student dynamic?
  • Does teaching need to be radically transformed? Can using digital/social media technologies in tandem with feminist pedaogies aid in this transformation? If so, how?
Any thoughts on what kind of resource site you would like to create?

Day One: September 8

Hello and welcome to feminist pedagogies! In addition to all of the other ways we might be using this blog this semester, I thought I would experiment with using it as a space for organizing our individual class sessions. Here's what we are doing today in class:


To the Class
To Each Other:
a. large group introductions
  • Preferred name
  • Hometown
  • Discipline/areas of interest
  • Good book/movie/tv show you watched
  • Why you're taking this class and what you want to get out of it
  • Experience with social media/online technology
  • Are you teaching any classes right now? Have you taught any before?
About me: Dr. Sara Puotinen
Photo 11.jpg
Hi, I'm Sara or Dr. Puotinen. I was born in Houghton, MI, but I have also lived in North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, California and Georgia. I have a BA in religion (Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN), MA in ethics (Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA) and a PhD in Women's studies (Emory University, Atlanta, GA). My areas of research interest are: troublemaking, feminist and queer ethics, feminist pedagogies, queer theory (especially Judith Butler), feminist and queer social media (especially blogs). Lately, I have been writing a lot about the ethical, political and pedagogical value of troublemaking. 

One of the most recent books I read is Share This! How you will change the world with social networking. I have a mild obsession with pop culture from the 70s, like the Brady Bunch. And I find myself strangely drawn to Cartoon Network and their weird shows like Adventuretime. I love teaching this class and teaching in the GWSS department! This is my third time teaching this class and my fifth year in the department. 

I have been using blogs in my classroom since Spring 2007 and I have been writing on my own blogs since 2009. I started my first blog, a research/writing blog on making/being in/staying in trouble last May and I started two more blogs, both collaborative diablogs, this summer. One is on breaking bad consumption habits and the other is on feminist pedagogy and blogging. The feminist pedagogy diablog, It's Diablogical!, has been particularly helpful and inspiring for me this summer. Since 2009, I have written extensively about the value of blogs and blogging in feminist and queer classrooms. I also recently started my own twitter account, @undisciplined, and I have been reading/researching/thinking about twitter for this class (and my other class, queering desire, all summer. 

b. small group introductions
Break up into groups of 3 and introduce yourselves. In addition to talking about your research interests/backgrounds, spend some time describing why you are taking the class and what you want to get out of it. As a group, come up with some tentative thoughts about feminist pedagogies--what it is, how you want to practice it. One final question: why feminist pedagogies and not feminist pedagogy? 

For Next Week's Class: Next week we will start class in the Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center (FORD 468). I will offer a hands-on workshop about blogging (mostly) and twitter (a little).