Query #1

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Note: So this blog is all about experimenting with different ways for us to connect with each other and the material. I am introducing a new category today called "class summaries and queries." In this category (which, depending on how successful we think it is, will become a regular feature), I will post a brief summary of part (or all) of our previous class discussion. Then, I will offer a query to you. You are encouraged to post a comment to that query. I am hoping that this category will enable us to clarify terms and to (better) ensure that we understand the terms/ideas/theories (and what is at stake with them) that we are discussing. This material is difficult and really pushes at "the limits of most sure ways of knowing" (that's Butler-speak) so don't be too afraid to speak up if you don't understand something.

Thanks for a great discussion yesterday. We raised many issues that will be coming up all semester. One set up questions that will come up repeatedly in the readings is this:

How can we talk about the lived (and embodied) experiences of a person/persons in their situated practices in ways that don't reinforce the person/the body/the subject as unchanging and essential?

And, the converse...

How can we talk about the person/the body/the subject as not essential and in flux in ways that don't ignore the lived (and embodied) experiences of a person/persons in their situated practices (and particularly, as Dolan/Mittra and Gajjala/Rak all discuss in different ways, their diverse sexual practices)?

These questions speak to a tension within queering theory (and within Judith Butler's work) that we will push at all semester. So, keep it in mind.

QUERY: Does this set of questions make sense to you? Post a comment explaining them in your own words OR post a comment in which you ask a question about what you don't understand.

1 Comment

In late response to your query, I'm going to say this set of questions definitely resonated for me. How can we talk about subjects/bodies (and embody them ourselves) in ways that shake up reductive views of identities which are "always already" (without the influence of so much language and society) and instead pay attention to processes of becoming, while also honoring specific subject positions and "current" relations to power?

My question is really long and folds in both sides of this balancing act! That's what it means to me.