Recently in About this Blog Category

Categories? What Categories?

Do you find yourself having difficulty figuring out what the different categories for this blog are for? Are you uncertain about which category you should file your entries under? Does my repeated mention of "Queries" or "Queer This!" leave you wondering just what I am talking about? Worry no longer! I have just added an explanation of categories--called "About the Categories"--for this blog. It is located on the right hand side at the top of the blog (under PAGES), so check it out. You can also check it out here. Hopefully this explanation will help you to make sense of the categories.

Still not making sense? Post a comment to this entry with your questions and I will offer even more explanation.

Why Blog?

Welcome. This is the blog for GWSS 4403/GLBT 4403. Hopefully it will play a central role in our discussion of and engagement with the material. While only class members (the professor and the students enrolled in the course) can post new entries, the blog will be open to the larger public (for reading and commenting).

Having used blogs in my courses for over three years now (11 blogs total), I am slowing discovering how valuable they can be for:

  • Developing community between students
  • Enabling students to engage with the material and each other in different ways
  • Encouraging students to really think about and process the ideas
  • Helping all of us to organize our thoughts and ideas
  • Providing a central location for posting information and handouts
  • Allowing for a space outside of the classroom for engaging with the readings and each other
But blogs aren't just useful for creating connections between students (or teacher and students or students and other communities). I spent the summer writing in my own blog, Trouble, and I discovered that blog writing can make you (the writer) a better writer and thinker. This is especially true if you write in your blog on a regular basis. I wrote every couple of days this summer and I found that by the end of August my critical thinking skills were in much better shape then when I started in May. I also found that my understanding of my chosen term--trouble--had grown deeper and richer over the summer as I creatively explored different ways in which to engage with it.

Writing in a blog alleviated a lot of my anxiety about "serious" writing; somehow posting an entry didn't seem as intimidating as writing a formal manuscript. Writing in a blog also encouraged me to make new connections between ideas in unexpected ways. I found myself applying theoretical/political concepts like Michel Foucault's notion of curiosity or Judith Butler's notion of gender trouble to children's movies (Horton Hears a Who) and television shows (Hannah Montana). Not only did this experience allow me to reflect on these concepts but it also helped me to really understand them as I worked to translate them into more accessible language. For more on how/why I wrote in my blog, check out my about pages here and here.

It is my hope that the experience of writing in our course blog will enable you to develop your critical thinking skills and enhance your understanding of queer and queering theory. It is also my hope that writing in our blog will inspire you to keep writing and thinking and questioning and connecting.