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Final Blog Assignment

Here is the final blog wrap-up assignment that I discussed in class yesterday.

Here is what I wrote in the original syllabus:

You are required to submit a final wrap-up on your experiences tracking your chosen topic and on helping to develop and participate in the blog. This wrap-up can come in the form of a lengthy blog entry (or series of entries) or a separate (more formal) reflective essay. Please see me if you have other thoughts on how to organize/develop/articulate your reflective thoughts on your topic and your experience with the blog.

REQUIRED ELEMENTS

1. A (roughly) 250-300 word description/discussion of your chosen term. In this discussion, you should provide your own understanding of the term and why it is important for queering theory. This part of your reflection essay/entry should draw upon at least 3 sources (from our readings/your first presentation/annotated bibliographies). I would encourage you to draw upon your own previous entries and link to them.

2. A (roughly) 250-300 word reflection on the question: What is queering? In answering this question you are not required to provide THE definition of queering (which is not possible), but to reflect on what you think queering is. You should draw upon the readings, our discussions, our blog, outside sources, and your own ideas. I would especially encourage you to reference other students' posts (by discussing and linking to them).

3. A (roughly) 350-400 word reflection on the process of tracking your term. This reflection should occur in two ways: 1. A reflection on the process of tracking your term and 2. A reflection on the process of using/participating in the blog. In composing your response, answer the following questions:

• What did you learn about queering theory and your term through this process?
• How was the process of writing on the blog helpful (or not helpful)?
• What would you like to tell future students about the blog experience (advice, etc)?
• What connections can you draw between queering theory and blogging? How did (or didn't) our blog allow for a queer space or enable us to engage in practices of queering?

This essay is due the last day of class on December 15.


Syllabus Revised

Here is the latest revision to the syllabus. I will also distribute and discuss it in class tomorrow.

Another revised schedule

I passed out another revised schedule (as of 10.22) in class yesterday. I will also make a link for it, under the Handouts section.

Remember: We are discussing Butler's chapter, "Beside Oneself" from Undoing Gender on Tuesday. Then on Thursday, we will watch and discuss "Halloween." I was thinking that we could begin class with a discussion of the Carol Clover reading (found on WebCT in the folder for 10.29) and then start watching the film around 3:15. The movie is about 90 minutes long. You are not required to stay, but I will screen the entire movie (ending around 4:45 or so). I will bring some snacks (feel free to bring some too).

Query #6: Caster Semenya and the photo shoot

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At the end of class we discussed Caster Semenya and I posed this set of questions for you to think about:

1. What sort of performance is the photo shoot for You magazine and by what sort of Subject? That is, what sort of agency/ability to act does Semenya have in her performance as "a glamour girl"?

2. What norms are being cited in this performance? And how is she produced as a subject through them? How does this performance (at the photo shoot) draw upon a history of norms/signifiers that shape how we understand Semenya and also shape why her case has been made into such a spectacle?

Here is handout #4 from class today.

Handout #2 and some clarifications...

Here is Handout #2 from class yesterday.

Here are some corrections:
a. Your first set of blog entries are due October 22 and not October 24.
b. Class next week is on October 20 and 22 not October 24.

One more thing: If you want, you may use your Paris is Burning blog entry as one of your queries.

Revised Schedule (as of 10.1)

Here are the revised schedule and Handout #1 that I distributed today in class.

Handout from last Thursday's class (9.17)

Here is the handout from last Thursday's class.

The Blog Assignment: The Details

I have worked out more of the details for the blog assignment (which you can download here).

ENTRIES:
30% or 300 points (15 total @ 20 points each)

7      Direct engagements with the readings
3      Annotated bibliographies
5      "Queer This!" posts

ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT:
10% or 100 points (10 total @ 10 points each)

3       Comments posted in response to the query in "Class Summaries and Queries"
4       Comments posted on direct engagement OR annotated bibliography entries.
3       Comments posted on any blog entries

Syllabus

Welcome to the blog for GWSS 4403/GLBT 4403. Here is the syllabus for class. And here is a brief description of the course:

In this upper level seminar we will use the work of Judith Butler as our focal point for tracing multiple practices of queering theory and mapping the shifting terrain of the term "queer" and its role within critical sexuality studies. After beginning with the investigation of some preliminary questions--What is queering theory? and Who is Judith Butler?--we will spend the rest of the course engaging in practices of queering through, beside and against Butler. Drawing upon readings by Butler and putting them into conversation with a wide range of important queer thinkers (Foucault, Halberstam, Sedgwick, Moraga, Edelman, Gopinath, Munoz, Anzaldua and more), we will explore some terms/concepts that are central to understanding and engaging in queering theory: 1. Gender, 2. Performativity, 3. the Abject, 4. Resistance, 5. Trouble (being in it, making it and staying in it), 6. Norms and 7. Queer Time.

Some questions that will come up this semester include:

  1. Is queer theory a matter of doing or being? Can it be both?
  2. How does Butler engage in queering theory?
  3. Is Butler a "bad writer" or a difficult writer?
  4. What (if anything) is important about distinguishing between bad and difficult writing?
  5. How has Butler's understanding and promotion of queer(ing) theory changed since the writing of Gender Trouble in 1990?
  6. What does it mean to trouble gender? Who can trouble gender? When is troubling gender subverting dominant norms and when is it merely reinforcing those norms?
  7. What are the political and ethical possibilities of queering theory?
  8. What can queer theory do with norms (besides rejecting them)?
  9. Does queering theory have a future? If so, what kind?