SUMMARY OF TRACKING TOPIC:
My tracking term was "Queers for Economic Justice", and I think this focus set the stage for how I engaged with a lot of topics and issues raised in class. Placing poverty and the most marginalized of the queer community at the forefront of their politics are clear, and have for some time informed my critique of mainstream US GLBT politics. The critique of gay marriage as not central to their needs or desires and instead calling on recognition of rights afforded to alternative (or no) familial structures of all/any kind is instead the vision QEJ seeks. Also, recent legislation for increased sentencing for hate crimes for queer bashers is not supported because their resistance to anything that increasing the force of the Prison Industrial Complex that disproportionately criminalizes poverty and is one of the most sexist, racist, queer unfriendly and unjust systems that exist in our country. It is not hard to see why those is poverty or those experiencing complex intersections of multiple identities do not see themselves as having their interests in mind when evoking GLBT or queer or any single identity political agaenda. I mentioned in another post of mine that I have met many of the current and existing members of QEJ and this deepened my personal connection with their work and I am glad to have had the opportunity to engage further with their mission and resources.
CLASS BLOG AND TWITTER:I find myself wishing I had engaged more on the blog earlier in the semester, but am also finding it very beneficial at this point to revisit the blog and engage now that we are done meeting. It sort of feels like cramming for a final, yet totally different. I still feel able to take my time thinking through a response or question and fully engage because the blog isn't going anywhere and the quality of response isn't dictated by the confines of the classroom or time/space of the blog (though I do realize there were in fact due dates and grades and such). I obviously wrote a LOT when I finally got around to it, often more than what a 10 or 20 point assignment might call for. I think I found myself torn between what to choose to engage with, whether or not to prioritize all required reading for classroom engagement, and struggling with the ideas and concepts themselves. I finally, as of yesterday, figured out how to link sources to an entry and I do see the value and use of twitter after struggling a bit with that. I used twitter to link to things I simply wanted to share with the class without critiquing or to highlight quotes as a way of taking notes but letting others know what stood out to me when reading. Perhaps getting the hang of tweeting early on by live tweeting in class can serve to document discussions (like the day you live tweeted one of the diablogue discussions) and use those to turn into blog entries to further engagement beyond the classroom and keep people on a somewhat similar track as a class. Also, maybe an encouragement to pull up twitter while reading to see what other are saying and to post thoughts and quotes as a way to 'talk' before meeting. This might have been super cool.
ADVICE:I kinda already said what I needed in this post or elsewhere, but the amount of required reading was tough. While it was great to have a wide variety of articles from some amazing theorists, I found it hard at times to make connections and struggled differently than those not exposed to the concepts prior to this class. Our in class discussions seemed to be a little split, some of us taking very different approaches than others. It was great sometimes to see all of the angles that people were coming from and they all usually did have some bearing on what was being discussed, however at times it felt frustrating to not have a clear idea just how far off on a tangent we were led or to have some things be made explicitly clear. If there was a way to hold us more accountable to each other as classmates such as smaller ongoing in-class and online discussions and being responsible for doing close readings, it would be a lot harder to miss class and procrastinate completing assignments. Which is, you know, a good and bad thing depending on who you are I guess. Really though, the biggest advice is smaller groups that could be sustained (and changed) throughout the course as a way to narrow the number of blogs you might consider prioritizing and engaging with as a way to narrow the focus a bit and minimize confusion and feelings of being overwhelmed by the amount of posts.