Recently in Assignments Category

Annotated Bibliography

My tracking topic is children/youth: 

Source #1


In our experience we have talked with hundreds of thousands of Transsexuals and Transgendered users either in our chat rooms or in our forums or by email. Our main mission is to prevent suicide which for us numbers 31%. Over 50% of our users from 13 and up have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday many more cut or mutilate themselves especially in their teenage years. At puberty all live through the horror of watching their bodies change into something foreign to them. The male minded (FTM) are growing breasts and starting their periods. The female minded (MTF) are getting erections, muscles and body hair along with their voice changes. To them it is a curse. that will be with them the rest of their lives. Sadly much of this could have been prevented. You see most of us knew and insisted that we were in the wrong body as our first remembered thought at the age of 4 or 5. Why weren't we treated? In most cases our parents thought it was just a phase and didn't listen. In others parents would just force the wrong gender down their son's and daughters throats forcing them to suffer in silence. If all Transgendered and Transsexual children were treated at an early age our suicide rate would be much lower.

Source #2

Gender torment of 10-year-old Cameron 


A BOY of 10 has been found hanged at his South Yorkshire home after telling his mum he wanted to be a girl.The court heard Cameron was a lonely boy with no friends outside school. He spent all his time at home listening to music, playing on his XBox and using a laptop computer. His mother revealed Cameron had been very interested in recent reports of a spate of teenage hangings in Bridgend, South Wales.

Source #3


Discovering what it means to be gay and the idea of gay identity.

            Children who become aware of their homosexual attractions no longer need endure the baleful combination of loneliness and longing that characterized the childhoods of so many gay adults. Gay kids can now watch fictional and real teens who are out on shows like Desperate Housewives, the dating show Next on MTV and Degrassi (a high school drama on the N network whose wild popularity among adolescents is assured by the fact that few adults watch it). Publishers like Arthur A. Levine Books (of Harry Potter fame) and the children's division at Simon & Schuster have released something like a dozen novels about gay adolescents in the past two years. New, achingly earnest books like Rainbow Road (Simon & Schuster), in which three gay teens take a road trip, are coming this month. Gay kids can subscribe to the 10-month-old glossy YGA Magazine (YGA stands for "young gay America") and meet thousands of other little gays via young gay america com or 

Topic - Queer Youth

Benilde-St. Margaret censors student anti-homophobia editor


The editors of the Knight Errant knew things were going to get a little hot when their latest issue dropped last Thursday.The student newspaper at the St. Louis Park Catholic school Benilde-St. Margaret was going to include a staff editorial condemning the Archdioceses' anti-gay-marriage DVD mailing.

On top of that, the issue would include an essay by senior Sean Simonson about his own recent experience coming out as gay at Benilde-St. Margaret.

Editors warned the administration, who didn't stop the publication. The papers were delivered to the school and the website went live Thursday. But by Saturday, school principal Sue Skinner had ordered the two contentious pieces removed.

The Knight Errant is pretty highly regarded among high school papers. On Saturday, when the stories were taken down, the paper's faculty adviser and editors were in Kansas City accepting an award at the National High School Journalism Convention, the paper's third national award in three years.

Skinner explained the removal of the articles in a short statement on the paper's website.

"This particular discussion is not appropriate because the level of intensity has created an unsafe environment for students. As importantly, the articles and ensuing online postings have created confusion about Church teaching."

Some of the paper's staffers aren't taking the censorship lying down. Bernardo Vigil, the arts and entertainment editor, started contacting other news outlets as soon as he learned of the article's disappearance down the memory hole.

Vigil spoke to City Pages this morning after getting kicked out of class for wearing duct tape across his mouth with the word "Censorship" written across it. He said other paper staffers are wearing rainbow clothing in protest.

"The people who said it was inappropriate for us to publish these stories are the same people who are perpetuating an atmosphere of homophobia on campus, so caving to the calls for censorship is basically showing solidarity with the view that homophobia is okay," Vigil said. "The articles need to go back online."

LGBT History should be told

| 1 Comment

State senator proposes bill to require LGBT studies in schools

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - State Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, proposed new legislation Monday to ensure that the historical contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals do not go unnoticed by California students.

If enacted, Senate Bill 48 -- the Fair Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful, or FAIR, Education Act -- would prohibit the exclusion of LGBT people in school curriculum and instruction materials in grades K-12.

Remix/Redux/Revisit Second life, Real life...?

I have decided to revisit my first direct engagement on the HASTAC forum which discussed the article/video of "Becoming Dragon".
HASTAC-Digital-Storytelling.jpgI discussed Micah, the UCSD student, and her choice to lead a second life in virtual reality. I reflected on the importance of experimenting in these alternative spaces and how they can give freedom and choice to many that would not otherwise choose to act in certain ways. I also mentioned that this space should not be a qualified place where people who are transitioning can spend their life in the sex that they identify with. Looking back on this forum, "Becoming Dragon", and the idea of space, lets me see how very substantial space can be for different people in different situations. The idea of space is not just a room, but what happens within that room (what is/is not being said, topic(s) at hand, educational, coffee chat with friends, restroom, library, etc). Within these space different people gather and different things occur. Like we have discussed in class queer space is well, queer. We don't follow the typical classroom setting where students face and listen to a teacher lecture. Instead, we engage with one another and lead the class with a force that seems very natural and appropriate. For me it was incredibly helpful to look soooo far back to my first direct engagement. It reminded me of what I was thinking and feeling at the time. It also was nice to relate what I had learned early on and then go back to apply concepts and ideas that I had learned after the fact. It was nice for me to be able to look at a situation that seemed fairly straightforward, to then readdress, and TRoUbLe the idea and delve deeper than I had the first time around. Posts from Sara and other students help not only to explain certain ideas or reiterate them, but to cause to me to think differently. This often was frustrating at first. As students were are told we have learned something when we are able to take a concept and project this concept and its relation to life via paper, presentation, exam, etc. In this class we are left with more questions than answers and this is still something I am struggling with. It is hard to realize that having questions is still grasping the idea, but only taking it further. This is critically engaging at its best!

Ohhh noooo....Mercury, even more dangerous than we thought!

Mercury Poisoning Makes Birds Act Homosexual

homosexual penguins.jpg

Homosexual Penguins........????.........."This study badly needs to be replicated."

Final Wrap-Up

FINAL WRAP-UP due Dec 14th
Tracking the term intimacy has been very interesting and has broadened my definition of the term. When applied to a homosexual community I noticed that often in the broader sense of the term it is regarded as negative. In our society there is a negative connotation when it comes to gay intimacy. I found that in popular view it seems that in a heteronormative world intimacy means sexual intimacy especially when applied to homosexual couples and relationships. It is largely seen that when gay people are intimate it only means that they have sex. In one of my sources I viewed a television show called "What Would You Do?" where gay couples held hands and kissed in public and the reactions of people passing were recorded and then later interviewed. The majority of the people passing reacted in shock and began and continued to stare either in curiosity or disgust.
I also included a source where a gay man is talking about his definition of intimacy. He has a theory that gay men do not date they just have sex. He believes that this is a problem since every man he "dates" just wants to have sex but he wants the intimacy of the relationship. For him this means talking, sharing, spending time together and loving each other. It is indicated by his clip that he thinks that the gay community has intertwined the term intimacy with a purely sexual application and that is should stop because it is preventing real relationships to form in the gay community.
I think that after researching this term I have come to the conclusion that the actual word 'intimacy' has different meanings for different people. It is important for the individuals within the couple to define it together. Although being intimate often includes a sexual aspect it does not always center around it. As we move forward in society I think that the term will change in accordance with the representation of intimacy in popular culture. Right now gay couples being shown in a positive light has not really broken mainstream media. Some shows include gay couples having healthy intimate relationships but not all. There is still a large percentage of media that encourages discrimination among the gay community.
I did not get that much out of my twitter experience because I was not familiar with it. I think the class would have been fine without it. Using the blog was difficult and I still do not know how to post a link. I liked that there were no quizzes or formal papers. I think that it is encouraging to students to participate when the writing assignments do not have to be formal. I liked that I could just post something to the blog without having to write a formal paper. The assignments were helpful I think. I did not do every reading but was able to participate in class and understand what was going on and being discussed. The blog was helpful in engaging with other students and exploring interpretations. I was able to engage in queering our class and queering the academy. Thanks to my interactions with other students I now know what queering means.
My advice for an instructor teaching this class is to make sure no student is left behind in understanding the main ideas of the class. I wish I would have been more familiar with using a blog and twitter before coming into the class. I think the more a student is savvy with blogs the more he or she will be prone to engaging critically. I also wish that I would have had more feedback on grades. Overall I thought that the class was beneficial and fun.

Class Wrap-up...

I really don't know how to start things out. It's been a hectic semester but the willingness to experiment and challenge "how a class should be" is probably the aspect of the class that I appreciated the most. Due to my experience with this class I have come to a few realizations about myself and as well as a few questions I have about the integration of "technology" and the classroom.

In the beginning

I admit in the first few weeks I was extremely excited about the class. I saw peers that have been part of previous classes I've taken that I really respected. The class also included an issue that I am passionate about and that is the integration of social media into the classroom. I have another class this semester, youth and media, that talks about social media in the classroom as well as trying to discuss "critical media literacy", which is a whole different discussion. I felt that the first few weeks were a little "rough" there were a lot of trying to figure out logistical problems and I felt that because of those it got in the way of discussion and readings. There were a few class period that we just spent on logistical issues that popped up it was fine when we just started but it started to get really frustrating at points because we had some juicy articles and ideas that we could have discussed
I really do love the willingness to experiment in the class there was a lot opportunities where "we" as students could play around. There are very few classes with that flexibility and "freedom" although I wished we would have teased out the idea of "freedom" and "choice" a little further especially when we started discussing queer and youth because we started to really get into it but we had to move on. The size of the class also got in the way at times. Our first few weeks we had a relatively large class for some of the ideas or "experiments" we had. In order for some of our experiments like some of the blog entries and queer this entries suffered from the sheer number of people we had. In the beginning we had twenty or thirty students and if everyone posted something and to effectively engage with everything that got posted seemed a very large task. In this instance the willingness to be open to all ideas and to experiment almost had a counterintuitve effect in the class. I say thing because the class I mentioned earlier had a much more "rigid" outline but this last few weeks of that class people are playing with ideas they haven't done before or were much more willing to "do something different" compared to our class. I found it a little interesting. Our class was much more flexible and yet only a few really "played" but in a different class where there was not an explicit encouragement to experiment but not against it more students were willing to "play".

The Blog
Ok, for those that know me a bit the interenet, social media, and popular culture are somewhat of an obsession for me. Many of the aspects in this class, the blog, twitter, and etc. were right up my alley. I use them, except for twitter, quite a bit, but if anyone had notice my participation in the blog or twitter had been minimal at best. It's not that I don't read the blogs, I do, and if you are my facebook friend a lot of my statuses and posts can just be easily transferred over as blog entries and queer this entries. I put a lot of thought as to why this. I usually am a strong advocate for the integration of social media sites and networks into the classroom, but I didn't really participate. The moment that blog entries became assignments "worth something" I really started to not want to do it. At first I thought it was accountability because I really respect some of my peers and I just didn't want to put out "shit" but I started to think and process it some more and I realized that accountability is only a part of it. There is a certain "mreh-ness" to the mediums we use. I say "mreh-ness" because a huge reason I post on blogs and obsessively update my facebook status and etc. was because I just felt like it.
The moment value was assigned to each entry, each tweet, or post it didn't "feel" the same. Even though I may be doing similar things outside of our class blog I didn't want to do it in our blog. I wanted to do it "there". I felt a little "off" using something I do in my spare time and place it here even though it may be similar activities or content.
The funny thing is because of this class my stance on the integration of social media into the classroom had changed a bit. I was adamantly "for" it before now I don't really think so. Although I feel that the internet and social media can be powerful tools that can be used in the learning process it can't necessarily be fully integrated in it.
Honestly I felt a little disappointed, not because of "what" we were studying but "how" we were creating a space of learning. There were a lot of ideas thrown around and the class is full of individuals that are full of incredibly great ideas, but I felt that there was something that got in the way. I don't know what but something. Wrapping up I'm reminded of a day in class that stood out to me. It was the day we decided to "switch" up the space of the room. It took us ten minutes of the class to change the lay out. There were discussion on the possibilities of the different spacial arrangement some attempt to move things little but we stalled a bit, not from no one "knowing" what to do but the exact opposite too many and everyone willing to engage each other in the ideas. The very next class charts and entries were even made. I'm not saying that this is a "bad" thing but it indicates an issue that gets brought up in our classes and many classes before, at least for me, the issue of balance. On one had a very fluid and theoretical class is great but if it "gets" in the way of being able to create an "optimal" learning space is it all that great or the opposite can be applied if there is such a focus on optimal learning spaces that the processes of creating that space is never criticized. It's hard to say if it was good or bad because it's not neccessarily either. The class was an experiment and I appreciated it for that did I "love" the class... not really but I really loved the discussions that I had outside of the class with Sara and a few of the folks in the class but not the class itself.

My Choice Comment 2

| 1 Comment

During our class on Tuesday we did a free write and for my last my choice comment I thought I would just share what my initial thoughts were.
In my mind becoming acceptable or the idea of acceptance implies that something is now being tolerated or allowed to happen whereas before the thing was not. I don't want to feel tolerated! I am a human being. My classmates, neighbors, fellow Americans, and everyone else that inhabits this planet are also human beings. As such, we should never be made to feel like acceptance is a privilege. It is our right! What is it that makes being a white, heterosexual, cis-gendered male so valuable and superior to the rest of us?
~The only way to be happy and accepted is to come as close to the norm as possible including spouse, children, home, money, dog, picket fence.
~And what if I want some of those things? What if I want a child and a home and a dog and aspire to one day not struggle from paycheck to paycheck? Does this mean I am trying to be normal or attempting to reinforce the norms?

A note about final blog assignments

First, here's a link to my blog entries about "living and grieving beside Judith."

I have extended the deadline for all remaining blog assignments. They are all now due on 12/14, the last day of class.

There is one final discussion that we have not discussed yet, your final blog wrap-up. Here's what I wrote about it in the syllabus:

Finally, 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 and on following our twitter feed. 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.
Here's some more information about this final assignment. It should be roughly 500-700 words and should include the following:

  • A summary of your thoughts on tracking your term/author/organization: what you learned about the term, a tentative definition of the term, what you thought about the experience of tracking your term. 
  • Some of your thoughts about participating on the blog and twitter this semester. What did you think about the assignments? Were they helpful in your critical exploration of our readings? Did they enable you to engage more/less with other students and/or with the topics? Did these assignments enable you to engage in queering our class/queering the academy?
  • You can also include any advice for me as I develop future versions of these assignments or advice for future students who will engage on the blog. What do you wish you would have known when you started class/started blogging? What would you like to tell other students? 

Just as a reminder, here's the information about the Remix/Redux/Revisit blog entry: The purpose of this entry is to revisit an entry, reading, or topic from early in the semester and to critically reflect on how your perspective has shifted (or been reinforced) during the course of the semester. Here's how:

  • Pick a reading, one of your past entries or a one of my class summaries from the first half of the semester (up until 10/19-10/21).
  • Write up a 1-2 sentence summary of your thoughts from that time.
  • Then, critically reflect on how your thinking about the reading, the topic of your entry, or the topic of that class discussion has shifted (or how it has stayed the same--or been reinforced).
  • As part of this critical reflection, make sure to offer up some of your thoughts on whether or not it is helpful to revisit past entries--is this a benefit of blogging? Is it helpful/not helpful to have access to all your/our past ideas? Are my class summaries helpful in clarifying the concepts (or complicating them in productive ways)?

My choice Comment 1

Today at the place where I volunteer we were discussing an upcoming training that is going to be offered at a near by institution. The training is entitled "Social Constructions of Gender Violence". My boss was prepping for the training and we had a colorful discussion about all the ways in which gender violence has become part of our culture without us even knowing it. One of the most interesting point s she brought up comes from the much discussed movie "Twilight". basically she broke it down like this for me:
"What are we teaching 10 year olds?" That it is normal to break into someone's home by oiling their bedroom window and watch them sleep for eight hours. Not only is the AGAINST THE LAW: Felony breaking and entering and stalking, but it is also saying to our youth (and some adults frankly) that their love and desire has to be at a felony level in order to be sexy.
I also posted some Tweets about some of the other points that were raised during the discussion. There were many many others: think Rhianna and Eminem, Pink, "Kiss With a Fist". Has this become so mainstream that we are calloused enough to it that we don't even notice anymore? I for one certainly have.

Annotated Bib #3: Masculinity Representation in Children's Books

Tracking Topic: Masculinities

Since my last annotated bibliography was on an array of different subjects and areas in which masculinity dominates (Disney movies, Wall Street, & Athletics), I decided to continue more directly along the lines of Disney movies but instead look more specifically at children's books for this particular annotated bibliography. This one will definitely be more cohesive than the last annotated bibliography which I couldn't hone in on a specific interest because there were 3 things that interested me. Children's books have always been interesting because I feel that children learn a lot about a society's expected gender roles and cultural influences based off of the books they read as children. We have progressed in many ways as a culture within the past 10 years but children's books do not seem to be getting more progressive in terms of gender representation.

Singh, Manjari. "Gender Issues in Children's Literature." Indiana University, Nov. 1998. Web. Nov. 2010. .

Children's books frequently portray girls as acted upon rather than active. Girls are represented as sweet, naive, conforming, and dependent, while boys are typically described as strong, adventurous, independent, and capable. Boys tend to have roles as fighters, adventurers and rescuers, while girls in their passive role tend to be caretakers, mothers, princesses in need of rescuing, and characters that support the male figure. Often, girl characters achieve their goals because others help them, whereas boys do so because they demonstrate ingenuity and an aggressive perserverance. If females are initially represented as active and assertive, they are often portrayed in a passive light toward the end of the story. Girl characters who retain their active qualities are clearly the exception. Thus, studies indicate that not only are girls portrayed less often than boys in children's books, but both genders are frequently presented in stereotypical terms as well. Even otherwise ambiguous objects or animals are gendered specifically female/feminine or male/masculine.

Alias: bethany1601. "Gender Bias in Children's Books." YouTube. 2 May 2009. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. .


This video is really a dead on short summary of how bias children's books are. We don't realize the messages we are sending to children. As she states in the video, "women are taught that they need a man to rescue them" and boys are taught to be macho and manly. These messages teach children a dominant hegemonic patriarchal masculinity discourse that is slowly shrinking today but still predominant in the norms of children's books.

The speaker in the film discusses how girls tend to take less risks in their academic writing and this could lead to the belief that smartness is not as important as wanting a man to please because looks and timidness will win over academic goals. It is interesting that the lady who produced this book was doing it for a class. I think she makes some great points about what teachers can do to foster understanding and discussion around why certain characters in books are represented a certain way, and what this means in the broader context of society.

Alias: GoldenHSCsac. "Gender Roles- Interviews with Kids." YouTube. 24 Oct. 2008. Web. 23 Nov. 2010. .


Another youtube video I found to be really interesting was interviews with children about gender roles. It's really short but I think it gives adequate descriptions for the most part, although it may be slightly more bias because I'm assuming they only put certain comments children made in to reiterate certain points reconfirming dominante ideas about gender roles. I definitely have little kids in my life who do not think like this, but that definitely reflects on the parents. I think most children recieve messages at a young age regarding the very thick and well defined line between boys and girls.

The little boy in the video is asked if boys are different than girls and he says "yes" then when asked "how are they different" he replies, "boys don't put on girls clothes". It is obvious that children first pick up on the physical differences between boys and girls such as clothing options, and then are taught later how to perform that role. But looks is the most important to most kids because they learn quickly that it is "silly" to act or dress like a girl when one isn't. Another boy in the film says that boys are stronger than girls and that if he put on a dress all the other children would laugh at him. Isn't it sad how we are taught to gage ourselves and our behaviors strictly gendered so as not to be laughed at? Then when asked who cleans the house (woman barbie), takes care of the babies (woman barbie) and goes to work (man barbie) all children had very SAD answers. I definitely believe this is not the most accurate description, but I coach little kids snowboarding and I definitely press them for questions about things like this and when I say something non-normative they tell me i'm "silly".

Thoughts about my topic of MASCULINITES: Over the course of the semester I haven't honed in specifically on one area of masculinities but have been noticing how it comes into play in different areas of life and through certain dominant institutions. Masculinity has always interested me because I am aware that it's a social construct and therefore not stable and homogenous but strictly cultured and fluid. I am very interested in teaching sex education and wrote my senior thesis on a new paradigm for sex ed: one that involves culturally appropriate and age appropriate sex education that is comprehensive and teaches alternative ways of having relationships outside of the confines of normative. I think we have reached a point where children are very familiar with the lifestyles of gays and lesbians but are still taught via gendered children's books and sex education classes that only teach abstinence only and heteronormative relationships. This leaves many children out and creates a false basis for understanding regarding the roles of men and women and what a "normal" relationships looks like. Now that we are becoming more progressive, we need to realize that it starts with our children. We need to focus on changing the way children understand the world around them and 2 major areas we must shift our focus to are children's books and literature and sex education programs within schools. New alternative ways of living outside these cultured norms are becoming more and more intelligible in every day life but we are holding back that understanding and causing confusion by still teaching and representing gender roles the way we do within those forms of media and education.

Awww wow, I think I need to become a Children's author and design a sex education curriculum based around my newly formed thoughts! It would be interesting to research ways that teachers have incorporated questioning these dominant ideologies with children in classrooms... as we always talk about- let's trouble the classroom!

Some important announcements about assignments

Remember that your blog folders are now due Thursday, December 2. All assignments due on or before that date (check schedule or blog worksheet for due dates) must be handed in at that time to receive full credit. This means that any past assignments from throughout the semester will be accepted next Thursday (but not after). Also note that I have extended to due date for assignments originally due on 11/22 (DE #3, tweet source, your choice comment). These are also due on the Thursday after Thanksgiving (12.2).

For this hand-in, please print out the blog worksheet and hand it in at the beginning of class time (or turn in the hard copy that you already have been using). You can either hand in your comments and tweets or send them as a word document.

As a reminder, here are other upcoming due dates for rest of the semester:

  • 2 Annotated Bibliography #3 
  • 6 Remix/Redux/Revisit, Queer This! comment #3, Query Response #3, Your choice comment #2, Your Choice tweets 1/2/3 
  • 14 Reading Engagement Comment #2
Here's some information about the Remix/Redux/Revisit blog entry: The purpose of this entry is to revisit an entry, reading, or topic from early in the semester and to critically reflect on how your perspective has shifted (or been reinforced) during the course of the semester. Here's how:
  • Pick a reading, one of your past entries or a one of my class summaries from the first half of the semester (up until 10/19-10/21).
  • Write up a 1-2 sentence summary of your thoughts from that time.Then, critically reflect on how your thinking about the reading, the topic of your entry, or the topic of that class discussion has shifted (or how it has stayed the same--or been reinforced).
  • As part of this critical reflection, make sure to offer up some of your thoughts on whether or not it is helpful to revisit past entries--is this a benefit of blogging? Is it helpful/not helpful to have access to all your/our past ideas? Are my class summaries helpful in clarifying the concepts (or complicating them in productive ways)? 

Mash Up


My mash up examines the meaning of "queer" by engaging with readings and materials from our blog that deal with the social construction of gender beginning in childhood. I have chose readings from Sedgwick's "How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay", Bernstein's "Transparent", Smilelotsplz's engagement with Luhmann and Dani's Gay Kingdom queer this. I have chosen these particular items because they all related in the idea that gender and everything that comes along with it is engrained in each and every one of us from the moment we enter this world.
I will start with Dani's Queer this from the Tyra Banks show and her episode "Gay Kingdom", so we are starting from the end product and moving to the beginning. I just want to start by saying that it was tough watching such a silly display stereotypical behavior. I understand that they are on television and are encouraged to over exaggerate themselves (I'm not sure if that is technically a valid phrase) but seriously? I digress; here is a list of the participants as they are labeled on the show:
-Michael: Masculine gay man
-Michael: Feminine gay man
-Sam: Dominant lesbian
-Kayden: Lipstick lesbian
-Sasha: Transgender woman
-Hedda Lettuce: Drag queen
-Jason: Bisexual
Needless to say we have here a representative from several sub groups within the GLBTQ community. What was interesting to me were the individual beliefs and stereotypes they held about each other and oddly enough themselves. Kayden kept referring to herself as a "straight lesbian", which I tool to mean that she was a cis-gendered female who was sexually attracted to other cis-gendered females. Hedda Lettuce was quick to bring attention to the use of those terms, expressing discomfort about the derogatory implications in calling herself straight. Watching the clip made me realize just how conditioned we are when it comes to our individual genders. Each member displayed and expressed certain characteristics that made them either male or female. In addition, they also added adjectives that helped us as viewers to categorize them more easily. What is it about our bodies and the way we represent ourselves that make it so necessary to choose categories and boxes that we can fit into? I liked this example because it demonstrated, over dramatically I might add, what the end product turns out to be when we are socialized in a way that insists that there are two genders and anyone that deviates from either must be re-categorized in order for us to understand, and more importantly rank them on our scale of importance within our society.
I want to move on to Sedgwick's essay, "How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay: The War on Effeminate Boys" and Bernstein's "Transparent". Both articles discuss raising children but from two very different viewpoints. Sedgwick's article examines our societal need to raise our little boys to grow into masculine men. Throughout the article we are introduced to the idea of Revisionist Analysis and ways in which we can ensure our boys turn into the masculine entities they are meant to be. We learn that there are good gays and then there are others. Those men that do not fit into the aforementioned category of "good" were most likely coddled by overprotective mothers and allowed to express themselves in way that in not conducive to growing up healthy. Bernstein's article is much different. In it she speaks of her experience as the parent of a gender non-conforming child. She discusses her feelings of protectiveness of her daughter Nora growing up in a world that is not comfortable with gender fluidity. She recounts stories of Nora being perceived by strangers as a little boy because of her haircut. Without the normal gender markers Nora was often automatically perceived as a male. The social constructs that are in place make it very difficult for children to express themselves in whatever manner they choose. In addition, for a parent, having to choose between allowing your child to express themselves in ways that are comfortable for them and being concerned for how they will be perceived by society must be a challenge as well. This to me is the meaning of queer, fluidity and struggle. Blurring the lines and breaking through boundaries that have been set, in order to change the way we think. This is about dispelling myths through social change, allowing children the freedom without judgment to experiment with gender and different ways of expressing themselves. If this became the mainstream way of thinking I believe we would not have any need for shows like the above mentioned Tyra show "Gay Kingdom". There would be no need for social experiments that do nothing but perpetuate ridiculous stereotypes and misperceptions. The two articles are such polar opposites, however, they are both perfect examples of the ways in which we police children and stifle their creativity and natural queerness.
This brings me to my source which is Smilelotsplz's Direct engagement with Luhmann's piece on Queer Pedagogy. It was a great engagement with the material and ties in perfectly with the idea of acknowledging that something is troubling then doing something to change it. In the engagement Smilelotsplz states, "I have always seen this desire not to know as a form of resistance in terms of not having to respond to whatever it is we do not wish to know. In not knowing we do not feel the desire to change things or act differently towards them. We can just claim ignorance, when really it is our desire to not be informed. We don't want to know that bad things are happening or acknowledge the realities of the world because then we would feel obligated to do something". This is such a great point, as soon as we start to acknowledge that something is in fact a problem we can begin to make changes toward a solution. It is no longer a matter of sitting idly by while we as humans are being forced to conform to norms that take away our individuality. To summarize, to me, queer is changing the way we present and perceive in our everyday lives. I believe it starts with a child and cultivating their curiosity and playfulness with their expression. In doing so we can shatter the oppressing boxes that we are expected to fit in when we reach adulthood. Well there you have it folks, my mash up. I hope I was convincing in conveying my idea of what queer is.

Mash Up

For my Mash up assignment I decided to look back on my "Too Fat?" Queer this post and compare it to the perception of queer and beauty that social media's advertise and relate it to the definition of "queer/ing." The reason I decided to look back on this is because I showed my friend the advertisement on our blog and she was astounded that Ralph Lauren would even consider posting such a thing. Then my friends grandma walked by and inquired what we were looking at. She saw my entry as well as everyone elses and she was more astounded at the Queer entries as opposed to the one I posted. She said, and I quote, "This type of thing should not be seen, much less be heard of" (commenting on honeybump's Queer this!). Her comment got me thinking about how each generation "queers" certain images. After asking what my friend's grandma what her definition of "queer" is she responded with, "Any fag act, image, or thought," which I suppose would be some of the older generation's belief. But for myself and my friend, we think of queer/ing as a person's own personal happiness, so even heterosexuals are queer (in a sense) to us.
"The Facebook Revolution" article ties in with this queer this! through the notion that Facebook can alter/shape a person's definition of queering and thought process of queering others as well as themselves. My favorite statement of this article is in the introduction: "We do this because Facebook is an important social tool that enables uses to attempt to reflect to their friends who they believe themselves to be." I believe that not only does Facebook provide an outlet and sense of self, but it also adds to what "queer" is to each person. Each fan page, organization page, "like" page can alter and add to one's definition of queer/ing.
"From Websites to Walmart" is my favorite article and I just had to add it to this mash up because I wonder what small town individuals would be more shocked to see people walking down the aisles in drag, or if they would be more shocked to see someone even remotely resembling the woman in my queer this! post to be walking in the aisles. Mary Gray states that "I wanted to know what difference the internet made to youth negotiating a "queer" sense of sexuality and gender in the rural U.S. and the raced, classed, and gendered characteristics of those negotiations." I, myself, wonder how the internet impacts the ideas and thoughts how the youth "queer" images and people. I believe that since our own thoughts and beliefs are indeed shaped by those around us would the youth of today (in small towns) I wonder if would they find it more "queer" (with regards to their own definition of queer) to see a person in drag? Or an emaciated young woman with a head probably twice the size of her own waist?
Another students DE that I think ties in with all these sources is John's DE #2 "From Websites to Walmart":

By John on October 22, 2010 6:25 PM
I wanted to write about this article, because it was the one that really stood out most in our readings in latter September. I wanted to engage in the difference about being gay in a rural vs. a urban setting, or even if there was such a significant difference. I always had thought that if you knew you were gay in a very conservative area with traditional upbringings that your life would be extremely different than if you grew up in a big liberal city.I suppose this is what internally appears in someone's mind before they realize that once they choose to finally disclose of their sexuality--the fact of the matter is...if you're gay, you're gay, in spite of the location. And to just assume that online social networks are affiliated with those surrounded by millions of people in such populated areas is simply close-minded and stereotyping another stereotype. There are a plethora of resources, like these online networks and organizations that have attributed to these individuals to aid with their adversities in their coming out process. Nonetheless, gay individuals take a risk when they post private information in a public setting, some of which have lead to disparaging actions taken into account by family members and friends. It is sad that even today people try to make other people's business their own, when they should worry about their own lives instead of trying to ruin the lives of others.

John brings up an interesting point of being gay in a rural area vs. a big city. Is there any big different in it? Yes, if your gay then your gay, however if you live in a more rural area you might be less inclined to display/come out in which case your idea/definition of queer/ing might change. I mean, you can go on facebook all you would like and chat with other gay individuals all you want but in the end you might still hide part of yourself for fear of rejection of your family and friends. Also, I, myself, grew up in a rural area where GLBT wasn't as widely accepted and my family is filled with conservative Christians. For most of my teen years I hid the fact that I wasn't heterosexual and defined queer as"gay" and "gay" as sinful so essentially queer=sinful. Even after I came out to my family it still was a hush hush topic and I still had to hide who I really was. However, after moving to the cities I had a handful of new opportunities/ideas/beliefs and my definition of queer has now changed.


Mashup Assignment
Queer This!
My roommate is in a class called the body and politics of representation. She informed me that a transgender individual came to speak for the class. He explained that he identifies with neither sex. We discussed what she learned from this presentation. This person speaking appears male and acts male and is attracted to women. He personally does not think that he is one gender by itself. He has a vagina and breasts but wears a wrap to hide his chest and has been taking hormones for years to increase testosterone levels in his body. When it came to dating he found that bisexual women were the most compatible with him. This is so because socially it appeared that a heterosexual woman was dating a physically seeming heterosexual male. This story raised some questions for me. This person chose to identify with a male persona publicly basically to make things easier in a heteronormative society although he does not feel either female or male by definition. Why does this person feel forced to pick one social construct or another? It appears that people have a problem with a person transitioning from one sex to the other but once the transition is complete it is accepted. Male and female bathrooms, marriage rights, gender specified products and fashions, etc. subliminally force our society to choose one side of the gender spectrum. It will be trouble for you if you choose neither. Queering in this speaker's situation is taking his attraction to women, his technical genitalia, and his decision to be recognized as male.
This Queer this directly ties into the reading by Munoz. This person disidentifies with both sexes. He has chosen to use the pronoun "he" to make things easier for the heteronormative culture. For example, me using "he" to start the last sentence is the precise reason for him choosing to do so. Judith Butler & Pecheux's idea of "bad subjects" resisting and attempting to reject images and identificatory sites offered by dominant ideology and counter-identifying with heteronormative society relates directly to what the individual discussed in my queer this does every day. He would qualify as a "bad subject" because he inwardly resists a label but outwardly he is a "good subject" since he chooses a path of identification socially.
I read the article about the 17 month old being beaten to death because he did not exhibit masculine qualities as a child. This poor kid lost his life because he did not conform to heteronormative expectations by his guardian, his mother's boyfriend. This child was too young to even know consciously what gender is, let alone which gender he is to conform to based on his genitalia. "The attack, and the apparent impulse behind it--that a violent man was made uncomfortable by a even a perceived variation on gender-normative behavior--is exactly what makes transgender and gender-variant Americans among the most vulnerable segment of the population, and children who even appear gender-variant are the most vulnerable of all." This quote exemplifies how stereotyping and even categorizing what personality traits go with which gender can lead to catastrophic effects when penalized for disidentifying or not conforming. Can this child be queered? Is there a way to say if this child would have turned out to be homosexual or heterosexual? We will never know since his fresh life was cut short.
Another student's Direct Engagement that I thought was relevant to my chosen topics and points made is as follows:
Direct Engagement: The Deuce
By chester_selfish on October 23, 2010 7:24 PM | 0 Comments
Tavia Nyong'o's essay on the use of the word "punk" really got me thinking about language. It's quite interesting to me the implications of certain words. Regarding sexuality, certain words can be extremely misleading. Why does our culture place such insistent emphasis on labeling and the use of words? I feel that fear is born of a lack of understanding, and assigning something a label is a way for people to feel more comfortable about it. For example, I identify as straight, though over the past few years, it has become increasingly apparent to me that I am bi-curious. These feelings are only knowable to me, but I feel that if I were to attempt to express them to many of my straight friends, they would automatically label me bisexual or homosexual. I think some of them would have a hard time comprehending the internal balancing act that I am currently undergoing. As the definition of punk differs between different cultures, the definition of my personal brand of bi-curiosity may have completely alternative connotations to the people I associate with. To convey these feelings to my friends would take a great deal of time and patience, and for fear that they may discredit me, I prefer the label of straight. There is nothing controversial about that and for simplicity's sake, that's all they need to know.
As the speaker I talked about in my Queer This! above, chester_selfish has also expressed feelings of fear of "discreditment" of friends so he just sticks to the label of straight. For simplicity's sake, as stated by chester_selfish, is also a view shared by the speaker. He may not necessarily feel completely straight but does not want to be confused in the eyes of society as anything else. Over the years "gays" have become more and more talked about and more and more accepted than say fifty years ago. As the gay minority in the world and especially in the U.S. becomes more discussed more homosexual people have had the courage to come out publicly. This has lead to a decrease in heterosexually "labeled" people. Have there always been this many gay/bisexual/lesbian people in the world and they were just too afraid to come out, or have we become a generation that considers traditionalist heteronormative society irrelevant to leading a happy and healthy life? Many youths do not ever want to get married which is a revolutionary thought since we were raised by the generation of baby boomers. There are less people getting married and more people coming out as gay or lesbian or bisexual. Can anything be "queered"? Will gay take over the world?!

Blog Mash-up Assignment

I mentioned this assignment in last week's class summary for Tuesday. Here's a reminder: Reading Mash-up Assignment: Part of Reading Engagement Grade, due 11/15

  • At least 2 readings from class
  • 1 Queer This! 
  • Another Student's Direct Engagement 
  • Whatever else from our blog or other blogs that is relevant
Combine all of these to make an entry in which you critically reflect on the following question: What is queer/ing? You don't have to provide a definition of queer (although you can), just an engagement with the question and with your various sources. This entry is your opportunity to articulate your own vision and to offer it up to others to reflect on. Be creative and push yourself to engage deeply with our blog/readings. Good luck and have fun!


The other day I was having a conversation with a friend about gender representation in child's films and children's books, and how frustrating it is that even in books the animals or otherwise ambiguous characters are gendered in certain ways: such as bows on the females and other ways of making the feminine/masculine divide really clear. I have noticed that now more than ever, children understand and know the terms gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (maybe slightly less) but are still taught with materials that haven't yet broken that divide. Children are beginning to understand that there are other ways of having relationships, yet these relationships are typically still not represented in children's films or children's books. Since these forms of media are really important and prevalent during children's development, it is important that other forms of relationships and more gender ambiguity are represented in these areas.

I also decided to analyze 2 other, completely different, realms of thought surrounding masculinity. I analyzed masculinity within Wall Street and the culture of masculinity in organized athletic sports. I noticed that within both areas masculinity is fostered by competitivness and agressivness. These are the characteristics that Wall Street and organized sports look for, yet they are deeply rooted in hegemony and masculinity.

alias, njaynewton. "Sexism, Strength and Dominance: Masculinity in Disney Films." YouTube. 12 Apr. 2007. Web. 1 Nov. 2010. .

This film is really interesting to me because I was always frustrated by the way disney movies portrayed women as princesses. Every little girl wants to be a princess! Why is that? And why do little boys begin to feel that they must be hypermasculine heroes in order to be "a real boy"? It frustrates me that we are taught that boys don't cry and little girls like pink. We gender children before they can even navigate those boundaries on their own. One part of this film points out that "men should view women as objects of pleasure or as servents to please them" whether the message is explict or not. One line from a disney movie states, "i couldn't care what she looks like, just what she cooks like". The ideal woman that a man in a disney movie looks for is one that is submissive, beautiful, marvels at his strength and manliness, and can take care of the house. Aren't these messages slightly outdated? Why do children still get these types of messages even though we are trying to teach them differently these days? Wouldn't that only further confuse them?

Another dominate theme I have noticed in Disney movies is that the refusal to fight or stand up to something is often seen as weak and unmanly. Children are taught to become men in very specifically gender ways, and girls are taught that the things most important are beauty and submissiveness. Boys and girls are equally taught to expect these things out of the other. In these movies the final scene always involves a battle scene, typically between 2 men, that fight for status or to win the love of a woman. Whoever comes out on top, is the better man.

Ho, Karen. Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street. Durham: Duke UP, 2009. Print.

Another interesting aspect of masculinity that I recently started learning about was the hypermasculinity and competitive nature of Wall Street investment bankers. The culture of Wall Street itself is very sexist and racist by it's very nature. The Chapter I chose to analyze in this book is Chapter 1, Biographies of Hegemony: The Culture of Smartness and the Recruitment and Construction of Investment Bankers. Wall Street hirees are recruited from a handful of Ivy League schools by a charade led by analysts sent to smooze undergraduates into believing that they are the cream of the crop, the smartest and brightest people. In this structure, smartness is explicitly dependant on school pedigree as well as race. The complete equating of smartness with these institutions, the identification of historically white colleges as global, universal institutions, as well as the wholesale erasure of the white upper class male privilege embedded in these universities are part and parcel of how excellence is understood (p. 57). There are absolute class, race, and gender heirarchies that are perpetuated by and through the very structure of Wall Street. The culture of excellence Wall Street works so hard at maintaining is oppressive to many and leaves out certain people. It renders invisible its normative, unmarked privilege.

I think it is interesting to examine such a large institution as Wall Street and see how it organizes itself around such hegemony so completely and entirely. With the rise of large corporations and globalization we can look to Wall Street to set the standards when it comes to business and finance, but those with the money (i.e. the people on Wall Street) also perpetuate absolute racism, classism, and sexism within their way of life. This does not look as though it will change any time soon.

Denham, Bryan E. "Hegemonic Masculinity in Sport." Human Kinetics. Web. 1 Nov. 2010. .

Another area I decided to look at was masculinity in sports. Because I grew up in a family that places a lot of value on competitive team based sports and less on creativity, music, or individual sports I always felt pressured to be a part of a team. I felt that being on a team would make me more important. I have seen first hand what competitive atmospheres do to people. Like Wall Street, sports is another area that is based off competition, and where competition lies, masculinity seems to be it's front-runner.

This article talks about how homophobia is crucial to masculinity, and in the arena of athletic sports, homophobia is taught as a precondition to being masculine. Players that tend to lack aggressivness or "intestinal fortitude" are often labeled and mocked as being pansies or pussies. In this type of institution, men are often pushed so hard that they rarely feel as though they are at the point they want to be. This type of strain can make men feel inadequate and unsure of who they are. Athletic sports seems to be the dominant case for hypermasculinity within men. And since our culture is such a competitive one, dominated by sports and winning and losing, young boys are immediately taught that to be masculine means joining a sports team and becoming a "jock". And we all know the type of "man" the sports atmosphere breeds...


Thoughts on Annotated Bibliographies

Happy Monday everyone. As I continue to read through blog folders/entries/tweets, I wanted to post some thoughts about your annotated bibliographies. Again, I think that most of you are off to a great start. I hope that you are finding the tracking topic/term/author/organization to be helpful for you and your critical reflections on queering desire. Here are a few thoughts/reminders as you work on your second entry (which is due on November 1st!):

1. Make sure that you include all of the required information for each source. Here's a recap: 

a. Title of article: turn into link, if possible. If you are using a book (or even an article from a book), you can link to the book in google books or amazon. You can also find an image of the book (on google images) and make it part of the post (review Step 3: #12).

b. Author: it's not required, but you could also include a link to an author's webpage/blog or an image of them. 

c. Summary: This is intended to be brief, but should include an overview of the article + how it relates to your topic/other sources. You could include a passage or two from the source.

d. Additional Sources/Questions: Remember to include questions/directions for future research/other sources that you want to explore. 

e. Where/how you found the source: I encourage you to be creative in your detail with this part. Here are some questions you should consider answering: 1. Where were you when you found this--at home on the computer? At the library? With a friend? Surfing the internet? 2. How did you find it--on a database? Talking with a friend? Reviewing another source? On twitter? From a book that I passed around? Or from a discussion in another class? I'm really curious about how/where you found your sources. 

f. Full citation. Here's a link with all of the advice you should ever need:

2. Push yourself to be creative in:

a. Visually presenting your ideas. Review my suggestions for your direct engagements for advice. In putting it together, ask yourself: How can I present/organize this in a way that is helpful for me? How will it help me easily see/identify the key points? How can it help others to engage--how can my presentation encourage others to comment on my post with questions/advice, etc?

b. How you put the sources together and what sources you use. Find creative ways to tie the ideas together and then discuss how your sources fit together and how they connect with your larger topic. Also, mix up your types of sources. Instead of using only academic sources, include a youtube video (maybe a commercial?) and a blog site along with your one required academic source. Consider using a non-traditional source--a class discussion or a conversation overhead on campus? Just make sure that you critically reflect on it and connect it with your topic in thoughtful and serious ways. 

3. Tag your tracking topics entries with your term/author/organization

4. Use these entries as an opportunity to engage deeply with a topic. Spend time on your reading and critical engagement with the sources. Use this time to help clarify what the topic means. Use your posts as a way to articulate your preliminary thoughts. 

5. Don't forget to provide an introduction with a explanation of how your sources fit together. 

6. While you aren't required to engage with these topics in any particular way, make sure to familiarize yourself with how they are frequently used within queer discourse. If you need some guidance, email me with questions or stop by my office. You can also tweet to the class for help. Take for example the term "queer affect." While this can mean lots of things, it has been taken up in particular ways by some queer theorists (see this recent conference, as one example).

Here are some past entries in which I have offered advice on the assignment: 

Thoughts on Direct Engagements/Blog Folders

| 1 Comment

After reading through your blog entries, I wanted to provide you all with some general thoughts and advice on blog entries/comments. Before getting into specifics, I wanted to say that I think you are all off to a great start on the blog! I hope that it is beginning to make sense and that you feel the blog and twitter are helping you to engage. Remember that the blog is only as good/helpful/productive as we all make it. If you have any other suggestions to offer to each other, please post them as comments to this entry. 

Logistical Advice:

  • In addition to putting your name on your twitter log, make sure to put your alias. 
  • When sending me .docs, save it with your name in the title. Do not send .docs that are generically titled, "blog and twitter log." Instead, title it with your name+ log. So, for example, Lauryntwitterlog.doc.
  • Always file your entries under the right category. 
  • Tag your entries with your alias. 
  • Regularly check your entries. When someone comments on your blog entry, make sure to go back into your entry and tag their alias.

DE Advice:

First, experiment with how you present your engagement. 

  • Try providing visual cues for your reader by using bullet points 
  • or putting particularly important ideas in bold or italics. 
  • You can even make some text bigger by clicking on the second A button (with the arrow pointing up)
  • Use different tones (formal/informal, etc) as long as they are respectful and in the spirit of critical engagement.
  • Make it interesting. 
  • Add in an image or two--maybe an image of the book cover/author or a photo of you looking totally confused
  • Embed a video: eg. of you talking about the reading and your engagement
  • Make your questions highly visible to others: put them in bold, all caps, or bullet points, etc. 
Second, include all three parts of the engagement: Appreciation, Critique, Construction

  • Appreciation: This doesn't require that you like the reading. Instead, appreciation = summary. What is the main thesis of this reading? Offer a few examples/passages from the text that support your explanation. In any serious engagement, you need to demonstrate that you can clearly and succinctly describe article. Imagine that your readers have not read the article: how can you explain it to me them in a simple and compact way?
  • Critique: DIscuss critical questions (negative and positive ones) that this article raised for you. What was particularly inspiring? Helpful? What made you confused or angry? How/why does/doesn't this argument work?
  • Construction = application to concrete experiences/communities/practices, including your own. What can you do with this article? One way to approach this is to think about it in relation to the term you are tracking. How does this reading enhance/complicate/trouble your understanding of your term?
Key point: Don't assume that we (any of your readers) know what you are talking about. Work to explain your points and to flesh out your argument. Push yourself to explain, defend, support any of your claims. 

Final thoughts:

  • Have fun
  • Be respectful
  • Visit the blog/twitter regularly. Get in the habit of checking and responding. 
  • Actively engage
  • Take responsibility for your role in the class: Ask questions when you don't understand, hold other students accountable, give feedback, do the assignments
Okay, that's all for now. Advice on annotated bibliographies coming soon. 

REMINDER: Queer This example 2 + tweet is due on Monday, 10.18. I have extended the deadline for DE #2 until Friday, October 22. 

Query tweets, part 1


Here are the query tweets that I have read so far on our twitter list. Did you do one, but it isn't showing up on the list? Post it as a comment to this entry. 

Pick one of the following tweet queries and respond to it for your first query response entry--due this Friday, October 1st















Your first query response entry is due this Friday, October 1st! Make sure to check on my blog entry on some ideas on how to post query entries. After reading that entry, if you want to do option 2, I have already uploaded the images into our blog. Here's one way to access them: 
1. Go to the behind-the-scenes part of our blog. 
2. Click on manage (next to create). 
3. Then click on assets. All of the tweets should show up as images. Click on the tweet image that you want to use. 
4. You should now be on this screen:

5. Click on "Embed Asset" (bottom, lower right). Copy the link. 
6. Paste the link into your new entry (make sure you are not on "rich text" format.
7. You're done!

Diablog Assignment

To foster connections between our online and offline engagements, to help us to cultivate our class community, and to give you even more opportunity to shape the class, you and 2-3 classmates will lead us in a mini diablog about the readings. Our discussion will begin the week of October 12/14.

WHO? 4 students per group

WHAT? Engage in an online and in-class discussion of the reading for the assigned week.


  • Post 4 reflective blog posts on reading by Sunday
  • Engage in a dialogue through comments, more blog posts, live-tweet dialogues on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 
  • Present on process/findings to class on Thursday of the week 
  • Post summary of process by Monday of the following week


  • To contribute to the larger archive of our blog 
  • Develop more effective understandings of the readings and queer/ing desire 
  • Learn from each other

WHEN? Sign-up for a week between October 14/16 - December 7/9. Here's an overview of a sample week:

Sunday Carefully read assigned essay, each member posts initial blog entry
Mon/Tues/Weds Engage in online dialogue with other group members
Thursday Present findings to class
Monday Post summary of the diablog experience as group on our blog


4 Initial Blog Entries: (4 @ 25 points each) 100 points
Each of your group members is required to post a 300-500 word entry in which you provide a brief summary and critical assessment of the assigned reading. These entries will serve as the starting point for your engaged discussion with each other. These entries must be posted by Sunday at 10PM. For this part of the assignment, each of you is responsible for contributing 1 entry, worth 25 points (so 25 x 4 = 100 points)

Posts/Comments/Tweets: (posts@20; Com.@10; Tweets@5) 60 points
After reading each other's initial posts, you will participate in an online dialogue about the reading and your reactions/understandings. You can choose how you want to discuss the reading. However, each group member must contribute 60 points worth of participation. Here are some possible ways to earn those points:

  • 1 response post (20 pts) + 4 comments (40 pts)
  • 2 reflection posts (40 pts) + 2 comments (20 pts)
  • 12 tweets for live-tweet conversation (60 pts)
  • 6 tweets for live-tweet conversation (30 pts) + 3 comments (30 pts)

There are many possibilities for how you can engage with each other; it is up to your group to decide. Remember that the goal of this assignment is for you to collectively (and collaboratively) engage with the reading in deep and meaningful ways.

In-class Discussion 35 points
You and your group members are required to give a brief (5-10 minute) in-class presentation on your reading and lead a 25-30 minute discussion about it on the Thursday of your assigned week. You may present the material in whatever ways you think will be most effective in encouraging class engagement and discussion of the reading and its ideas in relation to queering desire. This presentation should include references to/highlights of your diablog/dialogue. For your leading of discussion, make sure that you bring at least 2-3 questions to ask the class.

Summary of Diablog 35 points
At the conclusion of your week, you will collectively/collaboratively create a summary of the key points of your discussion. This summary should be in the form of a 300-400 word blog entry. This summary post should include direct references (discussing + linking) to moments of your online diablog. It should be posted to our blog by the Monday following your assigned week (at 10 PM).

Some Special Instructions:

1. You should file your posts under the category: diablog, subcategory: assigned week #
2. You should tag all entries with your alias.
3. After you post your summary on the Monday after, please send me a word .doc that includes all of your entries, comments and tweets. Make sure to clearly identify all of your group members in the email.

Download assignment here

Open thread on tracking topic assignment

| 1 Comment

I wanted to check in with you all about the tracking topic assignment. If you have any questions about the assignment, please post them as comments to this entry. This is your chance to ask me and everyone else in the class to clarify what you are supposed to do. You can also use this entry as a place to start conversations about your topic: give advice to other students, share stories about your tracking experiences, mention sources that you think might be helpful for other students, etc. Post comments on anything that you think is related to the tracking topics assignment. Please review the assignment carefully before you post your questions.

But, before we get to that, I want to offer a few more words on the assignment: The purpose of this assignment is to give you an opportunity to learn more about your (one) chosen topic/term/author/organization and how it fits in with or has influenced understandings and practices of queering desire. You can choose to track (research, investigate, critically reflect on) your topic in whatever ways enable you to deeply engage with issues/ideas that you are interested in. The bulk of your grade for this assignment is the three annotated bibliographies that you are required to do and post on our blog. You also have to tweet about the sources that you find. You can find your sources in many different ways--look at library databases (like genderwatch or lgbt life), youtube, google/google scholar, the library catalog, and/or ask other class members on twitter/blog/in-person. Remember that for each bibliography, one of your three sources must be academic (journal article or book). The other two (out of the three) can be from anywhere--as long as you critically engage with it and connect it with the larger theme of your bibliography/topic.

Just for fun, thought I'd add this recent Katy Perry/Elmo video. If you haven't heard, they pulled this from Sesame Street because of Perry's cleavage. Is this too sexual? Do we need to protect the "innocence" of our children? Are children sexual beings? If so, how?

I think we should revisit this video when we discuss queer/ing children in a few weeks.

Blog/Twitter Log

| 1 Comment

You can download this assignment as a .doc here. 

I have put all of the due dates in a calendar on our WebVista site. All of these dates are due by dates (as opposed to due on). This means that you are encouraged to post them at any time during the semester by the required due date. It is strongly suggested that you do not wait until the night before your due date to post your entries/comments/tweets.

I will still review/evaluate your entries 3 times this semester. Please read and follow these directions for ensuring that your entries, comments and tweets are graded.

  1. Fill out the blog/twitter log once you have completed assignments. Make sure to include the date you posted your entry, comment or tweet. You will be emailing/handing in this log to me three times this semester: October 5, November 16, December 14. 
  2. Tag all of your entries with your alias. 
  3. Tag all of your tweets with the hashtag: #qd2010 
  4. Copy and paste all of your entries, comments and tweets into a word document. Make sure that each entry is clearly identified with: title of post that you commented on, date of post, date of comment, type of comment. You will email me this document on October 5, November 16, and December 14. 
  5. In your email, do the following: 
  • Subject of email: QD Blog/Twitter Log 
  • Title of word doc (not docx): Yournameblog/twitter.doc 
  • If you email your log (as opposed to handing in a hard copy), title your log (as word .doc) Yournameblog/twitterlog.doc

Links to all of the assignments

I have just posted the descriptions and due dates for the majority of your assignments (excluding the diablog and wrap-up assignments). Please read through the assignments carefully. While the detail and diversity of assignments may seem overwhelming, once we get into using the blog and twitter it should start to make sense. All of the blog assignments that I posted today have also become links on our syllabus. Please note that I altered the presentation/organization of assignments in the syllabus. The point totals are roughly the same.

Here's a list of the assignments:
Tracking Topics
Reading Engagements
Queer This!
Your Choice Blog/Twitter

Note: The diablog and final wrap-up assignments will be posted soon.

Your Choice Assignments

These comments can be on any posts on our blog. The only requirement is that they be respectful and thoughtful.

Note: It is possible to earn up to an additional 6 points extra credit if you submit more than 2 comments. Each extra comment is worth 2 points (so you can submit an additional 3 comments: 3 @2 points each = 6 points).

3 Tweets
These tweets can be about anything related to the class. You can tweet about assignments, questions for the class, announcements about events around campus, etc.

Note: It is possible to earn up to an additional 10 points extra credit if you submit more than 3 tweets. Each extra tweet is worth 1 point (so you can submit an additional 10 tweets: 10 @1 point each = 10 points).

Due Date:
Comment #1: November 22
Comment #2: December 6
Tweets #1, #2, #3: December 6

Tracking Topics Assignment


3 Annotated Bibliographies (of sorts) Posts
These 3 annotated bibliography entries should include a brief summary and engagement with a number of different outside sources (that is, sources that are not included on the syllabus) that relate to your chosen topic. Each entry should include at least 3 sources, one of which must be a "traditional" academic source (an academic article or book). You may also write about films/videos, other blogs, websites, news articles, commercials, songs, poems, images, etc.

Your annotated bibliography should begin with an overview of how your sources connect (and why you are grouping them together in your entry). Then, each bibliographic entry should include:

a. Title of the source.
Your title should also be a link to the source (or to a more detailed citing of your source). Just in case you have forgotten, here is how to create a link within your entry:
Highlight the title in your entry. Scroll up to the chain image at the top of the entry box and click on it. Put in the URL (address) for your link and hit okay.

b. Author/authors of the source.

c. Brief summary.
You should provide a brief summary of the source and how it relates to the term that you are tracking. This summary should include any specific passages/ideas that you found useful, thought-provoking and/or inspiring.

d. Additional sources and/or directions for further reading/thinking.
Each entry should include your reflections on further research/thinking about your term. If possible, mention any additional sources that your source discusses that might be useful.

e. Where/how you found this source. Describe the process of how and where you found your source. What database did you use? Did you find it randomly in the stacks at the library? Did you find it in a search through google or google scholar? Did you stumble across it on twitter? Did another student/professor suggest it?

f. Formal citation.
In addition to linking to your source, you should formally cite it using MLA style. Here are links for using MLA style:
Category: Tracking Topics

2 Comments on Other Bibliographies
Your comments should demonstrate a respectful engagement with the author and their ideas. You could post suggestions, thoughts or reflections on their topic. You could also discuss how their topic connects to your topic.

4 Tweets on Term Sources
You are required to tweet about 4 sources that you found while tracking your term. Your tweet should include a link to the source and a brief (remember, you only have 140 characters total) description of or teaser about the source. Spend some time thinking about how you want to describe and present your source to your readers. You can check out my undisciplined twitter account (@undisciplined) for examples of tweeting sources.

Due Dates:
Annotated Bibliography #1: October 8
Annotated Bibliography #2: November 1
Annotated Bibliography #3: December 1
Track Term Comment: October 22
Track Term Comment: November 19
Tweet Source: September 27
Tweet Source: October 5
Tweet Source: October 25
Tweet Source: November 22


queer space
neoliberalism/queer liberalism
bodies and material experiences
radical sex practices
Judith Butler
Jasbir Puar
Judith Halberstam
Jose Esteban Munoz
Gloria Anzaldua
Cherríe Moraga
Audre Lorde
Michael Warner
Susan Stryker
Eve Sedgwick
Sarah Ahmed
Dean Spade
Sylvia Rivera Project
Queers 4 Economic Justice

No more than 2 students can track the same term. On Thursday, you will be signing up for your topic. Make sure to come to class with a list of your #1 and #2 choices for topics.

Query Assignment

1 Tweet
Throughout the semester, we will be tweeting questions to/about the class on twitter. The purpose of these questions is to keep us talking/thinking/engaging with each other and class ideas. Your questions can be about anything that is relevant to the class topics. You could ask about a term or what other people thought about the reading. Your questions could be aimed at clarifying our in-class discussion or the readings. Or at pushing at course ideas--being critical of the limits and imagining the possibilities or applying concepts to your lived experiences or other concrete situations. Or even at continuing conversations that we begin in class, but weren't able to finish.

2 Query Responses
In addition to posting your own questions, you are required to critically reflect on two query tweets. In these critical reflections, which should be blog entries, you can answer the question posed in the query or you can ask even more questions about the initial question. You can reflect on the implications of the question or write about how/why this is an important question. Basically, you just need to seriously engage with the query and provide a thoughtful response.
Category: Query

Due Dates:
Query Tweet: September 27
Query Response: October 1
Query Response: October 25
Query Response: December 6

Reading Engagement Assignments

3 Direct Engagements with the Readings
You are required to write 3 entries in which you engage with our course readings. There is no word count requirement. Your entry can be as long (within reason) or as short as you think necessary in order to demonstrate a critical engagement with your chosen reading/readings. By critical engagement I mean that your entry clearly demonstrates: a. that you have closely read (that means more than once or even twice) the reading and b. that you have thought through it in terms of appreciation, critique and construction. I would encourage you to play around with your word count, but aim for shorter entries rather than longer ones.

Appreciation involves figuring out what the author is saying and demonstrating a clear understanding of their argument and how they develop and defend it. Appreciation does not require that you agree with the reading. Instead, it requires that you clearly state what the author is trying to state. What is their main argument? What is the purpose of that argument? How do they defend it?

Critique involves assessing what the author is saying. Critique should not involve a total rejection of dismissal of your chosen readings. Instead, they could involve raising some critical or questions and/or exploring the benefits or limitations of the argument.

Construction involves applying the concepts from the reading to your own thoughts, areas of interest and research or experiences. It could also involve applying the reading to the topics/discussions of our class.

You may also submit 1 entry as a VIDEO through CLA's Media Mill project. The same requirements (as above) apply with video entries. You must demonstrate a critical engagement with your readings.
Category: Direct Engagements

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

Comments on other DEs
You are required to comment on 2 other direct engagements. Your comments should demonstrate a respectful and critical engagement with the post author's entry. You can build off of what the post author is saying or raise some critical questions of their summary/assessment of the topic of their direct engagement. The purpose of these comments is to further our blog/class conversations and our exploration of the readings/topics. Therefore, make sure that your comments are respectful and aimed at opening up more discussion as opposed to shutting it down. 

Due Dates:
DE #1: September 22
DE #2: October 18
DE #3: November 22
Mash-up: November 25
Remix: December 6
DE comment 1: September 27
DE comment 2: December 14

Queer This! assignment

This category is for posting images, news items or anything else that you feel speaks to issues related to queering theory and/or our readings and class discussion. It could also include anything that you believe especially deserves a queer analysis. Entries filed under this category should be entries that invite us to apply the queering skills we are learning to popular culture/current events or should inform us about ideas/topics/images that are important for queer theory and/or queer communities. When you are posting a comment on a "queer this" entry, you should clearly identify (in a sentence or two) what queering theories/tools/strategies you are using.

2 examples posted as entries
The only formal requirement for these posts is that you find an example (it could be an image, an article, a movie/commercial/television show, a song) that relates to our course topics and readings and that you believe deserves/demands a queer analysis. Make sure to post the image, link or embed your youtube video. Check out my how to blog tutorial for more information on how to do this.
Category: Queer This!

Note: It is possible to earn up to an additional 20 points extra credit if you submit more than 2 examples. Each extra example is worth 5 points (so you can submit an additional 4 examples: 4 @5 points each = 20 points).

For each of your posted comments, you must provide a queer analysis of and/or commentary on another student's "queer this" post. Your comments should be substantial and go beyond a mere reaction to the example. You need to offer a well thought out response. Try to draw on our readings, discussions or other blog entries.

Want to see how students have used this category in the past? Check out these examples.

2 Tweets
You are required to post a tweet about each of your two queer this examples. Your tweets should include either a link to your example or a link to your queer this blog entry. Be creative in your brief discussion of the example on twitter. Remember to add the class hashtag: #qd2010.

Due Dates:
Example 1: September 17
Example 2: October 18
Comment 1: September 20
Comment 2: November 8
Comment 3: December 6
Tweet 1: September 17
Tweet 2: October 18

Recent Comments