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Reflections on my "live-tweet"

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I just posted an entry on my trouble blog about my "live-tweet" yesterday. Check it out and let me know what you think (this post includes a transcript of my entire live-tweet...all 52 tweets!). Here's an excerpt:

As I have mentioned before, I am experimenting with twitter this semester. In both of my classes (qued2010femped2010), students are required to use it for various assignments and I am using it to communicate with class. Over the past month, several of my students in feminist pedagogies have live-tweeted class as a way to take notes for our discussion (I suggested it as an option for their note-taking assignment). Because I always like to try the experimental assignments that I suggest to my students (for lots of reasons, such as: I need to be willing to take the same risks that I expect my students to take and I want to make sure that the experiments that I come up with our actually doable), I decided to live-tweet my queering desire class yesterday. I'm really glad that I did. Here are some reflections on the process:

Background: The class usually has 25+ students in attendance. It is an upper Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies course that is cross-listed as a mid-level GLBT Studies course. Blogging and tweeting are central to the class. Yesterday's class was devoted to a discussion lead by a student group (part of their diablog assignment). We were talking about James Kincaid's essay "Producing Erotic Children" in Curiouser. Because I was not responsible for leading class, I thought it was a good opportunity to try out live-tweeting. Instead of tweeting as the class administrator (qued2010), I tweeted as myself (undiscplined).

So, how do you read a text?

I'm always curious about how people read texts. In that spirit, I thought I'd share my notes for the Cohen article. Yes, my handwriting is very messy. Sometimes I can't even read it myself :). These notes highlight some of what I think is important about the text--much of it is done from the perspective of a teacher who is trying to identify some key terms that students might need/want to unpack--(btw, this essay is loaded with ideas and gets at many important critical conversations about queer/ing). 

So, how do you take notes? Do notes help you to engage with the texts more? Do you find that taking notes (and/or writing in the margins) enables you to engage more or less? What kind of engagement--do you feel an "intimate" connection to any of the texts? What is an "intimate" connection? 

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Open thread on tracking topic assignment

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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.

How to Read for the Blog Cluster Assignment

Here are some suggestions for reading the various blog entries that I have assigned for next week's discussion: 

1. Read through each entry carefully and more than once. Make sure to give yourself enough time to read them. Each of these entries is packed with important ideas that take some time (and repeated viewing) to really process and critically reflect on. While these entries might seem shorter than a book chapter or essay, they have many layers: links to other entries, articles, youtube clips, websites and comments from readers. 

2. Don't just read the text, but engage with it. Click on different links to get more information on the ideas discussed in the entry and read through the comments. A lot of the interesting discussion takes place in the comments. Frequently the author responds and a dialogue/diablog ensues. Sometimes the subject of the post chimes in too: Judith Butler offers her own response in your assigned entry "where now?"--she's comment number 2. 

3. As you are reading these, jot down your questions and reactions. Or, you could post a series of tweets as you are reading/reflecting on the essays. 

4. Keep the following questions in mind as you are reading:
  • Why did Butler refuse the award? 
  • Why is this important--that is, what are the key issues we need to consider here? 
  • What sorts of understandings of queer/Queer do you get from the various entries? What does it mean to queer/or be queer?
  • What terms are confusing to you? What concepts would you like to discuss more?
5. Reflect on how you are reading this blog cluster. One the reasons that I assigned this cluster of readings was for us to think about how we might read/engage with readings differently depending on the format. How are you reading these entries differently than you might read a book or a photocopied article? Are you using different reading strategies? Do you find yourself engaging with the ideas more effectively/less effectively because it is online and involves many links/comments? What do you like and dislike about reading these entries online? 

If anyone else has suggestions on how to read blog entries or thoughts on the process, please post them as comments to this entry. 

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