Recently in Final Wrap-up Category

In so far as to say, hooray

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Hooray, for many things. For the start of winter break. For the end of classes. For the time we have had together...but also for the literally life changing, consciousness-raising topics we have covered and discussed through out this term. Queer/ing has a definite place in all over our lives, whether we choose to call it by that term or something else...questioning, trouble-making, connecting, multiplying and eradicating...all of us are thrown into this world and the systems that we've created to make sense of it, for the better or worse, it is navigated. This class in of itself has been an experience of queering pedagogy and the academy, while still maintaining the very core of what I believe liberal arts is supposed to be/do. By not only acknowledging the relevance of online media, but actively engaging and shaping it, we develop valuable skills in communication, critical processing and reading.

Throughout the semester, I was tracking the term "Bodies & Material Experiences", and, as with most topics covered in this course, I decided it is not nearly as simple as it seems. What constitute a body? What experiences are valid, authentic, worth remembering/grieving? What is material? Virtual realities have very real, material consequences, how are they mediated in our physical lives? What perspectives, ways of knowing or epistemologies, are worth maintaining, archiving, or perpetuating? These are the questions that come to mind as I consider my tracking throughout the semester.

I feel that as I came into this process and class, I underestimated the gravity of our topics and potential for intense thought processes. After taking it, I feel that many of the things we talked about we covered very quickly, tangentially, and sometimes on narrow terms. The idea of the diablog was successful, and I feel that if we could expound on that further and perhaps focus more either on less readings, or split of readings between class members it would allow for even more enriching discussion and critical engagement.

To wrap it all up in a tasty soft shell taco...

TRACKING
Queering the Non/human can be approached by various disciplines. As a tracking term, I failed to annotate bibliographies in connection with it. This, however, does not necessarily betray a lack of interest or intent in coming to know the Non/human. As a student of science I approached my disciplinary studies with a curiosity of the interconnectedness of all things perceived to be organic and inorganic. Within these frames lies everything perceived to be human nonhuman and inhuman. To be human, one might say, in its most general terms is to have life. Through time understandings of life have shifted from a philosophical understanding, one based on a permeating essence of life, to one formulated by empirical molecular atomic subatomic and sub-sub atomic phenomena, and constructed theories of natural laws that derive from abstract mathematically logical conceptions. While these developments have sought to distinguish more readily between existing categories of stuff they have, to the dismay of taxonomists and all classifiers of the sort, blurred lines and permeated barriers that have long influenced the human paradigm. Thus, definitions of life have become necessarily more detailed and complexly constructed in order to save withering ideologies. Definitions of life have become increasingly unscientific. Through this, life has failed us as a fundamental base for beginning to understand the non/human. If the human is composed of stuff, and we struggle to distinguish what stuff is capable of life then we must admit that the human can be any stuff. More forward to our thought processes is that we are (humans) composed of any stuff. Again, we fall short because everything that we perceive is composed of stuff. But wait! Is not science the study of stuff? There may be hope for a discrete human phenomenon yet. We allow the human to be directed by science, that is to say, the human is an object of science (stuff). For example, human medicine addresses the pathologies of stuff. If science is the study of stuff but stuff fails to define the human then our endeavor begs we go beyond stuff. However in going beyond stuff we go outside of science. Our constructions beyond this point prove to be rigidly unscientific. Without stuff to follow contrived laws of interaction there is no absolute reproducibility, in fact, there is no falsifiability. If the non/human is most fundamentally understood to this point as any stuff, and going beyond this foundation leads to constructions that cannot be falsified then the non/human wins over any logic. If you claim to be human I cannot falsify that claim and must cede to you the fact that the human as it exists can be anything you want it to be. Are you human? You bet everything is you are!
In this analysis I have diverged from our own course readings that have, in a sense, set to create a theoretically legitimized category termed the non/human. I have been more concerned with persons' frames of reference or perceptions. Can we create a space where categories must answer to all abstract theories from all disciplines of intellectual pursuit?

TWITTER
While I encountered excellent examples of people posting helpful links through tweets, I found myself lackluster throughout the semester about this form of media in particular. In my experience it failed to bring out intellectually stimulating conversations. I observed it to be a useful tool for potential blog clustering assignments as well as any that would generally seek to mine various media. I am so sorry to disappoint my friends that found a loving interest in the realm of Twitter, but I found no such affair. I was not swayed :(

ADVICE
Stay healthy, and do your assignments. There are many new terms to familiarize yourself with and it cannot be stressed enough the importance of raising questions and discussing these ideas that are so expansive. We have found in this course that you can always say something different. Even if you think you know, just give it a try: reexamine these terms in any new moment or state of feeling. For your efforts you will create a comprehension that takes you to places you never thought of-REALLY!

Final Wrap-Up

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Well it's all over now, but what a fun and interesting ride it has been. This was my first GLBT course that I have ever taken, and I cannot begin to tell you how much I have learned from being an avid listener and blogger. The tracking topics assignment was a great way for me to grow my understanding of queer theory and queer principles by studying about queer activist, Michael Warner. He has written and spoken about the inequalities and adversity that is experienced by queer individuals on a regular basis. He goes on to note that there are not such substantial differences between gay and straight people as many people like to believe; I mean we are all people first, so we share that similarity, thus we all deserve the same rights! Being able to blog about a topic like this made me feel that I contributed more to the fight towards equal rights and made me feel proud of who I am. Blogging has also taught me that there are multiple ways to go about analyzing one particular topic, and it has really been exciting to read about all of these different perspectives online, at my own pace, so then when it came time for me to write something, I could not only consider my own personal opinion, but I could read about the opinions of others and then write something profound and really engage my audience.

I really enjoyed some of the other assignments that we did this semester too; one of my favorites would have to be Queer This! Queer This! gave us the opportunity to look at a particular idea or concept and then somehow relate it to queer theory or at least have it analyzed in a queer manner. It was a chance to explore and go outside the box with an exciting idea and then engage out peers and ask them what their take was on something like this. I really liked it when someone would post a video; I like having a visual stimulus to go off of, because it really makes me feel like I am directly involved in the situation! I also liked the whole It Gets Better program. Watching all of these coming out stories and life obstacles experienced by these motivated and persevering individuals brought tears to my eyes, because every single one of those people in those videos made me think of myself and just how far I have come as a 19 year old homosexual male. It has instilled hope into my life and has made me realize that things do actually get better throughout your life, especially if you believe they will. You are who you are, and I like who I am and plan on never changing just because I am among the minority--if anything it makes me a stronger individual.

Twitter was also another fun way to engage in conversations that took place outside of class. It's a great system, because they only give you so many characters to make a brief point. I liked the idea of going paperless in a class, because it was the first time that I had ever done so. By not having to physically write anything on paper, I was forced to go on the blog and see everyone else's typed work and again, it was just another beneficial way to make connections with the other students and share our own opinion over matters. I really don't think that there is a whole lot of preparing you can do if you have never blogged before. I liked how at the beginning of the semester that you went over the basic idea of how to blog and tweet, and then we all seemed to catch on after a few practice rounds!

Thank you again Sara and class for a nice semester. Good luck to everyone on finals!

FINAL WRAP-UP

SUMMARY OF TRACKING TOPIC:
My tracking term was "Queers for Economic Justice", and I think this focus set the stage for how I engaged with a lot of topics and issues raised in class. Placing poverty and the most marginalized of the queer community at the forefront of their politics are clear, and have for some time informed my critique of mainstream US GLBT politics. The critique of gay marriage as not central to their needs or desires and instead calling on recognition of rights afforded to alternative (or no) familial structures of all/any kind is instead the vision QEJ seeks. Also, recent legislation for increased sentencing for hate crimes for queer bashers is not supported because their resistance to anything that increasing the force of the Prison Industrial Complex that disproportionately criminalizes poverty and is one of the most sexist, racist, queer unfriendly and unjust systems that exist in our country. It is not hard to see why those is poverty or those experiencing complex intersections of multiple identities do not see themselves as having their interests in mind when evoking GLBT or queer or any single identity political agaenda. I mentioned in another post of mine that I have met many of the current and existing members of QEJ and this deepened my personal connection with their work and I am glad to have had the opportunity to engage further with their mission and resources.


CLASS BLOG AND TWITTER:I find myself wishing I had engaged more on the blog earlier in the semester, but am also finding it very beneficial at this point to revisit the blog and engage now that we are done meeting. It sort of feels like cramming for a final, yet totally different. I still feel able to take my time thinking through a response or question and fully engage because the blog isn't going anywhere and the quality of response isn't dictated by the confines of the classroom or time/space of the blog (though I do realize there were in fact due dates and grades and such). I obviously wrote a LOT when I finally got around to it, often more than what a 10 or 20 point assignment might call for. I think I found myself torn between what to choose to engage with, whether or not to prioritize all required reading for classroom engagement, and struggling with the ideas and concepts themselves. I finally, as of yesterday, figured out how to link sources to an entry and I do see the value and use of twitter after struggling a bit with that. I used twitter to link to things I simply wanted to share with the class without critiquing or to highlight quotes as a way of taking notes but letting others know what stood out to me when reading. Perhaps getting the hang of tweeting early on by live tweeting in class can serve to document discussions (like the day you live tweeted one of the diablogue discussions) and use those to turn into blog entries to further engagement beyond the classroom and keep people on a somewhat similar track as a class. Also, maybe an encouragement to pull up twitter while reading to see what other are saying and to post thoughts and quotes as a way to 'talk' before meeting. This might have been super cool.


ADVICE:I kinda already said what I needed in this post or elsewhere, but the amount of required reading was tough. While it was great to have a wide variety of articles from some amazing theorists, I found it hard at times to make connections and struggled differently than those not exposed to the concepts prior to this class. Our in class discussions seemed to be a little split, some of us taking very different approaches than others. It was great sometimes to see all of the angles that people were coming from and they all usually did have some bearing on what was being discussed, however at times it felt frustrating to not have a clear idea just how far off on a tangent we were led or to have some things be made explicitly clear. If there was a way to hold us more accountable to each other as classmates such as smaller ongoing in-class and online discussions and being responsible for doing close readings, it would be a lot harder to miss class and procrastinate completing assignments. Which is, you know, a good and bad thing depending on who you are I guess. Really though, the biggest advice is smaller groups that could be sustained (and changed) throughout the course as a way to narrow the number of blogs you might consider prioritizing and engaging with as a way to narrow the focus a bit and minimize confusion and feelings of being overwhelmed by the amount of posts.

Final WrapUP :)

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As a transfer student, this was my first semester here at the U of M and to begin with I was a little hesitant about what classes would be like. In my other courses this semester I was surprised to find that TA's were grading my assignments and I had very little, if any, interaction with the professors. I hadn't really put into thought until the last few weeks of the semester how Sara doesn't just stand at the front of the classroom and lecture/give out assignments. Being new to campus, I found this class more inviting and friendly than the others taken this semester. Sara greets us, sometimes individually, talks and participates with us in class discussions, and grades our work herself. She even does some of the assignments along with her students on the blog. I've never experienced a course quite like this. To be honest it was a little weird to get use to because instances like this don't happen often enough within your undergraduate career. Sometimes I even felt shy to say anything because I knew she was always there to hear what we said. Overall the structure of this classroom wasn't what I had expected, but it was a great experience to have received.

Not only was I new to this campus and this structure of classroom, but I've never taken a GLBT/GWSS course before. I've also never blogged or twittered before! It was all new and very overwhelming at times. Throughout a lot of this course I found myself feeling so lost in the readings and assignments. I felt like even if I tried the hardest I could, I still stood below what others would consider their worst (if that makes sense). I felt very behind and as if I missed a prerequisite to get into this course. But this course really made me think, it really made me have to challenge myself and my thinking - and that's a very good thing. I felt relieved when others would voice that readings were a little hard for them as well. Toward the end of the semester I began to feel a little more comfortable with accepting where I was at, and that I wasn't as advanced as some. You have to start somewhere, and that's what I was doing. I felt there was just the right amount of assignments. There was always something to be done, but it wasn't complete overload. Today in class, someone voiced that maybe there could be a list of assignments and different ways to complete the points, like in our diablogs - I thought this was a great idea. You'd still be doing assignments, but you'd get to pick what ones. I also had the slight thought that maybe this wouldn't be a good idea because then you might not be pushing youself to do the harder assignments that don't interest you. It was good to complete a well rounded circle of assignments.

Blogging and Twitter stressed me out to the maximum the first few weeks of class. Although I still have more to learn about blogging and how to get all my cool pictures and videos to show up (like Mary) - I feel great with what I've accomplished. I no longer sweat about how to post entries and comments on the blog; nor to do I curse at Twitter any longer. I'm glad I was able to figure out the technology part of this course.

Because I didn't have anything physical to hand in, I sometimes found myself posting assignments to the blog a little late. But I think it's a great idea to have a blog and reduce paper use. I enjoyed the blog because I was able to look at others' posts about readings in case I didn't understand the article. It was neat that I could read others' assignments instead of people just handing in homework to the teacher that I'd have nothing to compare my work to, or help me develop deeper thoughts. The blog was also a neat way to interact with our classmates thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Overall, I liked the blog (once I got use to it).

I would like to say thanks to all of those who exchanged kind words to me during this semester, as this course was a challenge for my thought process. I'd also like to say thanks to the great blog posters, and the few people who had big voices in the classroom - your ideas and perspectives were heard, and helped me to learn more in depth. This course took a lot of thought and a lot of time for me, but I'm glad I stuck with it because I'm coming out of it with new ideas and views that I wasn't aware of in my daily life before.

Wrap up

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Thinking back to the first week of class..........
I was extremely OVERWHELMED.
virtual-intimacy-overwhelme.jpg

This picture is titled Virtual-Intimacy-Overwhelmed.....way TOO appropriate!!

I have to admit that I thought I was in over my head. Twitter.....WHAT?!?!....tweeting.....HUH?......blogging....HMMMM......a paperless class.....REALLY!?!?!??!?!?? This all was too much for me at once. I didn't quite know what to do with myself or the anxiety that had come about. I VIVIDLY remember doing my first queer this assignment. It took me over two hours to complete. Not because I didn't understand the assignment, but having to blog my thoughts, feelings, and ideas seemed nearly impossible, well at the time :)

As the semester progressed Sara assured our class that the process would get easier and it did, kind of. As I mentioned in class today, last night was the first night that I actually began to enjoy using the blog and twitter. For me, the huge technological barrier seemed impossible to cross for a looooooong time! I think Sara brought up a great idea in class today about the future of
queering.jpg.queer desire.jpg.
It would be wonderful to have this course spread across a whole year instead of one semester. There simply isn't enough time for those who have never blogged or tweeted before to fully grasp and enjoy the capabilities each provide.

For this semester I chose to track intimacy. When choosing this topic I wasn't exactly sure where the topic would take me. To me INTIMACY means an experience of feeling close or sharing ourselves with one another. This experience can be shared between lovers, friends, parents, peers, teacher/pupil, and it can be short or long, good and/or bad, intense or dull, and on and on. Within all societies there are regulations on intimacy which are put in place through religion, courts, family, education, health care, the media, and more. Because intimacy is important and mostly wanted, these connections are a central feature of social life; it crosses disciplines inherently.

Tracking intimacy was not only fitting within the course, but within my personal life as well. While tracking intimacy I chose to follow the subject within GLBT families. This is an important topic of interest for me because my dad came out of the closet to our immediate family when I was 12. Tracking the term throughout the semester caused me to think about it all the time. It I would see it or when I would research for another class I would get distracted by articles mentioning intimacy within GLBT families. I found sources that were relevant to the course and also helped me to identify/question with others in my same or similar situation. Also, by going back to look at the topic with a new annotated bibliography helped to extend ideas that were already brought up or to bring about new ideas.

Twitter is fun and challenging. especially when using it academically. When you have to tweet a really interesting scholarly source it is hard to get it into 140 words or less, but you are forced to really bring out the most important points you want to make. Within the last week I have just begun to tweet a few things personally, unrelated to the course. It is kind of like letting someone see your diary. I like the fact that i don't have any friends who use twitter. It gives me this freedom of expression that i definitely do not capitalize on in other social media outlets i.e. facebook. When discussing Ahmed for our diablog group I mentioned to Amy that i thoroughly enjoy reading her tweets because they are SO witty. She told me that she began her twitter account for this class. That was enough of a boost for me to say, HEY, you can do this too!! Now i have to learn how to use twittpic and how to talk @ others via twitter. I can't wait! :)))

The assignments/readings were eye-opening and quite new to me. I had heard of many of the authors, but had never critically engaged with them. Some of them were hard to understand, but I see now that it is ok to have a mushy brain that has been confused beyond belief. Looking back, I wish I would have spent more time time with the readings in order to engage more with the class to have had a better understanding on a personal level. I would mention at the beginning of class that the readings are not only lengthy, but quite academic as well. Tell the students to set aside several hours for each reading in order to be fully engaged. By doing this and taking the time to figure out the technology, the course experience will be that much better.

This class was eye-opening, challenging, fun, and stressful. Learning how to blog and use twitter was initially frustrating, but now I want more of this. I feel as though I have this edge on others because I can use these social media outlets in an academic way. Sara, I am not sure if this is course style is common at the U at all. I just wanted to tell you that the way in which you present the class and its technologies is inviting, empathetic, and fun all while maintaining the course's scholarly foundation.
Thanks for your patience and expertise!


Final Wrap Up

The beginning of this class scared the shit out of me.
I have never taken a class like this, and the brussel sprout penis made me almost pee my pants, not in the good way. I thought that I would hate this class, especially since we spent the first two weeks talking about how to blog and how to tweet. Turns out... that was probably one of the most important parts of the class. Also, I thought that the class was going to be super easy because all i had to do was tweet and blog about stuff, hahaha.... oh man. Looking back I think it was one of the hardest classes I've had because it forced me to learn new technology and new concepts and ideas at the same time.

Blogging and Tweeting is hard work.
I learned so much about my writing process and learning process through queering the normative classroom style. I was so resistant at first, but I feel like I learned a lot more than I thought I could just from my reflections on articles and the reflections of my classmates. It was almost as if we were all teaching each other. It is an out of control experience when I look back at it.

So what do I think?
This class has been amazing, and has really changed my learning process and opened my eyes to the real world. Sara, you really did a great job incorporating technology into a classroom learning setting. I think you need to keep on the idea of the live tweeting during class, and maybe involve the rest of the students. Blogging is great, but there was a lot of work that needed to be done. My only suggestion is to spread the readings and assignments out a little more. Other than that, it was an amazing experience.

Final: Where do we go from here?

Very fortunately indeed, JPuar remains for me "a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma." I still have time to submit an application to Rutgers should I choose to and ask professors to submit letters of recommendation, and I am seriously somewhat tempted... She could probably really push me into some intense thought, but I'm still not convinced that Rutgers could ever be the right place for me overall. The pros are many, and on top of it all her current book in progress is focused on queer disability studies with assemblage and affect theory (Affective Politics: States of Debility and Capacity), which just sounds awesome (see Prognosis Time: Towards a Geopolitics of Debility, Capacity, and Affect), but besides JPuar there doesn't seem to be a lot of faculty support for me there. I am glad I chose to stick with tracking JPuar solo, and found it strangely freeing to work with tracking a theorist and her theory rather than a term, even though we didn't get to read and engage with her as a class and I was a bit disappointed by that-- I still crave some more interaction and community around the deep shit I've gotten into with her (maybe someone to help me with digging my way out, you know, so to speak). I have to keep plugging away at JPuar's first book some more anyway, so I should have plenty of opportunities.

It's probably clear that I enjoy the blog and twitter workings of this class, they seem to fit for me and, yes, I also fell deeply in love with tweeting theory and interesting tidbits of theorizable material. Both formats have helped me in different ways-- twitter with brevity and clarity (notes) and blogging with solo engagement (thinking through/beside/against). I could have used our digital tools more for engaging with (more different) classmates, but I do also enjoy how these digital mediums allow for selective engagement.

Overall, I can tell that the flow of qd2010 benefited greatly from our rocky road in Queering Theory 2009 (and probably a whole lot of experiences before that). Timelines for assignments and their due date clusters were mostly manageable-- especially compared to some of the rushes we found ourselves in in 2009 (yikes!), trust me. For many reasons, the whole dynamic of the class was shifted with a change in enrollment from eight or so to nearly thirty (the odd physical space of our classroom is a part of this). We did have a longer class, which helped a lot (although and because it was only once a week), and we were able to have deeper conversations between the few of us in that time. If memory serves me correct, we also read EVEN more in 2009, thoroughly covering all of Gender Trouble (rereading some of it even!) as well as significant portions of Undoing Gender, Disidentifications, and Curioser, among other books that also came up this year. (It may have been the best preparation possible for this year.) I think qd or QT students need to know that testing the waters of these theories and assignments will start off most messy and confusing, but the systems developing in these classes will ultimately give you more space to learn how and about what you want to, period. The messiness may not (ever) clear up, but it will (even in one semester) become more of a contemplative discomfort once you get the hang of slinging around some queer theory, playing with it, and not worrying too much about being right so much as just wondering. It (the class, the action) can be whatever you need it to be for your adventures in gender and sexuality, and power and privilege, and embracing it will forever change the ways you think. This is important stuff to carry with you wherever you go, because it effects everyone.

That sounds kind of cheesy, and I believe it.

Wrap up

For my tracking topics assignment I ended up tracking Michael Warner. Initially I wasn't really stoked about having an author to track but such is life. Turns out I am really glad I ended up with Warner. He is a fascinating person and I enjoyed reading his work. I have had several classes in the past in which I was required to complete annotated bibliography; I found this to be the most challenging. Prior to the assignment I had never heard of Michael Warner nor was I familiar with Queer Theory. Since reading several of his articles and parts of his book I feel I have a much better grasp of the material. So in that regard the assignment was positive. Out of all the assignments we worked on over the course of the semester this was my least favorite and I think the big reason for that was that I found it difficult to fully engage with his writing. Not because of his writing style, that I really enjoyed. It was due more to my lack of knowledge base when it comes to Queer Theory. Regardless of that I felt that by the end I had gained at least a little understanding. The part of the reading that I enjoyed most which I think is really a key piece to his arguments is his thoughts on marriage and the queer fight for it. I loved his ideas and agreed one hundred percent.
In terms of the rest of the course in regard to Twitter and Blogging, I am still not sold on Twitter. It was really interesting to read the dialog between the rest of my classmates but I didn't ever feel like I had anything to contribute to the conversation, much like how I felt through the whole course. I found that even though I was keeping up with the readings, I wasn't able to really understand a majority of it. Perhaps, that is the point though. We touched on that in class last week. Perhaps I should just learn to accept the fact that all questions don't necessarily need to be answered. In my academic mind that is a difficult concept to grasp. The blogging was great once I got the hang of it. I especially liked the Diablog and Mash-up assignments. It was a really low key way to engage with other members of the class while simultaneously engaging more deeply with our reading materials. I at first was a little hesitant but after the first couple of weeks I was rolling right along. I do appreciate the slower pace at the beginning of the semester. It was hugely helpful in my development as a blogger. All in all, I enjoyed this course and although I felt extremely unprepared for it I feel that I am leaving with a whole new perspective...which is fantastic.

Dun-Dun-Done.

This is the summary of the class that we were supposed to do that I forgot about until just now!

When I first started the class I thought it'd be pretty easy because there weren't any papers or stuff like that... but I was totally wrong.

It took me awhile to get used to the online part of the class (basically the whole thing) but it was good to have a physical classroom to have to go to as well so I couldn't just blow it off as something that didn't really matter. I feel like I'm now more prepared to take a class fully online now maybe...

Once I became more accustomed to the online components of the class it was really fun and extremely helpful to have the blog available as a space to figure out what we were talking about in class. It's a formal enough venue to be academic and helpful but it's informal enough to not be intimidating. It's nice to be able to say things and ask questions and being able to think about them and get them just right before you have to publish it... it helped me kind of prepare myself to say things in class because I could gather my thoughts on the blog and then be a bit more literate about stuff in class.

Having a tracking topic was really interesting. I was helpful to me because it help my understand Judith Butler a little bit better. She's still pretty confusing to me, but after having read her essays for class and having done research on her for my tracking topic I understand what she's trying to say a little bit better. In the beginning of the class I really had no idea how to grasp the kinds of theories she was talking about but now I think I can get a little bit more of a handle on it.

I think the readings got to be a little much at times but I think they were all really important to discuss because they all had a kind of different perspective on "queering" and what it means to be "queer." I think that our in class discussions of the readings really helped me understand them better than I would've otherwise and I'm glad that it was informal enough so I could learn from both Sarah and my other classmates.

Me Final Wrap-Up

I think I am the only person in this class who get to create his own tracking topic. And this is what is so great about this class, at the beginning of this semester I took this class without a clue of what sexuality and queering is, all I know is that I am in search of my identity and I want to understand more on GLBT study during my time here. I start off by tracking the topic feminism / queer, but apparently I was not on topic due to my lack of understanding of the topic, I end up focusing on just the word queer. I still personally think that there are a lot more that I do not understand and a lot of time the things that I have said might be out of topic. But due to the flexibility of this class I was suggested that to track on topic of "Queering Asia" or more precisely "Queering Malaysia"

I have realized that I have grown a lot while doing each annotated bibliography, that it have not only served me academically but also personally. I started off talking about how the society in Malaysia perceive homosexuality through a short story, and also the sharing of a few true stories that were written in a website which pretty much portrayed the real Malaysian society towards the queer community. By the way it is interesting that when I read back on the article that I have shared on my first annotated bibliography which have this quote that very much resonates which Sara Ahmed's book "The Promise of Happiness", that "If your happiness depends on my unhappiness, then I will no longer trust your judgment. I will not live my life according to what someone else thinks is a sin for him." The author was saying that if the society's happiness is dependant on his unhappiness which is to accept the norm and to pretend to live a heterosexual live , the he can and should no longer trust their judgment. To sum up my first Annotated Bibliography, it helps me understand how the media and the society acted and suppressed the queer community.

Thus, in my second annotated bibliography, I start to think about why is the situation being so. Besides this also coincide with the conference that was being held which inspired even more to understand more about the situation in Malaysia and to queer about it. During my digging I have come across a lot of videos and articles of ongoing queer discourse but still there are no articles written by a lot of academia on this topic and on the country. I have come to understand how the government, the education and etc affect the mindset of the citizens. How the silencing of sensitive topics have not open the mind of the people and how the silencing work without the citizen to even realized it cause it is so perfect. Perfect silencing. I have also learned about the space that were created by the GLBTQ community in Malaysia which helps the discourse, the internet and the creative art. As these two spaces somehow is not very much influence by the rigidity of government. Consider how fluid an art can be interpret and how the virtual is not very real but can affect the real world.

My experience of blogging and twittering have help me a lot in queering. I get to explore whatever that is out there and the freedom of being able to explore just open me up to so much more knowledge, instead of restricted to what the lecturer is trying to convey to us. I guess what I am trying to say is that I get to learned more through my own way but still under the guidance of lecturer. I have the same point of view with others on twitter and the diablog have helped me a lot in engaging in our reading every week. Besides, engaging through blog and twitter mean that I get to engage with our study anytime, anywhere (as long as there's a wifi connection) without the restriction of time.

Advice for future student would be don't be afraid to venture out into the virtual world, it is borderless and try not to restrict yourself in the understanding like how the geographical boundary have set for you.

Terima Kasih! (Thank you!)

Finally. Wrapping. It. Up.

Considering that this was (is?) my first semester at the U, I'm going to do my very best to separate my general reactions to this semester from those specifically pertaining to our class. I also have a lot going through my head given the two research papers I am working on simultaneously for other classes, but I think that's mostly unavoidable.

My experiences with tracking the topic of 'space' this semester has been good overall. The process of researching for and writing my tracking topic assignments allowed me to look at space from a couple different perspectives, namely media space, bathroom space, and school space. I managed to learn quite a bit and expose myself to sources I can't imagine I would have encountered had I not been working on this project. My first two bibliography focussed primarily on space that has been made for queers (specifically those who identify as sexually or gender transgressive). My main insight here is that queer space/space for queers is limited. My most recent bibliography takes a look at examples of the act queering space. My Mash-Up entry gives some definitions of 'queering' which I utilize in this last assignment. I have been asked to give a definition of space... I think my analysis here gets at a couple different definitions of space and ways to engage with it from a queer point of view: space for queers, queering space, queer space. I have dealt mostly with physical space (as compared to theoretical space), but there are some more abstract understandings of space inherent in my assignments (power, marginalization, etc.).

Now on to reflecting on/reacting to engagement on the blog and Twitter. Overall, I have had fun posting on the blog and interacting with Twitter. I have no doubt that I will keep up with my Twitter account. It has been a great way to share information and little pieces of my life with the class, friends, and family. There are a couple of us in the class that have engaged more actively with the blog and Twitter (I would include myself in this category, especially at the beginning of the semester). I have enjoyed reading and interacting with other student's blog posts and tweets. In traditional classroom dynamics, we don't get an opportunity to see others students' work enough. It feels very productive to be able to see where other people are at with the material and learn from each other. I have enjoyed most of our assignments and I have found them to be quite helpful in furthering my understanding of queer theory/desire. Some were more challenging and time-consuming than others, but all felt worthwhile.

I shared in class on a couple of occasions that I am becoming more comfortable with queering my academic life. I have felt frustrated on numerous occasions with feeling like I don't really understand what we're reading; that I couldn't give you an outline of what I've read or summarize it. I am starting to feel okay with this. I think the questions that we have brought up in class are some very important ones. I would agree with jaropenerkate here that "I'm okay ending with questions." Or, at the very least, I am more okay with it now than I was at the beginning of the semester.

Awesome.

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.
Overall
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.

Final thoughts and comments on Queering Desire

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Though I've been tracking temporailty for a whole semester now, I don't know that I have a comprehensive knowledge of temporality theory, or theory that is concerned with time. Is that my own fault? Have I personally failed to understand or work through and alongside temporality? I don't think so. My experience in tracking this term, though far different from my experience with tracking terms in the past, has certainly been informing my experiences with queer theory and queering desire. The avenues through which I chose to approach the term could have been more direct, but I tend to think of and engage with various texts beside one another, which is why tracking terms through vastly differing, perhaps even contradictory, texts has been so beneficial.

I divided my three annotated bibliographies into three categories/themes: images, bodies, and failures -- which was pretty contrived, but my intention was to think through and alongside temporality not according to various theoretical approaches, but according to three indirectly connected problems of time -- problems that theory must, and has, inevitably, encountered and struggled with.

The question that presents itself to me now is, how can I (or we) understand temporality beside or through queering desire? I've been thinking of this question in terms of what they each do (and undo) when positioned beside one another: we've read and discussed a few pertinent texts in this class that point to a number of ways we can understand this relationship, namely, Lee Edelman's No Future, Muñoz's Cruising Utopia, and I would suggest even Kincaid and Stockton as staging problems in theorizing temporality alongside queerness and desire. Although I have certainly not exhausted my queering of temporality, I would suggest at this moment in my relationship to queer temporalities that queer temporality not only problematizes linear conceptions and applications of time, but undoes and rewrites inscriptions of life time -- such as "reproductive futurity" -- that serve to demarcate what it means for a life to have value, for a life to be livable.

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Confession: I love Twitter. I've blogged before, but until this semester I had never tweeted, and I definitely see its appeal. Both the blog cluster and diablog assignments really allowed me to see twitter's productive potential -- for the former, I tweeted as I read through the various blogs and it helped me catalog my readings of the cluster, which was helpful in keeping track of where I was reading and where I had followed a link and so forth. My diablog tweeting with Remy was a really great way for me to think through the reading and begin an initial conversation from which to organize my thoughts and our presentation. In general, though, Tweeting was also a really easy and casual way to share information and links with classmates or pose questions about the readings, etc., and to engage with what other people shared. I also follow a lot of newspaper/art forum/cinema publications as well as various celebrity figures, and I find Twitter to be a very convenient way to access information.

From what I've observed from many of our tweets, blog posts, and blogging dialogues, our class as a whole has been productively engaged in various queering practices, not least of which is the queering of academic engagement -- for instance, this (accidental?) conversation about Ahmed (did you guys plan this?):

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In academic settings, we, as classmates, do not utilize one another as resources nearly as often as we should, which is one reason why teaching and learning with blogs has proved itself rather subversive. I was definitely most engaged in the class and the theory at hand when I had also been actively engaged on twitter and on the blog -- and I felt most affected by the readings when I was paying attention to others' dialogue blogs and live tweets. If I were to give any advice to future blogging students, I would suggest to really experiment with how the blog allows us to engage theory with and beside one another.

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a QUED wrap up

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I don't think I can define intimacy. Maybe I could say pretty definitively that intimacy doesn't just have to do with couples, with lovers. Intimacy isn't just about two people in love, being physically and emotionally close. Intimacy changes (can be queered) depending on the space you're in, with whom you're being intimate (in whatever way), and what that feels like. Intimacy is about kin, family (chosen and not), friends, and connections.

Tracking intimacy definitely gave me a wider range of understanding what its definition could be/is. It also made me less certain of one single meaning for the word. I don't think that I came up with a consensus throughout the semester on what intimacy is. But I think that that's okay. I'm okay ending with questions.

I would say, on the whole, the blog entries and the availability of twitter were helpful throughout the semester. I think I engaged with other peoples' thoughts in a way I wouldn't have if we only had in-class discussions. I explored the limits of the blog more than I did twitter. But I think the diablog was the best synthesis of blog, twitter, and in-person discussion that we had throughout the semester. When I had to facilitate the diablog discussion, I was on twitter like a crazy person, and really used the blog posts I wrote to work through the readings. And having people discuss what I'd written made the work that I'd done have a purpose/be worthwhile, and it helped me to work through my thoughts even further. If I were to change anything about my participation, I would be a more active tweeter. And I would make it so one could tag one's comments (because it's so annoying to not be able to see my comments listed under my tag).

I think you, @undisciplined, should definitely keep the same format for the first couple of weeks--lots of tutorials, not too many blog posts. It really helped to get me acquainted with the blog. Other than that, I think I would have liked different twitter assignments, maybe an experiment with live tweeting in class? But that's just me, and twitter.pngI'm still intrigued by twitter and its possibilities, especially as a way to have a conversation and critical discussion online, while also complementing/diverging/differing/supplementing an in-person discussion.

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