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Random Tip of the Day

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I just posted a comment with links in it. Want to know how I did it? In order to post links in your comment, you need to type in the html (hypertext mark-up language) for creating links. (You can also use html in entries--just make sure that you are not in the rich text format--see upper right hand corner) Here it is:

<a href="website address">title of link</a>

So, for example, if you wanted to link to my trouble blog, here's how the html code would look:

<a href=">Sara's trouble blog</a>. Sara's trouble blog

Put this html code in at the point in the entry where you want to the link. To check that you did it right, you can preview the comment before submitting it. 

If you want more advice, check out this link that I just found (here's the code for this link: <a href=""<this link</a>). Anyone have an easier way to do links? Or more advice for using html? Post it as comments to this entry. 

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

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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!

Some ideas on how to post query entries

One of your assignments is to post a blog entry response to another student's/my query tweet. Here's the assignment description:

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 Tag: Your Alias

Note: Don't worry. Your first blog response isn't due until October 1st! Just your query tweet is due next week. 

Anyway, here are two options for the format. Both of the following options require that you include the actual query tweet in your post. 

Option 1: After you have selected the query that you wish to respond to, you should copy and paste the text (or retype it) at the top of your blog post. Make sure that you identify the name of the tweeter and the date that it was posted. Like this:

From Qued2010: Query: Reactions to reading cluster of blog entries? What does it do to your brain? How does it affect your engagement? Read more? #?qd2010

Option 2: Instead of copying and pasting the text of the tweet into the entry, you take a screen shot of the image and upload it into your post so it looks like this:

Here's how to do a screen shot on a mac (sorry pc'ers, as I have already proven in class, I don't know much about using a PC. Can anyone else help with this one?):

1. Find the tweet that you want to do a screen shot of.
2. Click on the three keys at the same time: command, shift, 4
3. You should see crosshairs on the screen now. Position the crosshairs at the top of the tweet and click. 
4. Scroll over what you want to include in the screen shot image. Click again. You have now created an image (you should hear a click noise--like a photo being taken--when you do the second click). 
5. The image should be on your desktop as "picture 1". Click on it and rename it with: youraliasquery#.
6. Now you have an image that you can upload into your entry. You can follow the directions from my how to blog entry (step 3, #12). 

Still confused with this second option? Come see me during my office hours and I can walk you through it. It is really easy to do, once you know how. I can also show you all at the beginning of class. 

Day Two: September 9

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Today, we are meeting in the Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center (FORD 468) where we will be discussing how to use our course blog and twitter. Since we only have about 30 minutes, I can only cover the basics today. Periodically throughout the semester, we will return to the media center in order to review and learn new strategies for using blogs/twitter in our class.

Step 1: Getting Started or How to Log In and Set up my Alias

1. Go to
This is the UThink main site for U of M blogs.

2. Log in by clicking on the link (login to UThink) located under About Uthink on the right hand side of the page.

3. If you are not already logged into the system, you will be required to submit your x500 and your password. If you are already logged in then clicking on login should take you directly to your Dashboard. Your dashboard will list any blogs for which you are an author (courses, personal blogs).

To access our blog, click on "System Overview" at the top on the left hand side. I have added all of you to our blog as authors, so you should see our course, "Queering Desire: Fall 2010" on your list of blogs. Click on it. (If you don't see it, please let me know.)

4. Now you should be on the author page for our blog. This is where you can create entries, upload files, and insert images.

5. For those of you who haven't used UThink before: You can set up your own alias for posting. This means that when you post an entry or a make a comment, only your alias will show (not your email address or your name). As the blog administrator, I will be the only person who knows that it is you posting. If you are a little nervous about posting, this is a good way to stay somewhat anonymous.

Always remember that our blog is a public blog. This means that anyone has access to it and can read. Keep this in mind as you are writing your entries and comments. For more on why I think the blog as a public site is a good thing, see this entry from one of my course blogs from last year.  

Step 2: Creating a Basic Entry 

6. Now that you are on the author (or the behind-the-scenes) site for our blog and now that
you have signed in and created your posting name/alias for our blog, you can create an entry. Click on create (located on the right hand side right above--or between--the course title) and scroll down to entry. Click on it.

7. You should now be on a page titled "Create Entry." You can create a title for your entry by typing in the box, "Title." Then, type your entry in the bigger box below.

8. A note about body vs. extended entry:
Above the big box where you type your entry, there are two options: body and extended. If you are writing a particularly long entry, you could post the opening paragraph in the body section and then the rest of the entry in the extended section. When people look at your entry on the blog, they will only see the part you wrote in the body with a link at the bottom that says something like: "continue reading entry x." This can be helpful in making the blog visually more compact, but it not necessary.

9. When you are finished typing your entry, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on save (If you want to preview your entry first, click on preview. This can be helpful in making sure that you formatted everything correctly and that you put in the right address for your links). Once you have saved the entry, click on the view site button which is located at the end of the row that starts with the "create" button.

10. A note about categories and tags: 

a. categories: On the right-hand side of the screen (and just below the text box), is a section called categories in which you will find a list of different categories for this blog. It is very important that you click on the box of the appropriate category for your assignment. Doing this ensures that the blog stays organized and easy to search. For your various assignments, I will clearly identify which category you should select for your entry. Categories will include: Queer This!, Queries, Direct Engagements, Tracking Terms, etc. 

b. tags: Right after the text box (where you type your entry) is a much smaller box labeled "tags." Tags work like key words and can be used to identify the key topics in your blog. So, if you are writing a blog about Roseanne as a queer character or the Twilight series as reinforcing heterosexual romance, you could tag your entry with the keywords:
Roseanne, television shoes, working class, anti-capitalism or Mormonism, heteronormativity, vampires. Type the keywords in and separate them with commas. Put these keywords in before you save your entry. These tags will be reflected in our tag cloud which is located
midway down on the right hand side.

Step 3: Creating links, inserting images and embedding youtube clips.*

*These should all be done before you hit save and post your entry.

11. Links: Okay, so now you have typed in your brilliant entry about the queer relationship between Harry Potter and his mentor, Albus Dumbledore, but the whole thing looks kind of...boring. One basic way to make it more interesting (not to mention interactive) is by
adding in links to other sources (that you have referenced in your entry or that point to more information on the topic or that offer a different perspective). For the purpose of our blogs, your links should not merely be thrown into your text. Instead, you must address and explain them (but more on that later). Technically speaking, the way to add a link is to highlight the text that you want to create a link for (like David Halperin and his discussion of pederasty in ancient Greece). Then click on the image of the chain (you will find this image in the row of buttons above the text book). Enter the address for the link and then click on save.

12. Images: But, wait, you say. Links aren't enough. You want more things to add to your entry. You want images.

a. First, find the image you want. Probably the easiest way to do this is opening up a new tab, going on Google images and putting in a keyword to search. That's where I have found most of my the one to my left.

Because this is a basic primer, let's stick with google images. So, you have typed in "The Brady Bunch" and found a great image of the family that you want to use. Click on the image. Then click on "see full size image". Drag the image onto your desktop. Now you are ready to upload the image into your entry.

b. Now, switch back to the entry you have been working on.
Put your cursor at the place in your text that you want the image to appear (like where you are discussing the Brady Bunch). Then click on the button (which is a few after the link button) that looks like an image and is called "insert image." Click on the "new upload image" link and then browse on your desktop for the image of the Bree that you just found on google images. Now that the new image is uploaded, you will be given a bunch of file options. It is up to you how you want the image to look, but here is what I usually do. I click on "display image in entry," "use thumbnail (manually adding in a width of 150 pixels)" and "Link image to full-size version in a popup window." In terms of alignment--left, right, or center--pick whichever works best for you.

13. Youtube clips: Now that you have started adding things, you can't stop. Links and images aren't enough. You want to embed cool youtube clips in your entry. Here's how:

a. First, find the youtube clip that you want. Open up another tab and go to youtube.
I put in "Susan Stryker" as a keyword search and found these really cool book reviews for Trans/Queer related texts by the scholar, Reese Kelly.


Now you need to embed the clip. To do this, you need to find the embed box (located on the right hand side in the gray box under the URL), highlight the embed text and copy it.

Note: For a fancier version of the youtube clip youcan now customize your embed clips. At the end of the embed box you will find a blue gear image. When you scroll over it it should say "customize." Click on it. Now you can pick a color scheme for the border of your clip (I recommend green to match our site) and a size (I would say 500 X 405). Now copy the embed text and follow the next step.

b. Now go back to your entry and put your cursor on the place that you want to insert the youtube clip. Before pasting it in, make sure that you have changed the format (located above the insert image button) to none (away from rich text or covert line breaks). The embed
text will not work in rich text; it will just show up like a bunch of code. Once you have switched the format to none, paste in the embed text. You are done and ready to save!

Twitters tutorial on how to sign up for twitter:

Since twitter has its own helpful tutorial, I thought I would just post a link to it instead of writing my own. Here it is. Here are some other things to remember:

1. Once you sign up, make sure to follow the class. You can do this by clicking on the link in the upper right hand corner that says: Find people. Search for "qued2010". Click on it. This will take you to the course twitter account. Click on the button, right below the course name/button, that says: follow. Now you are following the class. 

2. As you all begin to follow the class, I will be putting you in a list named, "class-list." Click on the list (located on the right hand side, halfway down the page) and find your classmates. Click on their accounts and follow them too. 

3. Make sure to mark all of your entries for class with this hashtag: #qd2010. 

In the next few days, I will be posting more information about your blog and twitter assignments. Make sure to read over this information and post questions (as comments or tweets). We will discuss the assignments more next week. 


1. You should post your first example for "Queer This!" by next Friday(9.17).  Here is my explanation of the "queer this" category from last year's queering theory blog:

Queer This!: 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 not merely be WTF or "oh bother!" posts. Instead they 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.

Want to see how some other students used this category last year? Check out queer this examples from queering theory. Although you can provide some explanation of your example, don't write too much. One important purpose of this type of blog post is to offer up examples for all of us to critically analyze and queer. 

In addition to posting your first example on our blog (as an entry), you also need to tweet about your example. We will talk more about how to tweet your "queer this" example on Tuesday. 

The official description for "queer this" blog entries (along with all of the other blog assignments) will be posted soon. 

2. Readings for Tuesday on up on our WebVista site. 

14        Queer Blogging: An Introduction 

  • Rak, Julie. Excerpts from "The Digital Queer: Weblogs and Internet Identity" 
  • Threlkeld, Aubry. "Virtual Disruptions: traditional and new media's challenges to heteronormativity in education"
  • Mitra, Rahul. "Resisting the Spectacle of Pride: Queer Indian Bloggers as Interpretive Communities"
Although the syllabus indicates that you  only need to read excerpts from "Digital Queer," I would like you to read the entire essay. Make a note of words/concepts that you don't understand/have questions about. You could also post questions on twitter or this blog. 

One more reminder: Don't forget to fill out the questionnaire on our WebVista site! I would like them to be completed by tomorrow 

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