January 2011 Archives
Here's the wonderful xtranormal video that Reina did (along with Brittany Lewis) for my feminist pedagogies course this past fall. Check out their full post here.
Today in class the focus of our discussion is: Queer Pedagogies and Productions. Before we get into our discussion of the readings, here are a few announcements:
1. Slight reading revision for next week:
- Butler, Judith. "Ethical Ambivalence"
- Butler, Judith. "Preface to Gender Trouble"
- Frye, Marilyn. "A Response to Lesbian Ethics: Why Ethics?"
- "Anti-social Queer"
- Edelman, Lee. "The Future is Kid Stuff"
2. Class notes sign-up sheet. Note:our class notes blog post should be posted within 48 hours of our class. If you decide to live-tweet our class, you should also post a brief entry summarizing the class + your experiences live-tweeting. Here are some examples from a past class: here and here. You can also check out my reflections on live-tweeting for a class last semester here.
1. What is paranoid reading? How do we distinguish it from reparative reading? Can an emphasis on reparative reading enable us to get out of the destructive/productive model that seems to always place ethics in opposition to queer/ing practices and visions?
2. What are the implications for pedagogy and queer/ing classrooms/University spaces of shifting from a focus on "knowing" (as learning through transmission, acquiring knowledge, etc) to ignorance, in the forms of: failing to know, resisting knowing, risking unknowingness, staying at the limits of intelligibility?
3. How can/does/should failure function in the learning/reading/engaging process?
4. On page 188, Shahani draws upon J Butler to suggest that "there is always the possibility of reworking failure in more reparative directions by identifying the constraints that 'mark at once the limits of agency and it most enabling conditions'." How can we rework failure? Is it possible to emphasize limits and failure without always falling into a logic of exposure/paranoia?
5. On page 195, Shahani asks: "how are the material conditions that surround the classroom inextricably linked to the failures within the classroom?" What are the material conditions that shape our classroom space? Do you see any parallels between Shahani's discussion of excellence (196) and the UofM's "driven to discover" campaign? How does the drive to discover (and the slogan "because") shape our learning/teaching/engaging experiences?
6. Explain: "The queer insistence is that non-straight sexualities are simultaneously marginal and central, and that heterosexuality exists in an epistemic symbiosis with homosexuality" (Luhmann 3).
7.Here are a few passages from Luhmann that we can discuss:
If subversiveness is not a new form of knowledge but lies in the capacity to raise questions about the detours of coming to know and making sense, then what does this mean for a pedagogy that imagines itself as queer? Can a queer pedagogy resist the desire for authority and stable knowledge; can it resist disseminating new knowledge and new forms of subjection? What if a queer pedagogy puts into crisis what is known and how we come to know (Luhmann, 5)?
Instead of focusing on the common concerns of teaching, such as what should be learned and how to teach this knowledge, pedagogy might begin with the question of how we come to know and how knowledge is produced in the interaction between teacher/text and student (Luhmann, 6).
As an alternative to the worry over strategies for effective knowledge transmission that reduce knowledge to mere information and students to rational but passive beings untroubled by the material studied, pedagogy might be posed as a question (as opposed to the answer) of knowledge: What does being taught, what does knowledge do to students (Luhmann, 7)?
Alice Pitt (1995) points out: "Learning about content is not the same thing as learning from it. In other words . . . learning is something more than a series of encounters with knowledge; learning entails, rather, the messier and less predictable process of becoming implicated in knowledge" [p. 298](Luhmann, 8).
Both queer theory and pedagogy argue that the process of making (sense) of selves relies on binaries such as homo-hetero, ignorance-knowledge, learner- teacher, reader-writer, and so on. Queer theory and pedagogy place at stake the desire to deconstruct binaries central to Western modes of meaning making, learning, teaching, and doing politics. Both desire to subvert the processes of normalization (Luhmann, 8).
at stake are the implications of queer theory and pedagogy for the messy processes of learning and teaching, reading and writing. Instead of posing (the right) knowledge as answer or solution, queer theory and the pedagogy I have outlined here pose knowledge as an interminable question (Luhmann, 9).
Such queer pedagogy does not hold the promise of a successful remedy against homophobia, nor is it a cure for the lack of self-esteem. This pedagogy is not (just) about a different curriculum or new methods of instruction. It is an inquiry into the conditions that make learning possible or prevent learning. It suggests a conversation about what I can bear to know and what I refuse when I refuse certain identifications. What is at stake in this pedagogy is the deeply social or dialogic situation of subject formation, the processes of how we make ourselves through and against others. As an inquiry into those processes, my queer pedagogy is not very heroic. It does not position itself as a bulwark against oppression, it does not claim the high grounds of subversion but hopefully it encourages an ethical practice by studying the risks of normalization, the limits of its own practices, and the im/possibilities of (subversive) teaching and learning.
8. What is the ethical practice here? How do we think about Luhmann, Shahani and Sedgwick in terms of queer/ing ethics?
9. What are/should the implications of these essays on queer/ing pedagogy be for our classroom? Our practices of engagement?
As I mentioned in class today, I thought I would start an open thread on reading and viewing recommendations. Post a comment to this thread with your suggestions. You can also comment with links to blogs--blogs you write on, read, or just want to encourage us to check out.
Hello and welcome to queer/ing ethics! In addition to all of the other ways we might be using this blog this semester, I thought I would experiment with using it as a space for organizing our individual class sessions. Here's what we are doing today in class:
To Each Other:
Discipline/areas of interest
Good book/movie/tv show you watched
Why you're taking this class
Experience with social media/online technology/queer studies
About me: Dr. Sara Puotinen
Hi, I'm Sara or Dr. Puotinen. My preferred pronoun is she. I was born in Houghton, MI, but I have also lived in North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, California and Georgia. I have a BA in religion (Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN), MA in ethics (Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA) and a PhD in Women's studies (Emory University, Atlanta, GA). My areas of research interest are: troublemaking, feminist and queer ethics, feminist pedagogies, queer theory (especially Judith Butler), feminist and queer social media (especially blogs).
Over break I read the Hunger Games trilogy and loved it. I really enjoy teaching in the GWSS/GLBT department--and I especially love teaching classes on queer theory! In addition to this class, I have taught queering desire, queering theory, intro to GLBT studies and a graduate seminar on feminist and queer explorations in troublemaking.
I have been using blogs in my classroom since Spring 2007 and I have been writing on my own blogs since 2009. I started my first blog, a research/writing blog on making/being in/staying in trouble in May of 2009 and I started two more blogs, both collaborative diablogs, this summer. One is on breaking bad consumption habits and the other is on feminist pedagogy and blogging. The feminist pedagogy diablog, It's Diablogical!, has been particularly helpful and inspiring for me this summer. Since 2009, I have written extensively about the value of blogs and blogging in feminist and queer classrooms. In addition to tweeting as gwssprof, I also tweet as undisciplined.
Not sure how to blog? Here's a primer that I put together last year.
HOW TO BLOG, A PRIMER
Step 1: Getting Started or How to Log In and Set up my Alias
1. Go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/
This is the UThink main site for U of M blogs.
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 on your list of blogs. Click on it.
4. Now you should be on the author page for our blog. This is where you can create entries, upload files, and edit entries.
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. To set up your alias, click on the link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that says, Hi x500 number (in the image above, the link says Hi puot0002). Now you are on the edit profile screen.
Choose your display name. As you can see, mine is Sara. You can pick whatever name you would like.
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 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 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 representation of feminism in 1970s popular culture, 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). The way to add a link is to highlight the text that you want to create a link for (like Mimi Marinucci and her great article about third wave feminism and The Brady Bunch).
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 OK.
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 by opening up a new tab or window, going on images.google.com, and putting in a key word to search. That's where I have found most of my images...like this one:
Because this is a basic primer, let's stick with google images. So, you have typed in "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 full-size image onto your desktop. Now you are ready to upload the image into your entry.
b. 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 "upload new image" link and then browse on your desktop for the image of the Brady Bunch that you just found on google images. After you have selected the image, click on upload. 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 (with a width of 150 pixels)" and "Link image to full-size version in a popup window." In terms of alignment, pick whichever works best for you.
Finally, click on finish.
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 or window and go to youtube.com. You can search for clips. I searched for "feminism" and found this funny video about Ms. Pac Man: A Feminist Hero.
Once you find the clip, you need to embed it. To do this, you need to find the embed box (located on the right hand side in the grey box under the URL), highlight the embed text and copy it.
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. Now you have added a youtube clip.