Direct Engagement Entries

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

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

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

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

One of your direct engagements must be on your tracking topic extra reading. These readings will be posted when we discuss your tracking topic assignment on sept 20th.

You may also do a live-tweet of your engagement with the reading/s. You could do this alone or with 1-2 other class members. If you live-tweet, you must embed all of your tweets into a blog post and include a brief discussion of how twitter helped/didn't help you engage with the reading/s. While there is no min/max tweet for this assignment, you need to include enough tweets to demonstrate a critical engagement with your reading/s.
Category: DEs

Mash-up
More information coming soon.

Remix/Redux/Revisit
More information coming soon.

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

Due Dates:
DE #1: September 22
DE #2: October 31
DE #3: based on tracking topic presentation date
Mash-up: November 25
Remix: December 7
DE comment 1: September 27
DE comment 2: December 7

Make sure to keep track of your DE entries and comments by filling out your blogging/tweeting worksheet and putting the static links of your entries/comments/tweets in a word document. 

DIRECTIONS: (taken directly from worksheet)
All of these dates are due by dates (as opposed to due on).This means that you are encouraged to post them at any time during the semester by the required due date. It is strongly suggested that you do not wait until the night before your due date to post your entries/comments/ tweets.
Fill out the following worksheet and hand it in on October 6, November 1 and December 8. Additionally, keep track of all of your blog posts (entries and comments) and tweets by creating a document that includes links to all of them.You will be required to hand in a hard copy of this document with your filled out worksheet on12/8.

Make sure to keep track of your DE entries and comments by filling out your blogging/tweeting worksheet and putting the static links of your entries/comments/tweets in a word document. 

EXAMPLES FROM PAST CLASSES

1 Comment

Hopefully I'm leaving this in the write place! I assumed it would be like the queeries, but I may be wrong.

For my first direct engagement, I would like to write about Christina B. Hanhardt’s article Butterflies, Whistles, and Fists: Gay Safe Streets Patrols and the New Gay Ghetto, 1976-1981. I would like to revisit concepts I brought up in class discussing homonationalism, gentrification, economies of risk and the body.
As Hanhardt suggests, the riots at Stonewall were a challenge to police authority by LGBTQ populations, many of them existing on the margins of society as working-class and people of color. The largest organization that immediately stemmed from the riots was the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), an organization largely consisting of LGBTQ activists from nationalist organizations (such as the Young Lords and the Black Panthers), feminist and anti-war movements. It is notable that the GLF got its name from a Vietnamese Nationalist organization (called the National Liberation Front) that directly opposed the Vietnam War. This was a coalitional approach that operated within a lens focused on radical politics (by radical I mean “root” as in the algebraic understanding of the term). Fissures quickly formed within organizations such as the GLF, often resulting in racialized and classed factions.
Race and class privilege, or at least the ability to navigate more affluent social networks with ease, could be credited in many circumstances for the trajectory many middle and upper-middle class LG(BTQ) organizations took in the years following. Hanhardt’s essay largely focuses on a lesbian and gay land grab, similar to westward migrations by white American’s in the 19th century, where lesbian and gay white folks fled rural areas and migrated for settlement in urban areas. Queer identities in this context became linked to urban areas (What Mary Gray would term “queer urban imaginaries” and Jack Halberstam would call “metronormativity”), and more specifically to neighborhoods within the cities—such as the Castro, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Seattle’s Capital Hill and Chicago’s Boystown.
The “city” granted a degree of animosity for lesbian and gay folk, offering privacy from ones family and strength in numbers. The “city” was reinvented as a space where such queerness was possible. Claims to space resulted in claims to property. Citing Hanhardt, “property ownership is one means by which neighborhoods have been claimed and marketed for exclusive urban constituencies” (pg 63, emphasis mine). Hanhardts reading suggests that, “ Neighborhoods came to be seen as an expressive demonstration of gay identity, and thus as the collective asset most in need of protection” (67). Gay neighborhoods became symbolically tied to the healthy body of a lesbian and gay population; they must be protected from outside pests and contaminants.
The community-policing model used by the Butterfly Brigade and the Christopher Street Patrol engaged with “economies of risk” that largely resembled public health discourses that would shortly follow when HIV/AIDS exploded in gay male communities. The name RID, after the pest deterrent, becomes symbolic for me, as the languages used for pest deterrent are often militaristic. Medical language discussing the bodies’ response to HIV/AIDS seroconversion often referred to the body as a fortress, the immune system as an army, and HIV as an invasion.
There is also an aspect of identity formation within gay neighborhoods. I see the street patrols as protecting gay neighborhoods from populations who were defined as not belonging. Through this surveillance, I recognize a distinction as more acutely drawn, creating a dualism between how one could be gay and how one couldn’t. This is to say that while the rainbow flag was created in San Francisco as a symbol of diversity, that within this context gay and lesbian communities were largely imagined as homogenized. Considering the characteristics that often raised flags for patrollers were raced and classed markers, this renders being gay/lesbian and working-class and a person of color as impossible. The result was what could be related to white flight to the suburbs and gated communities, where we substitute the new gay “ghetto” (or homonationalist islands). This follows Lisa Duggan’s definition of the “new homonormativity”, where gay and lesbian social movements begin to more closely mirror the values of affluent heteronormative populations and (gay) marries neoliberalist discourses.

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