I decided to make a prezi for my final wrap up and the static link is here
Tracking term: youth
At first glance the term "youth" is easy to define right? But as one explores the term more fully the term becomes much harder to locate. My explorations on the term consisted of constantly trying to locate the context in which the term gets used, much like current approaches to how queer theory gets dealt with. The term youth can be situated in a few different ways: age, ability, behavior, politically, culturally or through biology. There's also a difference between being a "youth" and being "young" the term youth is a much more politicized term. "Youth" suggests a way of being an identity that one can embody or become embodied in, so with "youth" itself being a highly politicized and "troubled" term how do we put it in conversation with "queer/ing/ness"?
Even though much of the text in queer theory that reference "youth" use the term as a metaphor to visualize how mechanism within queer theory can materialize itself. Although I do agree that there are certain aspects to "youthdom" that are similar to some of the tenets queer theory uses; it sometimes feels inappropriate because of the lack of interrogation of the term youth. I feel that although "youth" may be difficult to locate and pin down it is much easier than the term "queer" so I decided to explore the term youth through subcultural studies.
Within the field of subcultural studies there is an assumption that often times one is discussing "youth". I found it interesting to ground the term "youth" through these disciplines when putting into conversation the terms "youth" and "queer" . Using subcultural studies presents the possibility of presenting an argument that "youthdom" may not necessarily be as "queer" as it may be used. This was one of the biggest shifts I found myself doing was letting go of assumption of youth as inherently queer but instead asking in what ways can we "queer" youth, youth spaces and etc.
What is queering?
Whenever I get asked this question or am asked to reflect on it I always get reminded of the old comedy skit "who's on first"
A seemingly simple question that evolves into a migraine and a quick trip to the bar to decompress. It is a question that compels one to define it with the understanding that one will eventually fail and with failure the picture of "queerness" becomes a little clearer. "Queer/ness/ing" to me is the possibility of understanding the impossibility of it all. It is something that can de-center already existing modalities of thought and theory in ways that makes life a little bit harder.
I found the best way to really come to peace with queering is to just go along for the ride. In Judith Halberstam's book the queer art of failure she focused on how and where one can place "failure" within queer theory. In our class we more or less came to a consensus of how the book itself failed to present failure in the ways the book wanted to which would be a genius move on halberstam's part if that was done on purpose. I do understand queering in that way though; it's a process that is fed by its failures or our failures to locate it.
Reflection: tracking the term and the blog
It was extremely difficult to be able to effectively "track" my term and place it into conversation with queer/ness/ing. I often found myself ignoring the term "queer" and going into an exploration of "youth" itself. For me there seemed to be a divide between the two that I had a difficult time placing the two in conversation with each other. I felt it was just too much. The term youth itself is highly contested all by its lonesome and to add another term like queer into the mix it was like trying to capture an image of an electron (this is a really stupid chemistry joke because there is an impossibility to being able to capture the image of an actual electron as it stand they have data where an electron had been but not where it is at any given moment) I found that I was using a good chunk of my time trying to figure out what context to situate one of the terms in and then put them into conversation with each other and when I found a way in which I can start or begin the exploration on the terms a question gets asked that makes it all come tumbling down.
I learned shit and then more shit. I learned something as to what that something may be right now it's just a pile of shit in my brain waiting to be processed into fertilized to lay ground to something. I learned that as one puts into conversation issues and terms that are pretty fuzzy and vague themselves clarity goals of the project. A lot of times it'll just get fuzzier and I feel that's one of the things that I've picked up the most is the comfort on living with the fuzz.
A quick note on the blogs
The biggest advice I would give to someone is to actually do the blogs especially when the class is really small. I really had a strong aversion on doing the blogs themselves even though I may be one of the few that had experience on making and doing blogs and incorporating those in my daily lives (and yes I live multiple lives) and part of it is my stubbornness on being obligated to do something. I've only felt that blogs are something you just do when the spirit moves you. It's something that doesn't have a deadline or an end and I felt that it made it that much more difficult for me. I do wish I was doing the blogs because walking into class it felt at times like I was walking into a conversation that already started. I felt that placing blogging and social media into an academic space was interesting in how one can "queer" academic spaces.