My Tracking Term for the semester was Bodies and Material Experiences. Now that I have completed my three annotated bibliographies, I look back on my topic and see how it has evolved in a direction that I did not anticipate when choosing this topic. When I started with this topic I began by looking at how marginalized bodies move through various spaces to find/encounter empowerment/struggle/fear/strength. In this first bibliography, the sources followed story lines in which women specifically moved about spaces in academia and how this was [un] done according to their various identities through race, class, age, history, and sexuality. The accessing or lack of accessing various spaces brings up the histories of power/struggle/fear/togetherness/identity and how they play out on a person's body. Also in this first bibliography, I used Navigating Public Spaces: Gender, Race, and Body Privilege in Everyday Life , which, through the use of Peggy McIntosh's theory of white privilege, the article discussed the interviewing process of 42 women who were deemed "overweight". Through the interviewing process the author explained how fat intersects with other signifiers of class/race/gender/age/sexuality/ethnicity/etc. to complicate people's identities. This discussion of fat identity is what would spark the research for the rest of my tracking term. In my second bibliography is when I began examining fat identities. I used Kathleen Le Besco's Revolting Bodies? The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity (Chapter 7 The Queerness of Fat) to look specifically at the intersections of fat and queer identity. In this chapter, Le Besco explains the pathologizing of these identities and the need in our culture to explain away modes of being through finding problems/issues/concerns/lack of normalcy/etc. in queer and fat communities. With this discussion of fat identities came the inevitable discussion of their representations through various social media outlets. Fat identity and its representations in pop culture is discussed in Kathleen Rowe's The Unruly Woman: Gender and the Genres of Laughter Chapter 1: Pig Ladies, Big Ladies, and Ladies with Big Mouths. Feminism and the Carnivalesque.. In this first chapter of her book Rowe discusses the representations of fat women with the use of icons like Miss Piggy and Roseanne. Through this examination Rowe provides a mold in which fat women in pop culture reside or portrayed within: huge, excessive, eats and drinks a lot, sexually voracious, and an obscene joke maker. This mold can easily be seen in both Miss Piggy and Roseanne. Through this process, which led me to fat identities, I want to continue to examine this presence of the fat woman in pop culture, but also look for spaces like The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Life blog which portrays fat women in a positive light.

Queering or queer
to me means many things. All of which are hard to verbally explain at any given time. I think to queer something is to look at something, anything, with a specific lens that allows you to disrupt all understandings/beliefs/comfort of a given topic. I think that when people here the word queer they automatically think about gays and lesbians. Although this is one aspect of queer, it is only one. This is why queer is so great to me because it means so many things to so many people. This is why queer is always evolving in new ways to disrupt various spaces and understandings in order for people to understand and see what makes something the very something that it is. Although I have addressed queer and queering before, I never feel as though I "get it" which, I think, is also another important aspect of queer/queering. This lack of knowing or "getting" is sometimes overwhelming because you cannot just pin down the term and define queer. Again, not to beat a dead horse, but that again is why queer is so ambiguous because it is constantly shifting/[re] examining/asking/telling/questioning again, again, and again.


In this course on queering theory I continued to struggle when understanding what queer/queering/queerness all meant. This lack of knowing made me uncomfortable; in turn, I was uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. However, this space of uncomfortability has been a great learning space for me and maybe not no much in regards to learning in an academic space. In most of my courses and most of my life I have been quite comfortable. I have not been asked to push boundaries, unless I felt comfortable; I have not really felt that I could not understand course content; I have not felt out of place in a classroom setting; and, I could go on, but those are a few examples I could think of to establish my point. My point is, that queering is uncomfortable. It made me uncomfortable by not knowing/understanding. This is turn, for me, made the classroom uncomfortable because I would ask myself, "did these classmates of mine know"? This process of not understanding or knowing has been very humbling for me. As a person who is quite rigid in the classroom, it allowed me to loosen up. Possibly too much since I fell behind in the readings and assignments. Strangely it felt good not being my rigid,student self. I was able to put my guard down and not allow a class to have such a reign over me. Although I did not participate fully in the readings and activity on the blog, I still took away from this class. I learned to not be so rigid as a student and that it is okay to feel/be uncomfortable in spaces of learning because it pushed me outside of my box to examine in a whole new way. I like the blog because you can see other people's work and you can go back to your own work and see it all in one space. In this particular class, I felt overwhelmed by others posts because it made me question my own work. Again, this goes back to knowing/understanding and who knows/understands. I also really like using twitter because it forces you to explain your entire thought process in 140 characters or less. This is a challenge, but its nice to pick a part what a person could mean by their tweet. Because I have blogged before I have heard time and time again to not fall behind. This is so very, very true. The blog takes a lot of work, sometimes more than a traditional academic paper, if you want to make it interesting. I think that use of the blog and twitter are both queering academic spaces. I do not use a blog or twitter in any of my other classes. The blog allowed for us to see others' work and thoughts on a variety of topics that we would have normally not have access to. The blog also allows for us to go back at any point to review/examine our own thoughts and others and bring them back easily into current discussions. The blog is a fun way to bring the entire class together in a very intimate setting, where people's thoughts/feelings/emotions/[un] comfortability/knowledge/etc. are shared amongst one another and the world.

Queer this 2

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Here's a quick clip from the show toddlers and tiaras

I just found it interesting how as she was also talking about issues of natural beauty and what is the proper role of a parent.

There are a few questions that came up when I watched this clip one of the major one is the idea of beauty and questions of what is natural and how it is constructed and etc.

DE engagement queer are of failing

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I decided to take up the Judith halberstam's book the Queer art of Failure as my direct engagement. In the Book she presents an argument of the failure of academia to be able to make ideas and theories like "queer theory accessible to the general public. In class we sorta came to a consensus that she as well did not do a very effective job at providing "access" to her own theorization. I am interested in this idea of access that she presents because it has been a common critique towards academia that it is not accessible.

In the book she references movies like dude where's my car as a way to provide an imagery that is more accessible to the general public but here's the thing. Any reference to ashton kutcher or any of his movies pre-demi moore divorce is sooo passe. It just ends up falling flat and looks gives the general impression that she is just trying too hard to be cool. I am not trying to hate on Judith Halberstam I see this failure of the use of popculture more on a grander scale. The time frame in order for her to be able to write the book, get it edited and then published is too long of a time frame to be able to capture effectively any pop culture reference. Reference like the ones she was making are tricky at best because what is "cool" doesn't stay cool too long it will change and change fast.
The failure in her book... well I, that it's because it's a book. The way systems of publishing literary work now is not fast enough to be able to capture the moments that she may be trying within her book to catch. Much of the current technologies now allow for such rapid commentary to moments of pop culture that by the time a book gets published the issue is all talked out. I feel that any "failures" of the book that we might be able to identify are a failure of the system that she works under.

Final Wrap up

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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.
So what did I learn about queering theory and my term?

Shit

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.

Bodies/Material Experiences: Annotated Bibliography 3

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1 a. The Unruly Woman: Gender and the Genres of Laughter Chapter 1: Pig Ladies, Big Ladies, and Ladies with Big Mouths. Feminism and the Carnivalesque.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for unruly woman kathllen rowe.jpg

b. In this chapter Rowe brings up several pop culture icons from Shakespeare to contemporary forms to explain how fat women are portrayed in their representations as disruptive, loud, excessive, outrageous, etc. in physical (space) and verbal (language, laughter) actions. A definition of topos is given as women who disrupt norms of femininity and the social hierarchies that are in place (male>female) through their excess and outrageousness. Rowe provides a list of what characteristics make up the unruly woman as one or many of the following:
unruly.jpg
Rowe continues by explaining how the definition of grotesque functions as an exaggeration of incompleteness, process, and change; the grotesque body exaggerates its bulges, processes, etc.
Fat grotesque woman is:
**huge
**eats and drinks in excess
**has voracious sex
**an obscene joke maker
c. Are there any fat woman in pop culture that are not portrayed as the woman on top or in a grotesque manner? Are these fat women seen in a positive light only when they are nearing the end of their liminal space and have become "normal" and no longer seen as a fat body?

d. Sara provided this chapter in PDF form to me via an email.

e. Rowe, Kathleen. The Unruly Woman: Gender and the Genres of Laughter. United
States: University of Texas Press, 1995. Print.

2 a. Rosanne: Let them eat junk part two AKA "The Oreo Scene: you're the Or ee ooest"
b.
c. I specifically looked at the first two minutes of this clip from Roseanne. The scene is set up with the largely overweight Roseanne sitting at the Kitchen table. Her sister Jackie who is very thin comes to pick up her son Andy who has been with Roseanne all day. Roseanne in this particular scene completely embodies what has been deemed as the grotesque body.
Roseanne Grotesque Body
huge huge
eats (in excess) eats (in excess)
joke maker (obscene) joke maker (obscene)
The dialogue between the "normal" body Jackie represents and the "excessive, outrageous" body Roseanne represents is important. Jackie picks up her baby and proclaims, "My child has oreo breath". Roseanne replies, with obscene humor, "well, relax, that's just because we were drinking an oreo flavored liqueur". Jackie brings up a list that she made explaining not to give Andy junk food. To which Roseanne replies, "You can spit and you can swear, but you will NOT come into my house and refer to oreos as junk food"! The next exchange is what I found particularly interesting. Roseanne asks Jackie to calm down by explaining that she used to give that stuff to her kids all the time. Jackie prods back my saying, "that maybe that's the reason why you kids tuned out the way they did". The grotesque body, Roseanne, has pushed her grotesqueness onto her children by allowing them her excessive, fat habits.
d. I think it would be interesting to look into other grotesque bodies in pop culture to examine how their lifestyles either do or do not affect (they become grotesque as well) those around them.
e.. I found this youtube clip after I read Rowe's chapter one from Unruly Woman, which mentioned Roseanne. I went to youtube and typed in "Roseanne eating".
3 a. In Solidarity With Those Who Have Been Called "Too Much"
b. Bevin Branlandingham
c. Too much: too fat, too loud, too feminine, too slutty.......and the list of toos can go on and on. Bevin uses this specific post to address the deemed excessive physicalities and/or actions she has faced or her friends have faced to find productivity within these spaces. The opposite of this identity is what she calls "beige" people; people who lack color in life. Are these people the opposites to the excessive? Bevin continues by explaining people's uncomfortability with her excessive being in the dating scene. She explains the excessive as loving hard, caring and giving large amounts of love and attention, and making lover's feel as though they were the only other person in a room full of people. Bevin continues by explaining that this excessive way of living via flamboyance, glitter, nurturing, love...takes a specific kind of patience to deal with. This is interesting to me because it seems to be emphasizing the fact of difference or uncomfortability with one's excessive behaviors and/or bodies. Does this mean that excessive/flamboyant bodies can only share space comfortably with other excessive/flamboyant bodies??
d. How does this idea of excess/flamboyancy function with other marginalized groups/people? What Bevin describes as "beige" individuals, are these dominant, hegemonic bodies within society?
e. Sara recommended the blog to me. I went to the blog and began reading different entries and this one seemed to fit in the best with my other sources.
f. Branlandingham, Bevin. The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Life. Cutline by Chris Pearson, 2006. Web. 20 Dec. 2011.











Scottie Final Wrap Up

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I chose my terms, resist/reject, because I was interested in the additional readings for the terms and because I believe that, as Kate Bornstein states, one cannot do queer theory without putting it into praxis unless they are heteronormative. I have self-defined as 'queer' and have been politically active for a number of years, though it was only within the past two or three that I became familiar with queer theory. Informed by activism, I believe queer theory without queer praxis ceases to be queer, as it has lost its radical potential through its rootedness within the privileged space of the academy. As Kate Bornstein may state, queer theory without queer praxis is a cooptation of 'queer' by folks who theorize queerly but practice heteronormatively.

To me, queering as a verb is impossible without resisting and/or rejecting. Queer/ing, as a process of resisting and rejecting seeks to make visible the non-normative gaps and spaces in which 'queer' subjects and communities fall into unintelligibility (I'm referencing Eve Kosofsky-Sedgdewick here). These politics require visibility to be politically effective, but not to the degree of being fully legible and understandable. I argue that queer needs visibility to a degree because without visibility 'queer' will only ever remain known to an exclusive few. To reference Rocko Bulldagger, exclusivity is reflective of a 'scene' rather than a social movement.

My non-sexual academic partner, Anna, and Jose Esteban Muñoz, helped me out in thinking through differences between the terms resistance and rejection. Previously, I had not differentiated between the terms but after taking this course, my opinion has changed. I will start with a section talking about resistance before I move into my problematization of rejection.

Resistance: I define resistance as an active process in which one engages in struggle WITHIN discourse. For Butler, resistance can exist through picking up objects and redefining their symbolic meanings. By this view, normative matrixes enshroud us as subjects, and we are never completely outside of them. Butler recognizes that resistance is contingent upon the object as strategically placed there in the first place. This is how I understand Muñoz's concept of disidentification. Disidentifying is reliant on something that already existed in order to empower and effectively resist dominant discourses and violence.

I believe our understandings of objects inform our own subjectivity. That is to say that our subjectivity is constructed by our ways of knowing. Objects of knowledge are not simply passive in this process, our definition of them informs our ways of knowing (Donna Haraway's Situated Knowledges and Cyborg Manifesto informed this). How we understand the 'self', bodies, institutions, science, and technology speaks to this.

For Dorothy Allison, resistance is present through challenging the limitations of dominant lesbian and gay coming out narratives. These narratives assume a certain classed and raced position that universalizes the experience of white upper-middle class queers who are able to migrate from 'rural' to 'urban' in order to actualize themselves as queer subjects. Multiple social positions influence gender identity, gender expression and sexuality. Allison makes this clear in her understanding of how class affected her sexuality and gender. How might coming out narratives of the working class, immigrants, folks with dis/abilities, LGBTQ people of color, and folks who did not make the 'rural' to 'urban' migration look different? What assumptions can we interrogate regarding ones ability to afford relocation? What assumptions can we interrogate regarding ones ability to access higher education (recognizing this as a reason many leave their hometowns)? Can LGBTQ communities who have always lived in the 'city' be placed in this narrative? Does the 'city' grant them the same degree of anonymity? The process of actualizing ones queer subjectivity is more complicated than the 'rural' to 'urban' trajectory allows. Resisting is more complicated than an awareness of and a critique to dominant discourses, as it requires we look deeper in order to recognize how we have internalized and normalized numerous aspects of discourse.

Miranda Joseph's queering of Marxism becomes valuable in this context. Assigning value to the production of some bodies over others mirrors material and economic production and consumption. In Allison's case, the narratives of certain queers were taken as natural and normal. Likewise, capital, production and consumption influence the embodiment of ones gender and sexuality.

These questions become important for me when we consider the relationships between queer resistance and space. Resistance in this context is contingent upon the ability to queer those spaces already present. I recognize the necessity of safer spaces for queer communities, but also an inability for them to exist entirely separate from the larger society if the end goal is to affect broader change. To me, the role of rejection is the creation of temporary spaces and within certain instances. Rejection is not a sustainable and ongoing process like resistance.

Rejection: I believe rejection calls for a creation of altogether new discourses and ideologies that exist outside of dominant discourses. I do not recognize a full possibility for rejection to affect lasting change that influences structures and institutions. In order for something to be queer, something else needs to be defined as not queer. If there is an outside and an inside to queer, can rejection of dominant heteronormative discourses exist in a way that does more than rearticulate, repackage and redefine norms? Can queering as a means of rejection speak fully to the numerous ways in which one's subjectivity and community are eclipsed by dominant discourses?

Cathy J Cohen's essay, "Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens", is helpful for looking at the limitations of rejecting heteronormative discourses on gender and sexuality as it makes clear exclusionary practices queer enacts through defining itself as in direct opposition to heterosexuality. Working class folks, immigrants, and people of color who are non-normative in many ways (and heterosexual), are absent from this definition of queer. Cohen also discusses the hesitation by many LGBT people of color in using the word 'queer' to define themselves or their communities, recognizing the harsh connotations of the word in its previous usage and the unchecked whiteness in 'queer's' interpretation of gender and sexuality as the root cause of oppression. This discounts the experiences of folks who face multiple forms of oppression and view their sexuality and gender identity as secondary to other primary identities (such as race and class). I do not believe queer can include differently raced and classed understandings of LBGT people of color when it is largely defined by and for white queer folk whose knowledge of gender and sexuality is informed by their race and class. Having attended the White Privilege Conference two separate times, I can definitely speak to this, as LGBTQ caucuses at this conference have always been overwhelmingly white. This is also the case when one looks at queer spaces in Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Olympia Washington -all of which I have lived in and been present in activist communities.

Referencing Miranda Joseph again, I believe that queer privileges certain gender expressions and identities over others. Rocko Bulldagger offers a list of who is not included in the umbrella term of queer, citing "people of color", "femmes" and "trans women". If queer is truly fluid and holds radical potentiality, it will always need to do more than engage in a process of subversion. Taking the bottom and flipping it to the top may never be enough. Further, it may be impossible.

A friend of mine of who is a local hip hop artist in Minneapolis and identifies as a transgender woman asked once at a concert, "How many benefit parties have folks here attended for gender-confirming surgeries for trans men? Great! Now how many benefit parties have folks here attended for gender-confirming surgeries for trans women?" Maybe one or two people responded out of an audience of over 100. A good amount of those present identified as trans men or gender queer. The presence of trans women was absent, and the presence of cisgender feminine folks was lacking.

I am at Homo-a-Gogo a queer punk rock music and film festival in 2009 in San Francisco California. I am watching a performance by a cisgender high femme female and a trans male at the SOMA Arts building just a number of blocks from the location of the Compton Cafeteria Riots. The trans male performer is hyper-masculine in his presentation and has danced in front of, interrupted and cut-off his performing-partner numerous times in front of an audience of 400 people. Similar to the concert in Minneapolis, there were not many trans woman present and while cisgender femininity was present, it was often confronted with explicit misogyny.

What does it mean that trans women are largely absent from queer spaces? What does it mean that trans men who intend on presenting a queer form of masculinity are still using masculinity as a weapon of misogyny? I have trouble reading these two things as entirely separate. Especially considering the proximity I was in to the site of one of the first documented uprisings of trans women, queer men and other gender non-conforming folk. Police regularly harassed many of whom because they could not find stable employment outside of sex work. The Compton Cafeteria Riots predated the Stonewall Riots by 4 years.

In her book Whipping Girl, Julia Serrano states that we have moved beyond a place where folks can explicitly devalue women while valuing men. However, we have not reached a place where we equally value masculinity and femininity. By this reading, masculinity is more desirable and natural while femininity is superfluous and fake. The absence of queer femininities in queer spaces implies that masculinity holds more value than femininity at least in its malleability and fluidity. Serrano interprets the absence of femininity, and the hostility directed at femininity within queer spaces when it is present, as an internalization of misogyny and sexism. Serrano means to make visible an implicitly held view that seemingly renders anyone who would 'choose' feminine gender identities and expressions as compliant in their own oppression. Serrano also states that expressions of femininity are often understood primarily through consumption. If we are to take this seriously, that means that expressions of masculinity are embodied in oneself while expressions of femininity are possible only through purchasing feminine clothes and makeup.

A friend of mine who self-identifies as politically radical, queer, and femme wrote a zine about classed assumptions many held within queer communities regarding femininity. The zine was well received by some and read as divisive and dismissed by others. By offering these critiques, those who dismissed her believed she had created a problem, rather than calling attention to something that was already there.

JJ Halberstam in their book, The Queer Art of Failure, calls for all queers to embrace the darkness, illegibility, for the purposes of expanding the potential of LGBTQ social movements. Halberstam calls on us to directly reject heteronormativity, to fail and to fail well. Halberstam's definition of failure is myopic, as it does not address the material implications of failure for marginalized populations who experience multiple forms of oppression. Can undocumented immigrants afford to fail? What of the under employed, the impoverished, the homeless, the under and uninsured? Where do we place racism and classism in this politics? Where do we place chemical dependency, seroconversion, physical and sexual violence? The reality is that only a select few can afford to outright reject dominant discourses. Further, those who can reject may only be able to do so through limited means and only within certain context. Halberstam did not fail at getting their book published, nor did they fail to fill an auditorium and reap a handsome honorarium for speaking of the Queer Art of Failure. I do not mean this to be as snarky as it comes off. I actually adore JJ Halberstam (and not just because they complimented me on my outfit when I met them). I mean more to draw attention to irony.

On the Blog: I loved the use of the blog for this course and for multiple reasons. I believe it facilitated deeper conversation and understanding of many topics and theorizations addressed in this class. For me, it made the class feel more like a community rather than individual students seeking to pass a course. Seeing what my classmates had to say and being encouraged to directly engage with their words definitely improved my understanding of topics. I also appreciate the public posting of writings as it more thoroughly engages with Freirean pedagogies that highly value the ability of students and professor alike to contribute knowledge to the classroom. Something happens when one writes publicly. The author loses a degree of ownership over their writing, as it has been given over to others for their interpretation. Gloria Anzaldúa understood her published writing in a similar fashion.

I did not like twitter unfortunately. I successfully resisted getting a twitter account until this class and believe I only posted about half the things on twitter as I was supposed to.

For my third and final direct engagement, I decided to directly engage with my extra reading which was in the form of an iPhone/iPad application, extremely late, as is my ordinary fashion. I first want to queer the idea of a Direct Engagement because if I'm not mistaken, this is one of the only extra readings of its kind and perhaps the only non-reading, extra reading. I think it's an incredible way to queer the idea of an extra reading by having not only an interactive piece, but also a very unconventional and one typically not associated with academia: cellphones and tablets. I typically think of iPhones and iPads of as rich, white people toys, yet Kate Bornstein breaks that barrier and creates an interactive application to explore the topic of her book. The application itself comes with a tutorial that explains how the application functions, which I still found difficult after completing the tutorial several times. The main screen of the application is a deck of cards which you can flick through to find one that you like. Once you click on one, the card will turn over and show one of Bornstein's various techniques to "stay alive." She offers hundreds of alternatives to suicide to young people that may think that that is the only option. They range from getting a make over, modifying your body, doing something illegal, having promiscuous sex, remaining celibate, helping another person, telling a lie, and on and on and on. Bornstein says that you can do anything that helps you remain alive as long as you aren't mean. I'm actually glad that I was so late to do this direct engagement so that I can discuss the conversation we had about her choice to say "mean" in the discussion following my presentation. We were perplexed with her choice of the word "mean" because it seemed to lack a definitive meaning, if you will, and consequently have a murkier path for us to follow. In her blog, Bornstein even addresses the fact that their isn't really a clear definition of mean, yet still wants us to follow it. We pondered with why she didn't chose something more active, such as "put love out into the world," as opposed to the passive, "don't be mean." I think Bornstein is successfully targeting a younger, tech savvy group with her app, Hello Cruel World, which may be what it takes to meet the needs of young teens who are struggling with their identity.

Final Rap-Up!! LOL

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1)
My tracking term was bodies and material experience. I have come to the conclusion that experience is both subjective and objective. Obvious, you say!! Yes it is however; I believe that we rarely think of how are bodies are spoken for in normative discourses. In many ways our bodies are fragmented making it hard to define what materiality is. We have been taught though science that seeing is more reliable that feeling in in that way we are disconnected from the material. This is where I think Descartes became a useful source for me. He came to the conclusion that he exists because he thinks. All bodily and materiality could be doubted away. Why is that? He thought that the body was fallible and unreliable; he thought that the objective state was more credible. This is where I think queering objectivity becomes useful when looking at the body. Who is able to be objective is questioned, when we know how stratification decides who has the ability to define bodies. Though this objectives gaze bodies are rendered unintelligible. In Butler's "Bodies that Matter" she discussed the performativity of bodies with in the heterosexual matrix. For Butler we only come in to materiality though the performance of norms. I think this is absolutely true, can we live in a society with out being influenced by community building though norms. The film "Paris is burning" highlights bodies as a performance of norms by queer bodies. The more real one appears the better, the closer they come to being seen as normal by the outside world. The performance renders the body both intelligible and false. It is merely a construction of society.
2)
So what is queering to me, it is a way of reframing what appears to be natural. It is a constant questioning, one something becomes intelligible it need to be called in to re-questioning. I think this is important as to not create new norms, which again leaves some on the margins. I like the resources on Homonationalism (http://blog.lib.umn.edu/puot0002/quet2011/2011/11/homonationalism-finale.html
posted by Kelly.
There is a need to assess they way in which power can work though multiple forms of discourse. How does lesbian/gay identity get taken up to assert fear or power over people of color? This was most visible after 9/11, we as "Americans" were reduced to national bodies. At that moment we were supposed to be unified as one. Even though that ONE was a problematic hetero-normative identity. It momentarily included the lesbian/gay community at the expense of others. I think these are important questions asked within queer theory. For Butler we are never outside the Matrix and due to this there is always a need to question. I think that the Queer This assignments were most helpful in attempting to define queer theory. Every thin should be queered, Language, images...EVERYTHING!
3)
The process of tracking terms was at times a difficult process. I came into the assignment with an idea of what I thought it meant. However it was not just a simple explanation. Though tracking the term came the understanding of what it means to queer something. Looking for sources that were not academic was the most difficult for me. I was about not being so reliant on normative ways of learning and understanding. Often with in the context of the University, it feels like we are not supposed to trust our knowledge. We are told over and over again not to look on the Internet for information as it is un-trust worthy. Which in part is true and yet information out there can be more honest more real, if you will. Using the blog was useful to me, in that I got to engage with others in the class out side of the university setting. I felt at times that I could be more honest in my comments. Also I think that it gave me greater flexibility with my time. I could go back and revisit what I said and have the opportunity to change or add to my thoughts. Others could give their impute which was helpful in shaping my arguments in later post. Twitter on the other hand was less useful. I forgot that it was even a part of the class. I stated in my first live tweet that I would have been nice if the live feed was on the blog during class.
I will admit that at first I did not want to blog or tweet as I had done it in a previous class. I think that I was better this time around because the class was small and intimate. I don't think its as helpful in large classed, things get lost in the clutter. I'm less willing to read what others write if there is too much. This forum did add to my understanding of queer theory as have previously stated. (Sorry to be redundant)! The classroom setting was clearly queered, we held class outside and online. This made the class more accessible and comfortable for me.

Annotated bib yo :)

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One of the difficulties I had when trying to explore the term "queer youth" is how think about the possibility and improbability of being able to "locate" each of the term and then putting them into conversation with each other. I decided to try to more concretely "locate" the term youth and then explore how one can "queer" youth instead of assuming that youth as an identity or space is inherently queer/ed. I did this by trying to establish youth, through the use of subcultural studies, as being "divided" into different spaces.

Source 1 (Book)
a. Goths, Gamers, and Grrrls: Deviance and Youth Subcultures

b. Ross Haenfler

c. This source is a an exploration, from a sociological framework, of various characteristics of youth subcultures. It introduces the discussions and arguments within subcultural studies of how to best "study" or discuss youth subcultures as well as an overview of some of the dominant ideals and beliefs within the field. He begins the book with a brief overview of some of the theoretical beliefs and frameworks when exploring subcultural studies; theories like the chicago school, social ecology and strain theory; Centre for contemporary cultural studies; and "post-subcultural" and "clubculture" theories. It also presents definitions of various concepts like labeling, differential association and etc. The book itself also focuses on the aspect of subcultures as resistance and deviance and what these terms mean and used within subcultural studies.

d. I thought this source to be particularly interesting because whenever I try to explore the term "youth" much of the scholarship tends to be framed within a "subcultural" type of structure of discussion. Many of the sources I've been running into have discussed the term "youth" as subjects being acted upon and not as actors. Often time I am presented with an interesting question when trying to connect the two terms "queer" and "youth" because how can one then yolk these two terms together when each term itself becomes/is contested depending on the space and context one uses them?
This source present a nice overview of youth subcultural studies itself because often times when one tries to define what a "subculture" is it becomes intimately linked with the term "youth."

e. I found this source... well this was a book among many that one of my professors in the youth studies department gave/lent me. I've been looking for an excuse to be able to read and use this source because aside from an issue of how privilege gets hidden or covered within the framework of the book overall it was a very interesting read.

f. Haenfler, Ross. Goths, Gamers, & Grrls; deviance and youth subcultures. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2010. Print.

Source 2 (TV)

a. South park season 6 episode 16: Future self n' me

b. Trey Parker and Matt Stone
c. I wanted to bring this source in to put into conversation how mainstream discourse constructs ideas of youth or youthdom. In this episode the parents in south park used a scare tactic where they told the youth that a time portal brought in their future self. These "future" selves were constructed as drug addicts, moochers and degenerates. In the end of the episode the youth ends up finding out that this was all a hoax and that the parents were just afraid to talk to them about drugs but still want them to turn out "decent."
d. I wanted to bring this source in because it presents an image of youth/dom that many within a "western" lens brings to the table. Youth gets talked about as growing into or as "becoming" into something else. Youth is an identity can never be occupied indefinitely. In this episode of south park they present the fear that actions or behaviors that are apparent during ones youth affect how someone turns out or they do not turn out as the ideal citizen of the state.
e. I found this source by watching an incredible amount of south park... it's sad but true.
f.
Source 3 (Book again)
a. The Post-Subcultures Reader
b. Various authors, edited by David Muggleton and Rupert Weinzierl
c. This is a reader devoted to trying to interrogate the possibilities of moving beyond subcultural studies. This book tries to explore the limitations of current ways subcultural studies have framed their discourse and tries to move past that calling for a better way to understand and capture the fluidity and complexity of the youth experience. It places into question the usefulness of subcultural studies.
d. This source was far more useful in trying to place into conversation the terms youth and queer. Unlike the first source in this post where he is much more willing to work under current frameworks of subcultural studies this book interrogates to very frameworks of studying youth and youthdom. The contributors to this post subcultural reader tries to present a framework of studies that is much better suited to capturing the fluidity, fragmentation and fluctuation of youth identity and youth spaces. Much like how queer theorist try to interrogate "established" discourses and spaces this reader does much similar work.
e. I found this again in a stack of books that one of my professors gave/lent me.
f. D. Muggleton & R. Weinzierl (Eds.), The Post-Subcultures Reader New York: Oxford international Publishers ltd.

Final Wrap Up

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1. When posed with the assignment to discus the terms surviving and thriving, I wanted to discuss their individual meanings and compare and contrast the two. I wanted to find a way to link them together and put them in convesation with one another in order to uncover why they had been linked with one another. My trusty Merriam Webster dictionary defines surviving as, "to remain or continue in existence." I few apply this to the It Gets Better Project, we can think of suvival as literally remaining alive in the fae of harassment and bullying where suicide seems like the only option. Thriving, in contrast, is defined by Merriam Webster as being fortunate, prospering, or being successful. I see the two as linked but not mutually constitutive of each other: one does not need the other in order for it to exist. One may survive without thriving, which is a cmmon critique of the It Gets Better Project. (critique article comment). While some may physically survive their adolescent years, they may not go on to succeed and thrive later on in life. The "It Gets Better Project" also defines success in a very specific, homonormative way. This brings us to Halperstam's critique of success in their book, "The Queer Art of Failure." In his own personal video submission to the project, Dan Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, describes the ways that they were able to survive the bullying and harassment from their peers and family members and grow up to live "normal" lives. The way they define their success is through an extremely normative framework: they joined a monogamous relationship, adopted a child, participated in Capitalism, etc. Their definition of life improving and "getting better" relies on one very specific definition of success.

2. What is queering? Upon first entering this class, I had minimal prior knowledge of what it meant to "queer" something. I only had a notion of queer as a sexual identity. I never had terribly positive feligns towards the classification "queer" because I felt it grouped me under an umbrella term where I didn't fully belong. Upon reading E. Patrick Johnson's piece, "Everything I Learned About Quare Studies I learned from my Grandma," I realized that he had nailed my feelings exactly: that "queer" homogenized oppression. I knew that my experience as a white gay, male bodied, cisgendered individual was vastly different than a lesbian woman of color, a male to female transgendered person, or a Latina, bisexual female. Johnson put my feelings into words by stating how suffering is trivialized when we group every person with a non-normative sexuality into one large medley of otherness. I had only learned about queer as a verb froma previous Gay Men and Homophobic class which defined queering as turning something on its side. I struggled to understand this word I had previously only thought of as a noun and change my usage to verb form.
I began to understand queering as a critique, a way to change the way we view an object, space, institution, a way to question normativity and offer another view entirely. I began to understand queering as a way to understand the deeper intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, ableism, (the list goes on and on, however I don't wish to be disrespectful and trivialize any other "isms") and how they affect the way we interact in the world. I was immediately troubled with how we would queer things for the Queer This! assignment, but I began to understand that we were looking at perhaps popular culture or politics through the lens of a queer theorist.

3. In looking back on the process of tracking my term, I realize how strongly this project has affected me emotionally. I think studying the "It Gets Better Project" guaranteed that it would be an emotional project simply because of the nature of project and what it was created for. When the news began to begin to report on the anti-gay bullying related suicides, (Note: I say begin to report because GLBT teens are statistically more likely to commit suicide so I argue that because of the particular political climate of the country, these stories struck an emotional nerve with the country,) I watched in horror at the way that our society had given these kids no choice in their eyes but to end their lives. Having experienced bullying as a child/teen because I performed a different gender than most other boys at my age, I could feel for those kids. I understood their pain, yet to a vastly different level because suicide was never on my radar as an option. I was particuarlly struck by the story of Jamey Rodemeyer, a fourteen year who had created an "It Gets Better Project" video submission, urging teens to seek the validation and support from friends and pop culture icon, Lady Gaga. The horrible irony was that several months after posting the video, Jamey did in fact take his own life. His story garnered incredible media attention, which I believe was because of the fact that he had created an "It Gets Better" video prior to his death.
Through tracking this term, I learned to question the way we define success or what we consider life "getting better." I was also interested in critiques that said that for some people, it didn't always "get better." They said that there wasn't a universal, optimist outlook and sometimes people's lives got harder after high school, or simply stayed the same.
I found the blog to be a helpful tool because it allowed us to continue conversations outside of class. While I thought this was great in theory, I found that it made the conversation never ending. I find it helpful for me to separate class time with other aspects of life and the blog made it so that I constantly should've been online participating. I found Twitter to be an after thought, partially because I have a personal Twitter account so I never checked my academic one.

Final Wrap-up!

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My understanding of Gender
My understanding of gender is that it insinuates a way of expressing oneself. Gender is the way in which a person acts. Gender is different from sex as Butler suggests in that sex is used within the scientific field stating whether a person is male or female based on their genitalia. My understanding of gender has been partly shaped by what Judith Butler has insinuated. Gender is a performance, a way of performing ones body in many different ways; performing manufactured acts as Butler suggests from her book "Gender Trouble."Gender again for me is the understanding of what is or what can be "normalized." How can we normalize such bodies? Also, when I think about gender the most basic thing to question is the concept of heteronormativity and how it plays a role in shaping our understanding of not just gender, but also sex, and sexuality.
Within my first presentation i wanted to get the gist of what the term gender may mean. In my first bibliography i described gender by using a scholarly article that used media, Gender and identity. In this article the author described gender as a performance by using Butler. My other two sources were news reports regarding gender. One of these two articles reported the hardship a young man had to deal with because of his gender. The other one was about a young girl who was trapped in a boy's body. By presenting these two articles as well as the scholarly article they point to the issue of gender and how it is constructed within society. As I continued my research on the term gender, i wanted to look at the issues regarding how transgender people are viewed and recognized within society/media. I found a lot of great articles that touched base on the very issues transgender people are dealing with today and have always had to deal with. For my second bibliography I used Kate Bornstein's "Gender outlaw". This book touched base on how Kate felt through her experience in being a transgender person. In my second source i focused on Leslie Feinberg's "Trans Liberation Pink or Blue". This book focused on the ways in transgender people are treated within society. She then focused on the pink-blue dogma. The idea that if you are a girl you must like (wear)pink, if you are a boy you must like (wear) blue. This was an interesting way in which gender can be discussed. For my third source in my second bibliography i used an article that describes the climate surrounding transgender people at MU. This article points out how the Missouri University supports and protects transgender people.
In my final bibliography i wanted to go back to focusing on the ways in which the media uses pronouns in regards to transgender people by referring to two new reports focusing on transgender children, but i also wanted to use Julia Serano's "Whipping Girl" to further explore the ways in which the terms sex and gender are used within society as well as the ways in which transgender people are referred to outside of the transgender community. She also attempts to analyze the term transgender.

Why my term is important to Queering Theory
This term i think, is powerful when looking at queering theory. For me, i don't think we can begin to understand queering theory without the concept of gender because it glorifies the ways in which the term queer is brought up. when people think about the term gender they often first think about male or female, but then when the term is further complicated people tend to move onto thinking and questioning the differences of gender and what i mean by that is thinking about gay/lesbian/bisexual/intersex/trans people and how they're bodies can further complicate the concept of gender.

A word reflection on the question: what is queering?
Queering is for me is a mix of many things and these things may include performing oneself, noticing a space that has been unnoticed or one didn't want to be noticed, thinking of ones identity/identities. All these things i think refer to the idea of normalcy. In thinking about this i want to draw upon Gina's mash-up as well as Scott's mash-up.
The mash-up is all about describing what we as a class think what queering is so I'm going to start by referring to Gina's mash-up. Gina did her mash-up on performativity. I think this would describe part of what queering is all about. This is what Gina said in her mash-up, "For me queering is calling to the forefront the notion of naturalizations and norms both visible and invisible." This suggestion helps me understand what queering can be. To me the idea of performativity relates to queering because by performing ones idenitity you are performing based on your gender. Gina relates to Gabe's post about National coming Out Day and how the only reson they have to come out is because they are presumed herterosexual/heteronormative until they say differently. This a major issue as Gabe point's out. This for me questions and makes me think about the the term queer and how we as a society can articulate it.
Now i want to turn my attention to Scott's mash-up because this also is way for me to understand what the term queer means. In Scott's mash-up her turns to the idea of queering a space. I want to share what Scott says in his mash-up, "One can "queer" a space, either by drawing attention to something that others hadn't/didn't want to notice before one made it visible/brought it to their attention. One can queer a space through migration, through taking up space that is otherwise normative and transforming it into something else." This for me also describes what queering can mean. I like how Scott suggests, "queering a space by taking up a space is otherwise normative and transforming it into something else. I think this may be the very essence of what queering may mean. I also think that in defining what queer is like Scott explains in his post one will often define queer by discussing what queer is Not and in doing this i think that it can help us as a society to understand what queer may be.
In both of these i think that the idea behind queering is to understand normalcy and the ways in which identities can be formed and transformed as well as to understand how spaces can be transformed in to essentially non-normative spaces as scott suggests.

Word reflection on the process of tracking my term
While being in queering theory i learned a lot about the concepts of normativity, performance, identity, the ways in gender are expressed as well as the ways in which sex and gender as well as sexuality are expressed not only through academia, but through media as well. I learned a lot about how something and/or one can be viewed as queer. I also enjoyed learning about all the different terms each of us in the class focused on. I learned quite a bit about the term gender and how it is constructed. Also, before i was a GWSS major i had never really thought this hard and differently about the term gender and since joining the GWSS department i've learned so much about the differences in how people think.
The process of writing on the blog was really good. I enjoyed writing all the assignments we had to do as well as the continuation of our discussion we had in class. This was a great way to enhance my learning because it gave me an opportunity to see my classmates comments, to see what they are thinking. I think it's always helpful to have others comments because it makes you think sometimes in a whole new way or it may just help you re-ehanance your understanding of the subject. Its also a great way to know exactly what the teacher wants.
Although, i throughly enjoyed writing on the blog it did get a bit annoying having to come on here so often, but in the long run i really enjoyed it.
On the other hand, twitter was more-so annoying than helpful to me. Since i never had a twitter before this class i wasn't used to it, but i am glad that i used it at least once because it gave me a new way to communicate with my classmates. To be honest i'd much rather use the blog than twitter just because it appeals to me more so. The fact that we can only use so many words on twitter is annoying to me, but i suppose we can queer that right?
For future students i would like to say that the blog is fun and very useful for the learning aspect, but it's also a fun way to connect with your classmates when not referring to assignments. Also, it is easier to understand what your teacher wants you to do because it is all laid out on the screen for you plus by using the blog you save on paper as well. For twitter I'd try it out even if you think you don't like it because it can be a learning experience.
The connections i can draw between queering theory and blogging/tweeting is that these online tools can help a lot when discussing academia surrounding queering theory. since we as a society have become so online- wary by using online media we can facilitate what we want to discuss and usually it is anything and everything. For example, i really loved the idea of the Queer This! assignment because it made each of us think of things that can be queered. It was a way for us to use pictures, videos, art, etc to express what we thought was queer. This was a fun aspect of the class, i throughly enjoyed it. The blog and twitter enabled us to think about queer; by assigning us all of these assignments we could use readings/ research of our own to discuss what queering theory means.

I really enjoyed this class! Thanks Sara for being such a great professor! This class taught me so many new things about the idea of queer, the issues surrounding differences in gender, sex, sexuality, the ways in which media plays a part, the ways in which hegemony plays a part, etc.

Bodies/Material Experiences: Annotated Bibliography 2

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1.a. Revolting Bodies? The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity (Chapter 7 The Queerness of Fat)revoltingbodies.jpg
b. Kathleen Le Besco
c. Le Besco draws on connections between fat and queer identity in chapter 7. She speaks of a cause seeking rhetoric in which their is a strong desire to fix one's queerness or fatness. She gives the example of searching for a "gay" or "fat" gene that may help to explain or correct the queer of fat identity of someone. Why in our culture is there this need to explain away modes of being? This mode that she talks of being explained away is fat and queer people, which seem to be manifesting some underlying problem, deviancy.
Stigmatized Individuals
1) Hypersexual
2) Animalistic
3) Overvisible
Le Besco continues by explaining to see fat as a subset of queerness and fat admiration as another part of sexuality. To draw upon fat within the gay community she mentions the ostracization of fat, where gay men have become obsessed with appearance and normality. Although is overall seen as a feminizing characteristic (roundness, softness) in the lesbian community women can gain strength through fatness. Whereas, gay men acquire fatness and achieve woman-like qualities and weakness.
[UN]Outing
Le Besco refers to outing in fat politics as the use of language by skinny individuals. For example, "I'm so fat" is a call for help/reassurance that the individual who proclaims this is actually not fat. It is also used for this group of people to bond i.e. "Oh, you're not fat". People who are truly fat then do not have these conversations because it would out them. Le Besco gives three categories in which fat people fall within
1) Out and About-owning and embracing one's fatness
2) Silent types- the downplaying of the relevance on one's size
3)Traitors-she speaks of the person who once stood for and embraced fatness is
now against of ambivalent
d. As I was reading I kept thinking of fat people in pop culture and where they fall within fat politics and/or where I think they fall. Do these people exert agency through their fat identities. Are they out and about, silent, or traitors? I think it may be helpful to read a couple other chapter out of this book in particular. What I was really hoping for was to get various perspectives from different authors from Le Besco's The Fat Studies Reader. It is unfortunately checked out from our library :(.
e. Sara recommended this book after discussion of my first annotated bibliography. While meeting with Sara in her office she gave me the call number for the book. I checked this book out from Wilson library here at the U.
f. Le Besco, Kathleen. Revolting Bodies?:The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity. USA: University of Massachusetts Press. Book.

2.
a.Glamour Magazine: Beth Ditto's New Clothing Line
b. glamour.com
c.bethditto_lovemag_naked_cover-756378.jpgNME_Beth_Ditto.jpg
Beth, singer and fashion icon, was quoted as saying "I want to make clothes for big girls". British department store Evans agreed. After looking at the clothing line, which was prompted and inspired by Beth, I was shocked to see average to thin women modeling the clothes. Because Beth herself is so big into fashion and because the line was influenced by hew own clothing, why wasn't Beth modeling? What is the face of Evans? Why wasn't Beth used? Is Beth what LeBesco deems as Out and About? According to the Glamour article the answer is yes. They state, "She's plus-sized and proud of it. She wears brightly patterned skin-tight dresses, loud accessories and all the other stuff that fussy old style folks would say is a no-no for anyone over size 2. And, you know what? They're all total DOs on her, especially as she's so full of spunk and confidence". What if she wasn't so full of "spunk" and confidence? Would this change Beth's ability to reach a large audience? Would she be seen as lazy or disgusting instead of confident and forward?0618beth-ditto-for-evans_fa.jpg
0618beth-ditto-for-evans2_fa.jpg
d. I searched Beth Ditto on google because Scotty had recommended using Beth for an informal source. I pulled up the cover on NME, which he had specifically mentioned. After pulling of various videos and article on Beth I came across her clothing line which came out in 2009. I would like to find more on Beth today and where and how fat identity comes to light in her life and if it does.
e. Lomrantz, Tracey. "Beth Ditto's New Clothing Line: Cheap & Chic & Plus Sized".
Glamour.com. 18 June 2009. Web 12 Dec. 2011.

3.
a.Big Fat Deal (A Blog that proclaims to be happy with whatever weight you happen to be).
b. Monique "mo pie" van den Berg, Weetabix, and Jen "jen fu" Larsen
c. The Big Fat Deal began in 2004 because Monique was in search of a blog which focused on the portrayal of weight in pop culture in both a negative and positive light. Monique boasts that her focus is fat positivity and writes, "We've talked on this blog about all kinds of contributors to overweight--from genetics to sexual abuse to illness. It's fucking COMPLEX, and people who are just like, "Die, fatties, die!" negate that complexity and simply make themselves look simplistic and dumb. Not to mention the fact that a person's body is nobody else's business, when it comes down to it". Monique here when referencing genetics is channeling Le Besco and her explanation of a cause seeking rhetoric. Where there seems to be this urge to correct fatness by trying to/figuring out ways to repair the deviancy.
d.I would like to read more of the comments posted on different enteries. There are tons of comment on various topics from celebrities, advocacy, weight loss, fatism, fat positivity, and more.
e. Larsen, Jen, Monique "mo pie" van den Berg, Weetabix. "Big Fat Deal". July 2004. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.

I thought this was a very fitting conversation to have right before winter break. What do you think about taking the word gay out of this song?

Remix/Redux/Revisit ME!

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For my remix I would like to revisit Luhmann Queering/querying pedagogy.
Then
When we first visited this article, I thought the concept was less than interesting. I thought the she was over complicating the educational system. While I understand the space of the University is problematic, the language she used seemed to defeat her point (in my opinion).

Now:
I loved the way in which this class was approached. Using the class as a way to disrupt normative class structure, added to my understanding of queer theory. Often I did not feel as if there was an authority figure in the class. Which made giving an opinion, or contributing did not feel like a struggle. I do think that it is important to look back on the work we have done. But I do wonder if it had been this way if the class was bigger. I think this form of education is better in a smaller setting. I thing the environment was one that was more excepting of different opinions. I have a greater understanding of difficult readings such as Butler due to having multiple ways of connecting with the readings. For example, what we discuss in class can be moved to the blog or twitter. It also help to be able to read blog entries of others to deepen my understanding or see topics from other view points. When I look back at the Luhmann article I understand more clearly what she was asserting. I do like that I have a way to look back at work, and have the opportunity to share with other. As long as it is available!! When others ask what is queer theory I can refer them to this blog. It is helpful, this is not the easiest topic to explain.

Queering Ecology

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I'm submitting this as an additional Queer this! even though I know folks will likely not have the time to comment on it. More so food for thought.

If one is to admit that rodents can have empathy and express pro-social behavior, than we have to acknowledge that rodents aren't robotic creatures that operate solely on instinct. They feel, think, communicate and have their own culture. Applying narratives that define this in terms of human perceptions of the world is misguided, but there is definitely something to be learned from this. Especially when we allow ourselves to reconsider the space we take up and how we move through the world.

This quote is brilliant and is a way in which non human animal's culture and social interactions can teach us a lot about how to be better humans. "When we act without empathy we are acting against our biological inheritance," Mason said. "If humans would listen and act on their biological inheritance more often, we'd be better off."http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2011/12/08/helping-your-fellow-rat-rodents-show-empathy-driven-behavior

Final Wrap Up

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Resist/Reject:
My tracking term this semester was resist/ reject. For my own understanding, I have decided that the two terms mean different things. I discussed this in my Remix/Redux/Revisit post when I talked about how disidentification helped me to understand the difference. To reject implies that one can completely disengage, operate outside of power. I don't really believe this is possible or useful. Rather, resistance is a more effective strategy, working from within to disrupt or renegotiate norms. Resistance is integral to the queer practice, which seeks to question and work against normalizing forces. Rejection, however problematic, also becomes important in talking about queer. My presentation and second bibliography were centered on resisting homonormativity, whereas my third bibliography focuses on rejecting, sometimes resisting, other groups. In resisting homonormativity, it is impossible to disengage with or completely reject powerful normalizing influences, but in the rejection of another group, we can see the kinds of coalition building and alliances, present in the realm of the queer, which get lost in wars between disputing factions and communities. In my opinion, rejection has no place in queering. This practice ignores the ways in which power relationships between individuals, groups, and media/juridical forces exist and cannot be avoided. In rejecting these relationships, we can ignore some of the ways we are kept in bondage to our own identities and at odds with others. I believe that queering requires and active resistance to norms, so one must always be conscious of what those norms are and how they are operating.

Queer:
What is queering? Now that's the question, is it not? I have come to understand queering as a practice which questions the seemingly natural forces of normalization and seeks to combat against them. Perhaps that is even going too far. Perhaps queering is merely the questioning itself. When I think about the ways we have used it in terms of the Queer This! assignments, this seems to be the case. To queer was, in this case, to look at something in the media or pop culture and question its validity, its reason for existing in the form it does. Perhaps queering also involves a reclaiming, such as Luhmann seems to suggest when she writes about the change in perception towards the term itself. Luhmann also asserts that queering is not a project directly concerned with gender and sexuality. So, I will ask the question I have been asking all term, which is whether or not queering is for general use or is the appropriation of queer from the lesbian and gay work that seemingly produced it somehow wrong. In my own view, queering has much potential beyond looking at issues of sex and gender, but I also feel that to understand the practice and how it can be used it is useful to look at texts like Gender Outlaws and That's Revolting!, which indeed concern themselves with issues of sex and gender. In a way, that's kind of beautiful...Just like how an undergraduate student cannot resist learning about minority women when learning about the term intersectionality, perhaps no one is able to engage academically with the term queer without first looking to the community responsible for its rise in the academy.

Process:
1. As I knew it would be since my first bibliography, tracking my term was difficult. It was difficult in the sense that my assigned words do not really have much meaning unless put into context, which means that they can be applied to many different kinds of topics and situations. I was able to narrow it down best when I read That's Revolting. My entire process would have gone smoother had I engaged with that text earlier. However, the project was still difficult to some degree even after I read my supplemental reading, because for me, resisting homonormative culture is not the "be all, end all" in terms of the relationship between resist/ reject to queer theory and practice. So the issue for me then was how to re-broaden the scope of my research after having looked so closely at one particular form of resistance/rejection.

2. I'll admit it. At the beginning of this class I was so not into the technical innovations we were going to be using. However, I will admit that I have warmed up to the blog as a particularly useful, and academically queer, space for conversation and interrogation. The blog was awesome. It was so neat to be able to use non-traditional sources in such a way that does not flatten them, like when lines from a movie or TV show are transcribed into a paper. I thoroughly enjoyed a space in which I could link my work directly to other posts or directly to sources. That is something academia needs to pick up and run with. Maybe en masse it would fail to be queer, which I suppose is part of its appeal, but it would be very useful. In my own opinion, however, I think Twitter is decidedly less useful. Although I toyed with the idea that live-Tweeting could be a form a queer note taking, I'm not sure that will really catch on. In fact, throughout the term I found myself using Twitter as an afterthought, only when I had to Tweet sources as an assignment. Perhaps this tool is useful for some, but sadly for our purposes I found it unnecessary. I would definitely encourage other students to at least give these resources a try. Even having to use them a few times tends to de-center you in a way, which can be a useful way to queer the academic process.

Remix/Redux/Revisit/Resist/Reject

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For my Remix/Redux/Revisit blog entry, I want to talk about my first annotated bibliography on my tracking term(s) Resist/ Reject.

Then:
My concept of what resisting of rejecting could mean or look like was very narrow at this time. My first bibliography was pretty much dedicated to defining the term(s) in their most basic forms or uses.

Now:
I still stand by my assertion that to resist and to reject are related, but do not mean exactly the same. Scott and I discussed this idea when looking at Munoz's article on disidentification. To reject is to completely disengage with something, the opposite of assimilation in some ways, but to resist is to engage with the system and rework it to serve your own needs or to disrupt normative patterns, such as performing disidentifications. In this understanding, resistance is more possible and probably more useful than rejection. To attempt to be outside of something, be it an issue or a community, is to allow it to exist uninterrupted.

When I say that I had a narrow view of what rresistance/rejection could look like, I mean that I had not really engaged with That's Revolting! yet or Gender Outlaws, which both helped me to see the ways in which resistance to hetero- and homo- normative forces and expectations can be so very different in the lives of different individuals and communities. I don't think anything I said in my first bibliography was wrong, but I do feel like I was just groping around try to make some sense of the direction I would be heading.
In this case, it is useful to look back at old entries to see how my own understandings have expanded in such a short time. However, I am a very self-critical person, and perhaps judging my first impressions on a topic is a little cruel to my former self. Also, I fear the emergence of a narrative of progress here, the idea that I might be a better person because I now have seen more diverse forms of resistance, or because I have finished this project, as if my own minor research is enough to fully understand the scope of such broad terms. Perhaps looking forward serve to keep us humble.

Annotated Bibliography 3: Resist/ Reject

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For this entry, I wanted to step back from looking at the ways in which groups and communities resist and reject specific ideas and oppressions, but look at how some actually resist and reject each other, which I have come to see as a distinctly non-Queer practice, if based only on the normalizing categories of gender and sexual orientation into which people choose to divide or separate.

a. "Interview: Queer Notions"

b. Cherry Smyth, interviewed by Amy Hamilton (also bbr)

c. This piece is an interview with Cherry Smyth about the Queer Movement and Queer politics at an early point in its development, which the article states to have "emerged as a mobilized force in April 1990" (p. 12). While this interview covers a wide variety of topics, what I found most pertinent to the topic of this submission was the positioning of Queer as new way for gay men and lesbians to work together, because of its focus on questioning categories and norms. Smyth says, "For some younger women the separatism of the feminist community is no longer relevant; they don't want to separate from gay men. There has been no way to be with men and still be seen as a feminist and a lesbian except by working around queer issues" (p. 12). What makes her statements somewhat ironic, or possibly just gives it context, is that between the pages of this interview there is included (accidentally, I assume, because it shares half a page with the interview) an op-ed piece entitled "Why I Think Gay Men are Sexist". This piece is written by a lesbian (bbr) who, after deciding she was fed up with the California gay (male) scene, "...slowly came to the realization that these gay men were the patriarchy I was fighting as a lesbian feminist" (p. 15). To support her conclusion, she cites anecdotal experiences in which she was subjected to misogyny and sexism from gay men and witnessed the economic power disparity between these men and herself, as well as other women.

d. These two pieces, put in conversation, highlight one of the aims of Queer as not only resisting/rejecting oppressive hetero-normativities, but recognizing those homo-normalizing trends within the lesbian a gay communities that often serve only to keep them separate. These pieces encourage me to look at my additional source material for this submission, which I think help to exemplify the gay/lesbian conflict which Queer seeks to address.

e. I found this source on J-Stor. At the time, I wasn't sure in which direction I wanted to take my last submission. When I found this article, I knew I had a gem. It seemed so perfect to me that these two pieces were placed next to each other on the page.

f. Smyth, Cherry, and Amy Hamilton. "Interview: Queer Notions." Off Our Backs. 22.9 (1992): 12-15. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. .

a. "Relating to Dyke Separatists: Hints for the Non-Separatist Lesbian"

b. Marty and S.E.P.S.

c. This piece is exactly what its title suggests. It is a bullet pointed list of suggestions of what not to do and/or say in the presence of a dyke separatist, a lesbian who chooses to disassociate herself with men. While this piece (originally a poster, I believe) has some useful points, such as:
"Most womyn are survivors of men's rape and abuse. Most lesbians in one way or another have been the targets of male assault and sexual crimes. Don't assume that we are separatists because we have been unusually vicitimized by men.
• Don't assume a separatist is a survivor of rape and incest.
• Don't assume that she is not.
• Don't assume that you are not."
However, what I find troubling about dyke separatism is that it is a practice based on the hatred on men. One of the points read:
"Do not protest in dismay or horror when we say pricks/puds/smegma/------ for whom are commonly referred to as men & boys. Maybe you think those terms are 'inhuman,' 'extreme,' 'horrendous,' 'unfair.' The crimes that men and boys have committed against womyn and girls are inhuman, horrendous and unforgivable. We name our enemy accordingly."
In my opinion, the flaw in this logic is the idea that hating someone back or seeking revenge is a productive means of protecting oneself or one's community from misogyny, or is productive in any way. However, my point in including this piece is not really to judge the merit of the argument, but to show some of the disconnect between separatist, self proclaimed or not, lesbian and gay communities. In this case, this particular community is resisting/ rejecting an entire sex in order to seek retribution for perceived oppressions and/or violences done unto them.

d. This piece is from a self proclaimed separatist community. I began to wonder, as I was looking around for sources, what other kinds of conflicts are bubbling up in lesbian and gay communities that involve resisting and rejecting coalitions between the two factions. I wanted to see if I could find separatist issues, but suspected they might be somewhat veiled to appear in the news or in blog posts, meaning not specifically concerning a self proclaimed separatist group or viewpoint.

e. I found this page on Google. Due to the direction my first source led me, I was really just searching variations on "lesbian separatists". I got a lot of hits concerning separatist communes founded in the seventies, but I thought this piece might be more helpful in illustrating the conflict I am trying to frame here.

f. Marty/ S.E.P.S. "Relating to Dyke Separatists: Hints for the Non-Separatist Lesbian." Feminist Reprise. Onlywomen Press, 1988. Web. 8 Dec 2011. .

a. "End Separatism at Pride Toronto"

b. Joe Clark

c. I found this piece to be quite interesting. This is a blog post concerning the author's complaint about separatism and discrimination at Pride Toronto's annual festival. The author argues that dykes and trans people should not have their own additional marches funded by Pride Toronto, that the "real" march, as the author describes it many times, is supposed to be unifying event and is open to everyone. However, while some of the points the author makes are worth considering, such as the question of whether or not dyke and trans only marches are exclusionary to gay cisgendered men, the author attempts to deny the claim of trans people of even belonging at Pride Toronto and to the gay community in general. In short, this author is attempting to criticize the separatism and exclusion at Pride Toronto, but is merely drawing new lines in the sand. This is an example of the veiled separatism I was alluding to in section d. in my second source. This author's argument runs into some morally sticky areas, claiming to use ethics and laws as its basis, with the blaming and repeated counting of how many marches a particular group gets. He also cites cost saving as a good reason to pare it down to one march. As I mentioned above, I do not disagree with everything said in his blog, but I'm not sure he understands the joyful spirit of Pride, commercial and mainstream as it is. In theory, the principles behind the festival and movement are Queer in some ways, like accepting all kinds and supporting one another. However, where Pride could be seen as stepping away from the realm of Queer could the normalizing practice of naming oneself as a certain sexuality or gender, which we can see leads to the problem in this case.

d. I'm not sure what direction this post takes me in. The author does cite some interesting "facts" about the myth of gay economic superiority which he uses to make his argument which could be neat to check out. I would be interested in knowing how his complaint was received in its official capacity from Pride Toronto.

e. I had a lot of trouble finding this source. I was trying to find the right combination of search terms to get what I was looking for. I wanted to find a conflict within, specifically in between, the lesbian and gay community. Most hits that came up paired lesbians and gays together in conflict with something else. I get that. Perhaps, people don't really like to air their dirty laundry in terms of conflicts between communities that often must work in coalition with one another, because such conflicts do exist.

f. Clark, Joe. "End Separatism at Pride Toronto." fawny.blog. N.p., 01 16 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. .

Reeeeeeeemix!

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One of the topics that fascinated me at the beginning of the semester was the idea of "outing." My interest was sparked by a Smith article that addressed outing and I immediately referenced Milk and Perez Hilton as my previous knowledge surrounding controversy about outing. I recalled that Perez Hilton was often critiqued about the ethical implications behind outing celebrities and Milk addressed outing oneself in order to create visibility. I think that much of my viewpoint on outing has remained the same although I think my understanding of its implications have become deeper. I think I now understand the role that privilege plays with outing oneself which isn't something I had considered at the beginning of the semester. I now understand that it is a privilege to be in a situation where you can come out comfortably, safely, and without the complete rejection of your social circle. I now further understand that it is physically not possible for someone to come out who may potentially lose their entire livelihood, job, or support from family.
I had pondered the idea that increasing visibility would help people to be more empathetic of the gay rights movement because it would add a person, a face, a personality to relate to. While I still think this is true, I wonder if we are at a time that most people are exposed to gay people in some form. I suppose it is related to geographic location because while Minneapolis (the gayest city in the nation!) has quite a collection of gays, rural Texas may not. I've become more steadfast in my belief that coming out is an incredibly personal experience and that even though it would increase visibility, no one should be pushed out of the closet forcefully. (I think the one exception is for closeted gay politicians who promote anti-gay legislation). I've seen this play out in my personal life where some of my friends who are very secure with their sexuality will pressure those who are unsure to pick a side. I try to explain to them that not everyone is privileged enough to be secure with their sexuality and that everyone needs time to explore their sexual identity.

I think the idea of revisiting a blog is fascinating as we are able to see the ways that our perspective has changed after further exploring the topic. I think that blogging is an interesting and very technologically advanced way to bring more discussion outside of the classroom. I think it goes along with our society's shift towards more social networking taking place online and it adds another space in which to explore academia. I appreciate the class summaries because we have the tendency to get lovingly off track and it helps us narrow our focus!

Remix/Revisit Muñoz

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For my remix/revisit, I would like to engage with José Esteban Muñoz and the introduction for Disidentifications.

Then:
I could not articulate what Muñoz meant by the term other than it was neither assimilating nor full rejection.

Now:
Reading this essay again was definitely helpful. In class, I talked about disidentification as it could relate to white queerness, but I do not know that it is something white folks can pick up as it comes from the positioning of queer people of color.

Disidentification is an active process of resistance that is neither assimilating nor rejection. Disidentification is the recognition that there is not an outside space from which one can resist dominant discourses. No subject existed before discourse; discourse constitutes subjects.

Disidentifying is the taking up of an object and redefining what that object means, as Butler would say to infuse the object with new life. Further relying on Butler, the act of picking up this object requires the object having already been there. Resistance must come from within discourse then. This makes me think of Foucault when he talks about power and resistance. I am imagining society as constantly in flux, you cannot stop it, nor can you leave it. Successfully resisting is changing the trajectory (think of rerouting a stream for example).

Disidentification is the resistance of negative associations, redefining them as something positive. As an example, Muñoz discusses a person of color recognizing Blackness as beautiful when dominant society wanted them to believe it was ugly or less desirable than whiteness. It could be recognizing fat bodies as attractive and desirable, not in spite of its size but because of its size. I believe this could also be a means of resistance for working-class folk, dis/abled communities and elders.

Disidentification is not useful in all contexts, and Muñoz remains cognizant of this. While it is a survival tactic, it is not always useful.

Blog opinions: Being able to revisit previous blog entries was helpful for me. What I can say I appreciated even more though was being able to read what my classmates were writing and being able to engage with those posts.

Final Wrap-Up: Liminality, Queering, and the Class

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So, really, when you get right down to it, what IS liminality?

I remember the day I chose the term "liminality" for this project. I spoke with my boyfriend on the phone and told him that I would be working on a project over the semester on the term liminality. He asked, "What about liminality?" And I said, "I have no idea! That's the point of the project: to find out!"

And, indeed, it has been a journey. When I started, I had no idea what the term meant. For understanding the term, I think one of the most helpful sources for defining liminality is the blog of the same name, which I summarized in this annotated bibliography. It explained that liminality is a term describing a transitional period that one goes through as in a rite of passage. It emphasized the fact that the liminal stage as an anticipated end point, at which time the liminal subject will then be anointed with his/her new title/position within society. This source also mentioned the difference between a liminal subject and a marginal subject, the latter being a subject that occupies an in-between space without the expectation of an end point. It also elaborated on the images and affective reactions related to the term. Specifically:

-Images of death/dying, as one relinquishes/is stripped of his/her former position/title in society.
-Images of birth/potential, as one goes through a process of becoming
-A sense that the liminal subject is potentially dangerous/polluting to the rest of society, because of his/her lack of official status/intelligibility.

In particular, I think the third point has important implications for queer theory, but I will return to that at the end of this analysis.

The most obvious venue for exploring liminality in queer contexts was the transgender experience, which I found in the article in my second annotated bibliography. The author discusses how this group of transgendered people experienced their transitions as a liminal state, and they formed "communitas" with each other during transition, and then went their separate ways once the transition was complete. However, as we have explored in Gender Outlaws, more and more this traditional narrative of the transgender experience as traveling from one side of the gender binary to another is being challenged, and that many transgendered people choose to permanently occupy an in-between state. Furthermore, the liminality narrative of transgender experience neglects the fact that even when a trans person chooses to fully transition from one gender to another, he/she often retains his/her experiences as his/her previous gender, which always informs and shapes his/her new gender. In liminality, it is implied that the liminal subject fully relinquishes his/her past, and this is clearly not the case for many trans people and their experience. It is also useful to note that this liminal narrative can be problematic in the way it fails to challenge the current gender binary.

One of the things I learned in this exploration is that it is perhaps not liminality that we should be focusing on, but rather the concept of "marginality" -- the intentional (or sometimes forced) and indefinite occupation of an in-between space. I found the concept of marginality more useful in thinking about the article on bisexuality, in my third bibliography. For many bisexuals (myself included), liminality is not an acceptable way to interpret bisexual experience. While some gays/lesbians may go through a liminal period of bisexuality while exploring their sexuality, there are many people for whom bisexuality is an end-point in itself. I think focusing on marginality opens up more space for queer theorizing: if the lack of a stable position, or the refusal of reaching an end point is, for some, an end point, what does this mean for identity? For queer politics?

Ultimately, I think what liminality can contribute to queer theory is the idea that those in a liminal (or marginal) space are seen as a threat to the rest of the community. Their unintelligibility, their fluidity, concern and confuse others. Trans people who refuse to settle on one gender or another, or bisexuals who refuse to "pick a side" trouble gender and sexuality binaries, for both heterosexuals and the queer community itself. Those in marginal/liminal spaces provoke discomfort and call for the examination of our assumptions and the binaries we reproduce daily.

So, really, when you get right down to it, what IS queering?

Ultimately, I think, queering is a process - perhaps a process of becoming. Of becoming more aware of the intricate and interlocking systems of oppression. Of becoming more aware of our own assumptions and the ways in which we can (often inadvertently) reproduce violence/systems of power. Of learning and constantly questioning. Of "always becoming what we are today." I draw that last bit from Gender Outlaws, in the cartoon "Transcention." I think, to be queer (or to queer) is to always leave space open for more critique, as Judith Butler argues. I think it is (or at least should be) "playful" in the way Maria Lugones explains in "World"-Traveling. It's always being open to the possibility of change and discovery, and always loving and attempting to understand those around us. Being difficult to define is a part of what queer is, because queer rejects and destroys boxes and labels and categories. It's constantly changing and expanding definitions, identities, experiences I think "queer" has changed a lot from when it first came about. And I think that it will be different tomorrow, and many years from now. I think queer theory is always morphing and molding, taking the best of the old, and rejecting the rest, and taking that foundation and building more and more on top. It's about having conversations, asking questions, trying new things - sometimes succeeding, and sometimes failing. Queering can learn as much from our mistakes as from our successes. . It is constantly asking the question: What is queer?

Final Reflections on the Class

I enjoyed the tracking term assignment. It was different from any assignment I'd had before. It was like doing the work for a research paper, but not actually writing it. Yet, I think it was a bit different from researching the way one would for a research paper. I didn't set out with a specific topic or hypothesis in mind when I started my tracking term assignment. Hell, I didn't even start off with even a vague idea of what my term even meant. In this way, I think the assignment was much more exploratory - perhaps even more "playful" - than any research paper. I always felt open to new possibilities, and instead of the kind of research I found being influenced by my idea of what a paper would be in the end, each time I did research, what I found influenced what I wanted to explore/research in the future. I liked the fluidity and possibility within this assignment. There wasn't a specific end goal that we were supposed to reach. Rather, the whole point of the assignment was to explore and to try new things - the point of the exercise was to experience the journey of researching a term, rather than to turn in a finished product at the end.

I think using the blog as a forum was specifically useful for this assignment. I think that online spaces (specifically blogs) are kind of queer spaces themselves. They break down barriers between author and reader, and allowed us (as classmates) to engage with one another. Comments on my bibliographies pointed out questions that I hadn't thought of before, or gave me suggestions of where to look next. I think that the more casual environment of a blog also helped to fuel the playful and exploratory nature of the assignment. While writing a blog post, I feel much less pressure and feel free to make mistakes, or I don't worry that I may be going in the wrong direction. The long-term aspect of the project also helped, adding to the sense that the point of the assignment was more about the journey than about the destination.

I'm not so sure about the usefulness of Twitter, however. While I think that the experience of live-tweeting discussions and readings was useful as a tool to teach me how to concisely summarize complex ideas, I didn't see it adding to my experience of the tracking term assignment. I just felt like they were advertisements for my blog post, which most of the people who follow me on Twitter won't really care about/have any idea of what's going on.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience, and I would tell future students to always take an open and playful attitude with them while working on annotated bibliographies, and I would also tell them to try not to forget the tweets that accompanied the assignments (which I sometimes did).

Remix/Revisit: Judy B

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For my revisit, I would like to engage with Butler broadly. I can't choose a specific reading (because there were so many, and they all interact with one another), and I want to engage with the idea of performance/performativity in general. However, I think the blog post most aligned with this revisit is this class summary. So, without further ado:

Then:

Coming into this class, I did not have a clear idea of the difference between performance and performativity. I also took for granted the idea that "gender is a performance" - it is a concept that made sense to me, and I did not know of/couldn't think of any critical perspectives on that concept.

Now:

I have a much better understanding of the difference between performance and performativity. Performance is (or can be) more of a one-time thing. One can participate in a drag show and perform a specific gender for one night, or one could choose to perform femininity one day, and masculinity the next. Performativity, on the other hand, is the repetition of performance. It is the extended, long-term act of continually performing gender and "perfecting" a certain stylization of the self. I also learned that performativity is more restricted than one might think. That we can perform gender and choose to change the kind of performance we do doesn't mean that we are at liberty to create entirely new performances or subjectivities. Rather, our imaginations are restricted within our current understanding of gender/sex/sexuality. However, that doesn't mean we are "doomed to repetition," without hope of changing the gender order. Change comes more gradually - we can mix and match performances and understandings of gender until they morph/mutate into new forms and subjectivities, and change the overall understanding of gender in society as a whole. It is through performance that we change the current gender order, and it is through performance that we reveal the constructed nature of gender itself. I feel that now I have a more full understanding of this concept.

Reflections on the Blog:

I think the blog has been an interesting and ultimately useful tool for this class. Having access to previous posts allows us to examine our progress and our learning journey over a span of time. I also like the more casual context of the blog. I feel it allows us to engage these concepts in a more playful and open way. Rather than stressing about writing an academic paper when concerns over form, appropriate language, and mechanics (like proper citations) can distract from exploring concepts more fully. I also think the forum of the blog with its comments section allows for us to engage with each other and help each other learn, and allows us to continue class discussions outside of class time. When classes expect students to write papers, I think that aspect of engaging with our peers is lost.

Final annotated bibliography

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For my final annotated bibliography i want to go back to some news articles and see how different the new reporters addressed transgender people. I think we will find that in these two news articles the proper pronouns are being used. I will also provide a scholarly article as well to wrap things up.
7th source
a. Parents Talk About Transgender Child's Transition
b. By: Nelson Garcia
c. Within this article they address a story about a young girl that wants to be a boy. He is biologically a girl as expressed by his mother. I would like to offer a quote from the mother of Andy. "Between the ages of three and six, the Boelts say Andrea consistently told them about feeling like a boy. At that time, Andrea identified with boy things, but Karen says initially she thought it was a childhood fantasy." When their 3 year old "daughter" had expressed to them that he felt like a boy they felt as if they should go see a doctor, but not surprisingly the doctor just told the Boelts that their child was going through a phase. Here is another quote by the mother, "At that time, you know that was, I had never heard of anything like that. And, I just said 'Well, no, you're a girl and that's a good thing to be a girl," said Karen. After his parents noticed he was extremely depressed. A few other quotes from the family, "Everybody I talked to, therapists, the pediatrician, nobody knew what I was talking about," said Karen. Karen says she was beside herself for about a year. "Oh gosh, it was so painful," said Karen. "It was so painful." It was interesting how his parents just knew that in order to save their child they had to try to understand and in doing so they learned a lot about what it means to be transgender. Another quote from the father, "You think transgender, 'OK, this is something completely new, completely different,'" said Eric Boelts, the father. "I think anything that's new and different is scary." "The Boelts say it was hard to accept at first, but when they encouraged Andrea to live as Andy - a cloud of despair was lifted." Mentioned by Andy's parents was that even his siblings, friends and classmates accepted him as a boy. Which is quite interesting because you often do not hear about the good experiences about children who are transgender. "Andy's Boulder Valley kindergarten through 8th grade school created a unisex bathroom for him and listened to transgender speakers about the reality of living as the opposite biological gender."
This article produces another side of being transgender and i think that it does a great job in emphasizing how much support Andy received from everyone in his life. The reporter also seems to use the correct pronoun when referring to Andy, which is also something new within the media.
d. For further research i suggest that we continue to find more reporters who are respectful of the pronouns that transgender people wish to be called. I also think that for further research we should examine how many positive outcomes there are verses negative outcomes for family's who are in this situation.
e.I found this source while looking on google.
f. Nelson Garcia. "Parents Talk about Transgender child's Transition". NBC 9news.com ,2008. Print.

8th source
a. Anderson Cooper Interviews Transgender Children
b. By: Jeremy Kinser
c. In this new article Anderson Cooper the CNN news reporter reports on three transgender children and their journey. The main story is about a young girl who was biologically a boy, but felt like she was in the wrong body.
This is what the interview consisted of, plus a video clip. "The parents of 8-year-old Danann parents say they turned to their pediatrician for advice but were given what is a common response: "Oh, it's just a phase."After consulting different doctors and therapists, they reveal they were relieved to receive the diagnosis that Danann is transgender. When Danann was 6 and began making threats to end her life, her parents decided to help her make the transition to living as a girl. "It was like night and day ... a totally different child," Danann's mother tells Cooper." This was an interesting article proposing another good experience in the difficulty of becoming another sex other than the one you were born with.
If you want to view more other than what i have written here you can view the video on the link to the article.
d. For further research i suggest exactly the same as i did in the previous source.
e. I found this source while looking on google.
f. Jeremy Kinser. "Anderson Cooper Interviews Transgender Children". Advocate.com, 2011. Print.

9th source
a. Whipping Girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity
b. By: Julia Serano
c. In this part of my annotated bibliography i want to wrap up by using Julia Serano's Whipping Girl to further look into the idea of the transgender/transexual person. In this book she talks about the ways in which she describes the terms "sex" and "gender" and the ways in which many people outside of the transgender community view transgender people. I want to give a quote that Serano suggests while addressing these categories as I have mentioned. "The far-reaching inclusiveness of the word "transgender" was purposely designed to accommodate the many gender and sexual minorities who were excluded from the previous feminist and gay rights movements. At the same time, its broadness can be highly problematic in that it often blurs or erases the distinctiveness of its constituents" (21). Serano also goes into the details of how the word transgender is used. She adheres the idea of how this term is even used to describe intersex individuals or transsexuals, which as she explains is upsetting to this community in many ways. I want to use another quote by Serano stating that, "Many transsexuals disavow the term because of its anti-transsexual roots or because they feel that the transgender movement tends to privilege those identities, action, and appearances that most visibly "transgress" gender norms"(22). also, in addressing intersex people they reject the term because their condition as Serano puts it, is about physical sex, (not gender) and the primary issues they face are greatly different from the transgender community"(22). This book gives a valuable understanding about transgender people as well as people who do not identify as transgender. I wanted to use this book because even though the part I used does not go into detail about children who are transitioning as mentioned within both my other sources, it does give a broader understanding of the issues these people go through.
d. For further research i think we as a society can look to Serano as a way to get started on researching the issues and things "non- normative" people go through.
e. I found this book on google scholar and found that it was very helpful.
f. Julia, Serano. "Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity". Emeryville, CA, 2007. Print.


Remix/Revisit: Class summary on 10/13/11

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For my remix/revisit i want to think back to when we discussed Judith Butler as a trouble maker.
Then:
I really enjoyed learning about how Butler refused the prize at Berlin and why, also her understanding of transphobia and homophobia was very interesting. The idea that homophobia and transphobia are redefined as the problems of youth of color who essentially don't speak proper German and who in a way don't belong. back then i agreed with Butler when she spoke about how gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans and queer people are instrumentalized by those who want to wage war. The idea that theres a new hatred amongst Muslims because of Islamphobia strikes me as a very important part of her speech. The idea that there needs to be a new hatred because of protecting the lesbian, and gay rights is interesting in itself. Also, the idea of saying "no" is troubling for me as well because as Butler proposes, "But who says no? And who experiences this racism? Who are the queers who really fight against such politics?" Why must we say no to such a deal? These questions make me really think and i think that is one of the key elements in Butler's speech is that she says these things because she wants us as a society to think about the very acts we do.

Now:
Now in this moment i feel like there hasn't really ben a change in how i feel about Judith Butler as a troublemaker, how her speech was constructed and why she refused the prize in Berlin. Everything that i have said under the "back then" stands true with me right now, today. I do still think about the questions in which Butler proposed in her speech. It brings me to ask, what has changed? Has anyone addressed her questions and found ways in which to address this new hatred?

The remix/revisit is a great way to look back on what we have learned throughout the semester. Even though, i have missed a few classes due to some personal issues i really enjoyed this class.

Third Annotated Bibliography

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Third Annotated Bibliography

1.
A) What's Going On
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdkNn3Ei-Lg&feature=player_embedded
B) Jonah Lowry
C) In this video, Jonah Lowry tells his story of constant bullying and persecution from his peers through hand written notecards. Jonah describes the way that he uses self mutilation as a way to alleviate his emotional pain and how he considered suicide as a legitimate option at several points in his life. He ends the video on a positive note: one of hope. He says that he is strong enough to survive and that he has "millions of reasons to be here."
D) I found this source to be applicable to my term because of Jonah's vocalization of his choice to survive the bullying and taunting that he has been subjected to. The end of the video shows that he is not only choosing to survive, he is also deciding to thrive in his environment. I wanted to research more of Jonah's videos to see if there was perhaps an updated video or maybe a response to the internet fame he has garnered after posting this video. He indeed had another video with one of his best friends, that was not found on his channel. In the video he clarified that his scars were in fact real, (he used a low quality camera that led people to doubt the validity of his story in his previous video.) He also said that the video was from four months ago and that now he feels that his entire school accepts him.
E) I found this source on Facebook as it began its incredible circulation around the internet. Countless friends had posted it and I finally decided to watch it. I thought it tied in perfectly to my tracking term because, although it isn't directly an "It Gets Better" video, it deals with a young gay teen struggling with his survival.
F) Lowry, Jonah. "Whats Goin On.. - YouTube." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 10 Aug. 2011. Web. 03 Dec. 2011. .

2.
A) Hello, Cruel World Lite: Beta 1.0.1
B) Kate Bornstein
C) Kate Bornstein offers a survival guide for those who are struggling to thrive in their current environment. Bornstein offers alternatives to suicide and offers tools to better ones life and make it worth living. Bornstein also offers activities to try and place your ideal gender and ways to make yourself feel better using her Hello Cruel World Scale of Feelings.
D) Kate Bornstein has made an iPhone application version of "Hello, Cruel World" which offers even more content than the "lite" version. I have explored this application and it offers even more strategies for survival and self affirmation.
E) This source was provided in my extra readings for my tracking term.
F) Bornstein, Kate. "Hello, Cruel World Lite: Beta 1.0.1." Hello Cruel World 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws. Paw Prints, 2008. Print.
3.
A) On Living Well and Coming Free
B) Ryka Aoki
C) Ryka Aoki posits living free as a gender outlaw to be the best revenge against a society that doesn't accept those that do not conform to heteronormative gender representations. Aoki defines outlaw and calls Rosa Parks an incredible example of an outlaw because she went against the grain, not to mention the law, to enact change. Aoki finishes the article with a beautiful metaphor about slowly working the tangles out of her hair in order to become free. (Note: While Aoki identifies as female in the article, I don't know what gender pronouns Aoki refers so I do not wish to offend out of ignorance.)
D) Aoki writes her essay to encourage outlaws of all varieties to not only survive, but to thrive. To "live well" is the ultimate revenge against those that have told you that you aren't worthy of life because you are simply non-conforming in some way. I appreciate Aoki's reference to both of my terms and offering more assistance in order to not simply survive, but also thrive.
E) This article was found in the "Gender Outlaws" book by Kate Bornstein, as assigned on the syllabus.
F) Ryan, Aoki. "On Living Well and Coming Free." Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. By Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman. Berkeley, CA: Seal, 2010. Print.

Final Wrap-Up: Homonationalism

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PART ONE: HOMONATIONALISM
Homonationalism was originally theorized from the post-9/11 US context. Puar draws on Lisa Duggan's term, homonormativity. Homonormativity discusses the trend of gay politics towards fighting for inclusion and acceptance into heteronormative institutions like marriage and the military. Duggan also discusses the collusion of mainstream gay politics with consumption and assimilation. Puar applies this term to post 9/11 gay politics that began to articulate possibilities for US citizenship based on threats of non-American others like terrorists and Muslims generally. The calls for inclusion into the imagined US nation-state increasingly relies on the creation of (non)subjects. Muslims are portrayed as sexually deviant whereas white, productive, upper middle class can articulate calls to citizenship based on their comparative proximity to heteronormativity and nationalism. Homonationalism is described as the point of collusion of homosexuality and US patriotism that depends on the otherization of the terrorist. These points are elaborated in my Puar DE post. Puar also describes patriotism as performative that requires the repetition of symbols, like the flag. I think this idea of the performative has implications for resistance and queer theory. To push on the performance of homonationalism, I cited `Flagging' the Skin: Corporeal Nationalism and the Properties of Belonging by Emily Grabham in my second bibliography. Grabham looks at how nationalism is performed on bodies. She also looks at the WOT US context specifically with veterans with prosthetic limbs. These previously disabled bodies are allowed entry into white, ableist society based on the surgery and the visible nationalism it conveys. Grabham describes this as a body modification that allows whiteness and ableism to go unmarked and afford certain bodies with privilege. Veterans that are black with prosthetic limbs do not receive this mobility as well as white, disabled bodies that are not veterans. Grabham is specifically concerned with disabilities but it is still useful to discuss the ways in which patriotism can mark bodies. Finally, I want to discuss an article I used in my first annotated bibliography shortly after we read Andrea Smith, Settler Homonationalism: Theorizing Settler Colonialism within Queer Modernities by Scott Lauria Morgensen. I think this article is useful because it articulates the impacts of homonationalism and its origins. Morgensen describes homonationalism "as an effect of U.S. queer modernities forming amid the conquest of Native peoples and the settling of Native land" (2). It is useful to think about the ways in which articulating belonging in the US nation state legitimizes colonization and colludes with ongoing violence against Native populations. Similar to the present day Other of the Muslims that Puar articulates, the Natives have and are portrayed as sexually deviant. White gays and lesbians have been able to transcend their deviance while Natives continue to be defined by it. Homonationalism has implications for queering theory because it cautions against a certain way of organizing and offers a powerful caution against arguing for inclusion on the basis for excluding others.

PART TWO: QUEERING
The question, "What is queering?" brings me back to the mash-up posts. In my mash-up I thought about queer/ing as an intersectional approach to oppressions. Specifically, things that fall outside of the limited sphere of gay or GLBT issues should be queer issues like state violence and immigration policy. Not only does systemic violence and institutions like capitalism and racism intersect with violence committed against queer bodies, queer should attempt liberation beyond identity politics. Looking to Scott's mash-up, I'm also reminded about the ways queering can make visible certain problems or exclusions within spaces. This brings me to class discussions about the value of discomfort. Often queering makes privilege visible which can be an uncomfortable process. Queering can provide a space to rethink or restructure responses to privilege or the operation of norms throughout society. I'm also reminded of the value or perhaps disadvantage of the ambiguity of the term "queer." Is it politically viable to have a category that is broad and without a clear referent? I think it is. I think the strength of "queer" is its ability to change and apply to many struggles and bodies. Thinking back to discussions of Judith Butler and identity politics, queer does not constrain in the same ways "gay" does. Identity politics can often evoke an ideal rights-bearing figure while others get left behind. Queer can certainly fall into similar pitfalls but it offers hope in ways that GLBT does not. It also has the potential to deal with a wider range of issues beyond just sexuality. Going back to the earlier comments, struggles against racism and colonialism should be as integral to queer politics as trans healthcare rights. Thinking about the Cohen article we discussed briefly in class but was pertinent to many of our discussions, the welfare queen is a queer subject because of her non-normative position and deviance defined by the state. Queer political organizing should be constantly self-reflexive (Butler), find value in criticism, and address a wide range of violence that is often invisible.

PART THREE: TRACKING TERMS
I really enjoyed the process of tracking homonationalism. I found myself thinking about the term far beyond just the annotated bibliographies and with an abundance of sources that did not all make it into the blog. Homonationalism became somewhat of a frame for the way I approached the class and I found a lot of similarities between Puar's argument and the readings we did even if they didn't explicitly mention Puar. Tracking homonationalism pushed me to apply the term beyond its original usage as well as go outside of just using sources where it is explicitly referenced. I found that process useful because it allowed me to do some of my own theorizing about the possibilities of the theory. I also appreciate the welcoming of non-traditional sources. While I didn't use an abundance of them, I think it is useful to think about theory alongside current events or other non-academic texts (low theory perhaps?). While I was familiar with the term before the class, I had only read the intro to Puar's book that introduces homonationalism. The process of tracking the term pushed me beyond that original exposure to think about it in relation to other problems (like the colonization of Natives) and contexts beyond the US. I really struggled with how to apply homonationalism outside of the US context, both in personal research as well as for the class. My third annotated bibliography included international sources about Israel and Africa. I haven't come to a conclusion on the potential of the term to travel but I think it is useful to think through the connections beyond the US. Tracking the term offered a further line of research and theorization.
I also think the blog was really useful for me. I like the way class discussions don't have to end and I can continue to develop ideas and conversations with Sara and classmates beyond class time. I also like the blog because sometimes a thought about class or the readings doesn't occur to me until after class. The blog allows a forum to share that idea whereas in a lot of other classes that opportunity isn't there. With the complex theories we've discussed I think that is especially useful as sometimes I'm still formulating my thoughts long after class ends. I also like the way the blog encourages students to draw on each other. I have found that our knowledge seems to be valued more than in other University spaces as our reflections can build off each other in interesting ways in comments and the mash-up assignment. I didn't find twitter to be as useful but I think that could be a personal problem. I didn't check twitter nearly as much as I checked the blog. Although, I think live-tweeting Gender Trouble did help me as it forced me to think about the reading as I was going through it and summarize. Tweeting can be useful to boil down dense texts and I found that it increased my engagement.
I would encourage future students to not be as scared of the blog and twitter as I was. Looking at the assignment sheet made me feel wary but it is useful to engage as you go along. I think the blog is a useful tool that students should engage beyond the worksheet with because it really furthers these discussions and helps to express ideas and I know the comments from other students helped me to develop my own thoughts.
I think the blog and twitter acted as a way to queer the classroom space. It promoted low theory through tracking terms. We were encouraged to use non-academic sources in ways that pushed my understanding of the term. The blog and twitter also allows us to value not only what Sara has to offer but also the knowledge and advice of our classmates. Reminiscent of Luhman, the blog encourages conversations with classmates and allows us to push each other and offer advice. The comments from my classmates were useful in developing ideas. Twitter can also offer queer ways to engage with the texts and share my thoughts. It was useful to think about texts alongside and through twitter, not only to share my thoughts but also to consolidate them for myself.

Remix/ Revisit: Hanhardt Keynote/ Readings

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For my revisit, I'm going to choose to look at my blog post about the Hanhardt keynote at the Contingent Belongings conference and in conjunction, the Hanhardt readings we did for class prior to the conference.

THEN:
Originally, I really enjoyed Hanhardt's arguments about gentrification and the privileging of certain gay bodies (white, productive, law-abiding) over queer bodies that are criminalized. I liked Hanhardt's methods for discussing and tracing the evolution of neighborhoods and gay organizing as well as the way she offers an alternative for intersectional political organizing in FIERCE.

AND NOW:
Now, I feel like my original analysis and thoughts on this article and talk were a little shallow. I want to apply other lenses of theoretical analysis that we have elaborated on in class to this discussion of gentrification as well. Specifically, I think homonationalism is useful here. I want to think about Hanhardt's arguments alongside Puar as well as Butler.
Specifically, a source in my first annotated bibliography is making similar claims to Hanhardt. In "Intimate Investments: Homonormativity, Global Lockdown, and the Seductions of Empire," the authors discuss the increasingly dangerous privatization of rights and the privileging of certain gay subjects at the expense of other (non)subjects. Hanhardt referred to this phenomenon as "queer politics of contradiction" in that she saw an inherent contradiction in the goals of queer politics and the strategies employed. Intimate Investments makes a similar argument about how the inclusion of certain subjects denies rights and livability to others. In terms of privatization, both articles and authors are concerned with the ways in which the state has left the public sphere and rights are increasingly relegated to private spaces. In Intimate Investments, the authors are concerned with the prison industrial complex and how punishment of public laws are relegated to private companies. Hanhardt is concerned with the establishment of "neighborhoods" and the complicities with violence against certain people under the premise of safety for others. "Safety" and the absence of "crime" are code words used to commit violence on those that are perceived as threats ie black and poor people. The overriding concern of both arguments is the increasing role of capitalism in interactions and the state and the pervasiveness of neoliberalism as a means of regulation.

In terms of identity politics, I am now thinking of Butler in relation to Hanhardt's "utopian" politics. Hanhardt argues for a lessened role for identity in politics. Instead, Hanhardt's utopian politics focuses on intersections and lessened violence against all bodies. This is embodied in FIERCE and other resistances to police violence in general. Butler argues for a lessened role for identity politics as well. For Butler, identity politics constrains possibilities for those identities and labels tend to oppress rather than liberate. And identity politics are inherently exclusionary because they imagine ideal forms of "woman" and "gay" that exclude certain subjects from rights or liberation. They articulate similar visions for politics that is beyond identity movements that tend toward exclusion and fights for freedom from violence (including institutional) in every instance it occurs. Violence against one body is harmful to all bodies.

I hope that elaborates on my original blog post as well as discussion about the Hanhardt readings in class as well as ties Hanhardt to other theories and issues we've discussed. I think the blog was very helpful throughout the semester to look through my own arguments and posts as well as what others were thinking. I like the process of commenting on other arguments as well and gaining from other people's comments. I think it is helpful to have a conversation among the whole class about blog posts rather than traditional classes where only the teacher has input on your assignments. This is a lot like Luhman's pedagogy in practice that values the professor's knowledge as well as the students. I like revisiting my own blog posts as well to see the evolution of my thought processes. The class summaries have also helped me to think through ideas in the readings. I also think they are useful because the summaries have links to previous conversations and/ or current events that help to think through the sometimes complicated theories.

Cara Page

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Cara Page was a plenary speaker at the BOLD conference which was hosted in Mpls this past weekend. BOLD is a conference by and for Queer and Trans people of Color. This speech inspires me.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5o3qX8mP0Q

Annotated Bib# 3

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Source one
1: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
2: Robert C. O'Brien
3: Following JJ Halberstam's queering of Pixar animations, I was inspired to revisit one of my favorite novels from childhood. There is not an inherently queer narrative to this book, but there are multiple cases in which resistance/rejection is employed. In this world, former lab rats and mice have had experiments conducted on them making their lives longer and exponentially increasing their intelligence -such that they surpass the intelligence of the scientists 'studying' them and escape the laboratory. This book offers direct critiques of neoliberalism, individualism, and capitalism/consumption. The novel concludes with the rats' of NIMH belief that scientific discovery has hit a glass ceiling and that the next thing to do, both logically and ecologically, is to revert to an agrarian, interdependent society. This novel questions the production, consumption and surplus value of identity.
4: This book doesn't lead me to anything else. It does remind me of other children books I could revisit such as the Bridge to Terabithia and My Side of the Mountain.
5: I read this book when I was 11-12 years old. It remains one of my favorite books as it continues to influence my politics.
6: O'Brien, Robert C. Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Aladdin Fantasy, 1986. Print.

Source two
1: The Kids Aren't Alright: The Gay Marriage Movement and its Manipulation of Children and Youth.
2: Yasmin Nair
3: This essay was originally published in March of 2009, and while it is not in direct response to the video we watched in class this past Thursday, the two are in conversation with each other. Nair rejects LG(BTQ) politics that take access to the State institution of marriage. The questions Nair proposes our familiar, asking us to broaden our definition of family, home and community, remaining critical of the rigid definitions that marriage allows. Nair questions the use of children and youth by the LG(BTQ) in the gay marriage movement, locating battles for parental and adoption rights as preexisting and separate from politics for gay marriage -that is until gay marriage proponents effectively devoured social movements for parental rights/adoption. Admittedly, I wondered if Nair's critique was going a little to far as she is rather harsh on the youth that she discusses. However, by articles end I believe her critique is incredibly necessary for us to consider as it sets up LGBTQ youth up for the same failures their heteronormative predecessors have had in defining their legitimacy and success through the institution of marriage.
4: Against Equality, Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ), Fierce!, Southerners on New Ground etc.
5: I am a facebook friend with Yasmin and she insisted I read this. We met each other through Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. While I have not done work with the Against Equality Collective, Yasmin has been involved and I knew of her work through this.
6: Nair, Yasmin. "The Kids Aren't Alright: The Gay Marriage Movement and its Manipulation of Children and Youth." March 2009. http://www.yasminnair.net/content/kids-aren%E2%80%99t-alright-gay-marriage-movement-and-its-manipulation-children-and-youth-22-march--0. Web.

Source three
1: 'Pinkwashing' and Israel's Use of Gays as a Messaging Tool
2: Sarah Schulman
3: In this NY Times Op-ED piece, anti-Zionist activist Sarah Schulman questions a recent alliance building between western European, US and Canadian LG(BTQ) communities. Israel has begun courting affluent A-Gays for their tourist dollars and to stand in solidarity with Israel's occupation of Palestinian land. Referencing earlier readings in this course, Israel is imagined as a progressive hotspot in the Middle East that offers an Oasis for LGBTQ folk who would otherwise be exposed to homophobic and heterosexist violence. This juxtaposes the 'gay friendly' Israel to the inherently homophobic and Islamic fundamentalist Palestine, eclipsing the work by LGBTQ and feminist organizations in Palestine such as Aswat, Al Qaws and Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanction.
4: Same as above.
5: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore shared this on her facebook profile.
6. Schulman, Sarah. "'Pinkwashing' and Israel's Use of Gays as a Messaging Tool NY Times online. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/23/opinion/pinkwashing-and-israels-use-of-gays-as-a-messaging-tool.html?_r=3. Web.

Annotated Bib #3 Bodies/ Material Experiences

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Annotated Bib #3

Source one
1) Queering the Color Line
2) Siobhan Somerville: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American
Culture
3) The author dissects the ways in which society has come to view constructions of racial identity as natural. Somerville exposes the ways in which racist ideologies have come to frame science invent race and homosexuality. She uses the mulatto figure represented in American fiction to expose how the mixed body inverts notions of gender formation. Desire of the other is a central theme in shaping the social identities of mixed bodies. Deviance of these bodies becomes linked with constructions of homosexuality. Somerville highlights the ways in which mulattos are framed as ambiguous figures disrupting normative standards. Somerville writes of how scientific discourse of sexuality was developed through ideologies of race. How does then does this then frame queers of color in relation to homo-normativity?
4) Cherrie Moraga's Loving the War Years is a great resource.
5) I found this book working on another project. Suzanne Bost author of Mulattas and Mestiza's heavily referenced this book in her work.
6) Somerville, Siobhan B. Queering the Color Line: Race and the
Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture. Durham,
[NC: Duke UP, 2000. Print.

Source Second
1) Bodies That Matter
2) Judith Butler
3) In chapter one Bodies That matter Butler engages with the work of Irigaray. Butler seeks to bring the body back into view from the realm theory. In many ways it seems that one cannot truly live their body in that we can only mimic gender. Butler discusses the ways in which materiality is experienced through discourse, what is material is produced though power. Thus the materialization of bodies is in constitution of norms. Butler writes " If gender is the social construction of sex, and if there is no access to this "sex" expect by means of its construction, then it appears not only that sex is absorbed by gender, but that "sex" becomes something like a fiction" (Butler, XV). What interest me is that there is not sex before construction; therefore any performance of gender is mimicry. Than I am lead to wonder if any non normative performance mocks this construction and as such is a form of resistance?
4) Butler critiques Irigaray's theories of which I am not familiar. I feel that reading Irigaray may be necessary to further understand this text. As well as Nella Larson author of Passing, which I am slightly familiar.
5) This text was a suggestion by a classmate. I do own the book, however I have not been able to read previous to this project. Obviously Butlers work is familiar to most in gender studies.
6) Butler, Judith. "Introduction/ Bodies That Matter." Introduction. Bodies That
Matter: on the Discursive Limits of "sex" New York: Routledge, 1993. XI-27. Print.

Source Three
1) Paris is Burning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggreEl4zV3Y
2) Documentary by Jennie Livingston
3) This film documents the lives of New York's "Drag Queens" of color. Many times throughout the film people spoke of the need to create oneself. The film is centered around Ball's in which there is a competition for recognition. The goal of the competition was to look as natural as you could. If you could pass in the outside world you have made it. There was a need to be the best that one could be. The Ball was a place where one could appear to be rich, successful, beautiful, all of the things the outside world denied them. For some there was the opportunity to find the acceptance of a family. The part that drew me the most was in the stealing of clothing. There was a symbolic meaning in this as well, in which one steals an identity a self from the white man's world in order to be seen.
4) Someone mentioned this source in class, I looked it up on youtube where there was a full version.
5) Paris Is Burning. Prod. Jennie Livingston, Barry Swimar, Claire Goodman,
Meg McLagan, Nigel Finch, and Davis Lacy. Dir. Jennie Livingston. By Jonathan Oppenheim, Paul Gibson, Maryse Alberti, and Stacia Thompson. [Prestige], 1990. Youtube.

Brilliant Essay by Yasmin Nair

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The Kids Aren't Alright: The Gay Marriage Movement and its Manipulation of Children and Youth
http://www.yasminnair.net/content/kids-aren%E2%80%99t-alright-gay-marriage-movement-and-its-manipulation-children-and-youth-22-march--0

D.E #3 Chavez

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Living beside one self is a fascinating concept. Chavez writes of this, as a state of ecstasy, one enters this state after an event or a trauma. As a result one realizes "he or she is not autonomous and does not posses control over his/her existence" (Chavez, 2). It seems to me that bodies of those on the margins are always beside one self. People in this position are the "unreal" never fitting in constantly in danger. Those who are in an ambiguous or in an in between state are in constant question, in need of finding a way to adjust to others, others are never expected to do the adjusting. In that attempt to adjust, that fact that one is even in a normative space challenges the assumption of sameness in and of itself. In that I can fully see how agency is enacted. The power to subvert is in existing, it many not be an intentional act on the part of the individual.

The space of prison reduces a person down to their most basic state, stripped of all materials used to express one self. Victoria refused to be so stripped, singing and dancing. What is really interesting his how the role of the others changed into more caring roles, in the face of a hyper masculine setting. Even though this was a goal of the penal system, it became a space of reclaiming and redefinition. Victoria's presence in the prison challenged the very system that sought to strip her of her identity; in this way there was a positive effect from her tragic death.

Day Twenty-three: December 1

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Reminders:

  1. Sign up for a presentation time by commenting on this entry
  2. Blog worksheets are due for the final time next thurs (12/8)

Before Dunstan's presentation and our discussion, I wanted to get your reactions to the following video: 

How can/should we queer this?

some THEMES from Gender Outlaws:

REAL/NESS
TRUTH
WISDOM
BODIES
PERFORMANCE as truth...as fiction?
IDENTITY
SELF-DETERMINATION
LIMITS OF DEFINITIONS/LABELS/IDENTITIES/LANGUAGE
OUTLAWS as freaks, too much
THEORY inside/outside of academy (abstract/real theory?)
GENDER/QUEER/TRANS THEORY AS PART OF ACADEMY (institutionalized?)

Bornstein: Queer theory only works side by side with queer practice, otherwise queer theory is straight (21).

Queer This! The Cunning Man

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For this entry, I wish to share with you a passage from Terry Pratchett's I Shall Wear Midnight. In this passage, an old woman, Eskarina Smith, tells Tiffany Aching a story about the origin of the creature called "The Cunning Man."

"But for now I want you to picture a scene, more than a thousand years ago, and imagine a man, still quite young, and he is a witchfinder and a book burner and a torturer, because people older than him who are far more vile than him have told him that this is what the Great God Om wants him to be. And on this day he has found a woman who is a witch, and she is beautiful, astonishlingly beautiful, which is rather unusual among witches, at least in those days --"

"He falls in love with her, doesn't he?" Tiffany interrupted.

"Of course," said Miss Smith. "Boy meets girl, one of the greatest engines of narrative causality in the multiverse, or as some people might put it, 'It had to happen.' I would like to continue this discourse without interruptions, if you don't mind?"

"But he is going to have to kill her, isn't he?"

Miss Smith sighed. "Since you ask, not necessarily. He thinks that if he rescues her and they can get to the river, then they might have a chance. He is bewildered and confused. He has never had feelings like this before. For the first time in his life, he is really having to think for himself. There are horses not far away. There are a few guards, and some other prisoners, and the air is full of smoke because there is a pile of burning books, which is making people's eyes water."

Tiffany leaned forward in her seat, listening to the clues, trying to work out the ending in advance.

"There are some apprenticies he is training, and also some very senior members of the Omnian Church who have come to watch and bless the proceedings. And finally there are a number of people from the nearby village who are cheering very loudly because it is not them who are going to be killed, and generally they don't get much entertainment. In fact, it's pretty much another day at the office, except that the girl being tied to the stake by the apprentices has caught his eye and is now watching him very carefully, not saying a word, not even screaming a word, not yet."

"Does he have a sword?" asked Tiffany.

"Yes, he does. May I continue? Good. Now, he walks toward her. She is staring at him, not shouting, just watching, and he is thinking ... what is he thinking? He is thinking, 'Could I take on both of guards? Will the apprenticies obey me?' And then, as he gets nearer, he wonders if they could make it to the horses in all this smoke. And this is a moment eternally frozen in time. Huge events await his decision. One simple deed either way and history will be different, and you are thinking it depends on what he does next. But, you see, what he is thinking doesn't matter, because she knows who he is and what he has done, and the bad things that he has done and is famous for, and as he walks toward her, uncertain, she knows him for what he is, even if he wishes he wasn't, and she reaches with both hands smoothly through the wicker basket they've put around her to keep her upright, and grabs him, and hold him tight as the torch drops down onto the oily wood and the flames spring up. She never takes her eyes off him and never loosens her grip ..."

I find this story fascinating and brilliant. I love the part when Miss Smith says "And you are thinking it depends on what he does next." Because, in reality, it doesn't matter what he does next. Because she -- the witch -- has her own choice to make. I think it is an interesting point to make. In a story like this, when "boy meets girl," as it were, one would expect the man to have a change of heart, rescue the beautiful maiden, and they would run off together in the sunset. But that story precludes the possibility of the woman's agency -- it denies that she, too, has a part to play in this story.

I love this story. I think it's powerful and exciting. The man has a change of heart because he sees the woman he is about to kill is beautiful, but thinks nothing of the countless women he's killed before. The witch's act is an act of rejection/resistance -- she will not become the property of the man; she will not allow the story to go on without her say; she will not forgive an evil and despicable man his horrible past simply because he "falls in love" with her. The witch's last act is an act of defiance, and a bold and powerful one at that.

I wonder how this act can be read in the context of our studies of queer theory, and particularly in the context of resisting/rejecting, or perhaps even in the context of "failure" -- the witch fails to become the rescued damsel of the story, whose fate is decided by others (most notably men), and instead chooses an act of destruction when she attempts to burn the Cunning Man with her.

The vagina documentary anna was talking about

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I did a few google searches and found the documentary that anna was talking about here's the site and the comments on it are pretty interesting as well..

Check it out yo! (click this :P)

Liminality: Bibliography #3

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"29 Mar -- The Space In Between"
Liminality
From Liminality ... The Space In Between
Charles La Shure
-Same author as "What is Liminality"
-He has lived in Korea for some time
-He writes about how Koreans say to him "Welcome to Korea," even though he's lived there for years (7 years at the time of this blog post, which was done in
-He also writes about those he's known for a while will say to him, when he exhibits "Korean traits," that he is "practically Korean now"
-Yet, he does not feel Korean, and knows himself not to be Korean, and knows he will never be Korean. However, he no longer feels fully American, either.
-He lives not within Korean society, but around it. He has a special position as a foreigner, and has a perspective of looking inside from the outside.
-He studies comparative literature there, and at first he was upset by this, thinking that his Korean prof thought him not good enough to do "true" Korean literature, but he feels now that his "liminal" status in Korea puts him in a unique position to study comparative literature
-"I will exist in the space in between the two cultures, moving back and forth between them, but never fully belonging to either."
-This is a thought that could be more fully developed. I don't think simply traveling is a liminal position, but what about someone who lives long-term in another country? Is it truly liminal? Because he acknowledges that he will never fully become Korean, so there is no intended end-point to his journey. Perhaps he is more in a "marginal" state, which is similar to liminality, except without end.
-This is again an attempt at a more non-traditional source. I am unsure of its usefulness, but I think it has at least achieved the goal of opening another avenue for analysis.
La Shure, Charles. "29 Mar -- The Space In Between." Liminality: The Space in Between. 18 October, 2005. Web. 29 November, 2011.

"Postmodern Bisexuality"
From Sexualities
Merl Storr
-The article starts off by explaining how Bisexuality is an emerging site of study. The author discusses a conference at which "Bisexuals at that conference did indeed find themselves having to defend not just the viability of bisexual politics or theory but the very existence of bisexuality as an adult sexual orientation"
-I believe it. I couldn't tell you the number of time I've heard, "I don't BELIEVE in bisexuals/bisexuality" - as if we're some kind of tooth fairy or Santa Claus that you entertain as a truth until you grow out of it and decide that you no longer believe in it
-the author suggests that the recent interest in bisexuality stems from the interest in postmodernism. She points to people making broad statemens like "Bisexuality = postmodernism embodied"
-The author discusses a book called Telling Sexual Stories, and says that there were no stories relating to bisexuality. She continues to discuss the "modern" nature of the stories in the book - meaning that these stories had a "core" or "truth" to them. The problem with Bisexuality, apparently, is that the bisexual can engage in any activity with any consenting adult (I'm paraphrasing from the article here, not making a personal statement of belief) and not reveal the "truth" or "core" of the activity or his/her identity. Instead, the author argues, stories about bisexuality would be more postmodern
-Quote:

"...postmodern stories are articulated around fragmentation, rather than around modernist notions of a sexual 'truth' or 'core' in or for each individual. This is common in bisexual descriptions of bisexuality, either in everyday self-descriptions as 'half heterosexual and half homosexual', 'having masculine and feminine sides' and the like (see Ault, 1997: 453-4), or in more theoretical discussions of bisexuality as fragmented, impermanent or incomplete"

-Quote:
"'Coming out' as bisexual, although sometimes presented as closure, is often in fact presented as a temporary resolution or a stage upon a longer journey, with more crisis and transformation yet to come (Eadie, 1997). As Frann Michel writes, 'the bisexual story destabilizes the teleological closure of linear narrative' (1996: 64)."

-The author makes a distinction between postmodern - the theory, the philosophical position - and postmodernity - the social, cultural, "lived reality" of our time (and of bisexuals, I can assume). She argues that this focus on postmodernism - focus on theory - distracts from postmodernity - that is, the actual experiences of those identifying as bisexual. The argument she seems to be making, I think, is that the current postmodern moment has essentially been appropriating the bisexual experience to bolster their theories, rather than allowing bisexuals to speak for themselves.
-I have mixed feelings about this article. Though liminality was one of its keywords, I didn't see it mentioned once in the article. I think this is a loss. So, I'll offer my own analysis
-I think bisexuality can be a liminal state. I have spoken to lesbians/gays who had temporarily identified as bisexual for various reasons. The critics of bisexuality say it's because they're too scared to come out as fully gay, or because bisexuals like to "pass" as straight. This may be the case, and I don't think it means we should condemn bisexuality - coming out is scary. Can we really blame someone for being hesitant? Sometimes they just weren't certain and wanted to experiment. Seems fine by me. However, sometimes bisexuality is an end point for people. In this case, I'm not sure it is a liminal state, b/c it's not a temporary transition. But, perhaps it can be considered "marginal" in Turner's sense. That it is still betwixt/between, defies firm, solid definition, but has no end point
-In particular, I wanted to discuss the idea that those in the liminal state are seen as dangerous, polluting agents to the rest of society. I can see this in the case of bisexuality within the queer community. Bisexuals seem to complicate the clean-cut picture of homo vs heterosexuality that mainstream gay politics focus on while trying to gain acceptance. I think they reject bisexuals and trans folk because they make things complicated and complicated is not good when you're trying to make a political campaign simple enough to fit on a bumper sticker or rubber bracelet. I think it also makes people uncomfortable - "pick a side," "bisexuals are just being greedy," or the contempt that gays/lesbians feel towards bisexuals because of their ability to pass as straight.
-I think there's more to be said about the bisexual experience and liminality, and perhaps more research should be done. But I wonder if there even is research out there to find. There is, to this day, I find, a sad lack of theorizing around bisexuality.
-I found this article by doing a Google Scholar search for Bisexuality and Liminality.
Storr, Merl. "Postmodern Bisexuality." Sexualities. 2.3 (1999): 309-325. SAGE Journals Online. Web. 29 Nov. 2011.

"'World' Traveling and Loving Perception"
From Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes
Maria Lugones
- Quote:

"... the outsider has necessarily acquired flexibility in shifting from the mainstream construction of life where she is constructed as an outsider to the other constructions of life where she is more or less "at home" (77).

-Arrogant perception: "to perceive arrogantly is to perceive that others are for oneself and to proceed to arrogate their substance to oneself" (78)
-This is a failure to identify with/to love another person
-Those who are perceived arrogantly can, in turn, perceive others arrogantly - internalized oppression. She suggests that this is what white/Anglo women do to women of color. However, the focus of this article is not to criticize white/Anglo women, but instead to offer a solution to this phenomenon. This solution being the concept of "world"-traveling
-to use a "loving eye" instead of an arrogant eye: "the loving eye is 'the eye of one who knows that to know the seen, one must consult something other than one's own will and interests and fears and imagination'." (85).
- a "world" is not a utopian theory. It cannot be an imagined place; rather, a "world" must be possible.
-can't be ANY possible, world, tho
-has to be inhabited by "flesh and blood people"
-can be the world of dominant society, or could be a world constructed by a minority population in resistance to the dominant "world"
-can be incomplete; can include a lot of people, or could include a small number of people
- The next point Lugones makes is that one can move between different "worlds" and may even occupy multiple "worlds" at the same time. Lugones writes,
"Those of us who are 'world'-travelers have the distinct experience of being different in different 'worlds' and of having the capacity to remember other 'worlds' and ourselves in them." (89)

- This shifting from being one person to being a different one depending on the "world" that one is occupying at a specific time is what Lugones means by "traveling"
- The important part of this argument is that the "world"-traveler retains a perfect memory of each different person she/he is in each different "world." Sometimes these persons embody characteristics that are contradictory to one another, which leads the "world"-traveler to have a "double image" of her-/himself.
-Playfulness: Western, masculinist playfulness that focuses on competition - anyone who tries to travel worlds with this kind of playfulness is doing so in an imperialistic/colonizing way. Instead, other kind of playfulness: defined as openness to possibility, to self-construction, to surprise. Willingness for fluidity and change
- We need to abandon arrogant perception and allow ourselves to travel to other people's "worlds" in order to see them in a full and complete way
Lugones, Maria. Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions. Lanham, MD.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. Print.

Terry Pratchett -- A Beginner's Guide

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I love Terry Pratchett dearly, and I like to spread the joy around. However, he's written around 50 books, so I think it's a good idea to give newcomers a bit of background on the books, otherwise it seems rather daunting. The majority of Pratchett's books take place in a world called Discworld, which is flat and circular, and rests on the back of four elephants, which stand on the back of A'Tuin, a giant turtle. I believe he wrote the books pretty much in chronological order, but within the whole Discworld series there are smaller story arcs, or sub-series, that follow a specific main character. I'll give you lists of books grouped together in their own story arcs, and give you suggestions on where to start. However, I haven't even read half of the books yet, so some of the books I list I won't have much to say about, since I haven't read them yet. But, regardless, I'm sure they're awesome, because Pratchett is a genius. So, without further ado, here's my list!

Tiffany Aching -- This arc follows a young girl named Tiffany Aching as she grows up and learns to be a witch. Magic has a large role in Discworld, but Discworld witchcraft is very much like traditional, historical notions of witchcraft, and involves much more being sensible and doing the things that need to be done than wand-waving and magic spells. These were written to be young adult books, but I think they still have much to offer adults. I think you'll find some interesting stuff about gender and how ideology/stories shape our understanding of the world. I think you'd enjoy these, and they're not a bad place to start getting into Discworld.
1. The Wee Free Men -- Tiffany must rescue her brother and the baron's son from the queen of the fairies, armed with good sense and a frying pan, and with the help of the six-inch tall, blue Scottish men called the Nac Mac Feegles.
2. Hat Full of Sky -- Tiffany, now studying with older witches away from home, finds herself possessed by an ancient creature who compels her to do dreadful things. She must defeat it before it destroys everything and everyone she cares about, and before it destroys her too.
3. Wintersmith -- Tiffany finds herself tangled up in the ancient story of the changing of the seasons, and is confronted with her first romance. Except, her would-be suitor is the spirit of the winter, who wants eternal winter and Tiffany for his bride.
4. I Shall Wear Midnight -- ill tidings roll across the Disc, as suddenly people begin to fear and hate witches. Tiffany must defeat a mysterious and soulless apparition to save herself and all of witch-kind.

City Watch -- these books primarily follow Sam Vimes, the captain and eventual commander of the Ankh-Morpork (a large, main city, and the setting for a lot of Discworld books) city watch. These are books for adults, unlike the Tiffany Aching books, and deal with the heavier topics, like racism/race relations, imperialism, violence, justice, and the law. Vimes is a quintessential noir anti-hero, and the other characters who are part of the watch are diverse and interesting. These are some of my favorite books in the series, and I think this is also a good place to start reading Pratchett.
1. Guards! Guards! -- A plot to overthrow the patrician of Ankh-Morpork goes horribly wrong, and suddenly a giant dragon is ravaging the city. Captain Vimes of the night watch must pull himself out of the gutter (quite literally) and whip into shape his defunct night watch to catch the conspirators and defeat the dragon.
2. Men at Arms -- A dangerous and deadly new weapon finds its way into the wrong hands. The body count rises as the weapon urges its owner to continue killing. Vimes must catch the culprit and prevent even more murders.
3. Feet of Clay -- Strange crimes are committed that seem to be linked to the golems (clay men animated by mystic words placed inside their heads) of the city. As the plot plays out, the status of golems as property comes into question, and one begins to wonder if they are alive or not. Meanwhile, the patrician is being poisoned, and Vimes must root out yet another plot aimed to bring down the ruler of the city.
4. Jingo -- A mysterious island rises from the sea exactly half way between Ankh-Morpork and Klatch. The two countries seem to be gearing up for a war, but Vimes senses that foul play is afoot. Vimes is dead-set against a war, and will arrest entire armies if he has to in order to stop it.
5. The Fifth Elephant -- Vimes is sent as a diplomat to the country of Uberwald, where the Low King of the dwarves is about to be crowned. However, an important artifact has been stolen, and Vimes is on the case, determined to root out the culprits before the throne crumbles under the Low King and chaos (along with disturbed commerce between Uberwald and Ankh-Morpork) ensues.
6. Night Watch -- Vimes finds himself thrown back in time to a period of revolution in Ankh-Morpork. He becomes drawn into the events, and has to save the day, along with teaching his younger self how to be a good copper. This book has interesting similarities (and dissimilarities) to Les Miserables.
7. Thud! -- Tensions between the dwarves and trolls of Ankh-Morpork rise as the anniversary of a historical bloody battle between the races approaches. A suspicious murder takes place, and while Vimes is on the case, a mysterious, quasi-demonic entity seeks out Vimes and attempts to use him as an agent of revenge. Vimes must solve the crime and overcome his own inner darkness at the same time.
8. Snuff -- Vimes finally takes a vacation to his wife's country estate. But as soon as he gets there, his old copper instincts kick in and he knows something isn't right. A sordid plot unfolds involving goblins, murder, and high-speed riverboat chases!

Moist Von Lipwig -- These books follow a character with a rather unfortunate name. He's a con man and a classic trickster, but is set on, if not the correct path, then on a path that is most useful to the patrician of Ankh-Morpork. These books have some anti-corporate themes, and the second book has interesting things to say about money and capitalism.
1. Going Postal -- Moist Von Lipwig is to be executed for his white-collar crimes, but finds himself instead being offered the job of rehabilitating the defunct post office, which is no task for the faint of heart. However, as he does so, he finds powerful enemies in the large business of semaphore tower (basically visual morse code using squares of black and white) business.
2. Making Money -- Moist grows bored with the post office, which now runs smoothly. So, to keep him busy and sharp, the patrician of Ankh-Morpork gives him the task of overhauling the currency system. Boldly, he begins the transition from the gold standard to paper money -- but not without making plenty of enemies along the way.
3. Raising Taxes -- I've not read this book yet, but I'm sure it's just as good as the two before it.

Death/Susan Sto Helit -- A common character in the Discworld is Death. As in, black robe, skeletal Death with scythe. He also happens to adopt a daughter, and that daughter has a daughter, named Susan. Susan manages to "inherit" some of her adopted grandfather's talents, much to her chagrin, since because Death is constantly having existential crises, she is often called upon to fill his role. Also, interesting fact about Death: he appears in every Discworld novel except The Wee Free Men.
1. Mort -- Death hires an apprentice, Mort, who falls in love with Death's adopted daughter and begins to meddle in things he really ought not to meddle in -- with humorous results, of course.
2. Reaper Man -- Death retires and experiences something he's never experienced before: life. Meanwhile, strange things are afoot in Ankh-Morpork, where nothing seems to be dying like it should. This book has interesting themes about industrialization/urbanization.
3. Soul Music -- This book is about sex, drugs, and rock and roll! Well, it's about rock and roll, but one of three isn't too bad. Death has an existential crisis and abandons his post, pulling an unsuspecting Susan in to cover for him. Meanwhile, this strange new form of music is taking the country by storm.
4. Hogfather -- An assassin is hired to kill the Hogfather (the Discworld equivalent of Santa Claus), and through a twisty plan, he begins to succeed. However, as Death tells Susan, this means that tomorrow the sun won't rise. Susan must investigate and stop the mad assassin from ending the world.
5. Thief of Time -- A clockmaker is hired by a mysterious lady to build the perfect clock. What he doesn't know is that this will stop time forever and destroy history. Susan must work together with a young man who is more than he seems, and may be a little bit like her (i.e., not quite human).

Stand Alone Novels -- some books are not part of a story arc and can be read on their own.
1. The Truth -- The printing press is invented, and with it, the newspaper. William de Worde -- a young man who is good with words and is devoted to the Truth -- stumbles across an insidious plot to "un-elect" the patrician of Ankh-Morpork. He is determined, with a little bit of investigative journalism, to uncover the truth.
2. Small Gods -- Brutha, a slow and thoughtful young man, finds himself the prophet of his god, Om. However, he finds Om in the shape of a tortoise, and lacking much of his power. Brutha must re-instill people's faith in Om (for, at this point, the people believe in the institution of the Omnian church, and not Om himself), and stop the Omnian church from going down the wrong path of torture, war, and inquisition before it's too late.
3. Monstrous Regiment -- A twist on the classic "Mulan story." A woman dresses as a man to join the army so she can find her missing brother. She soon finds out, however, that the regiment she joins is entirely made up of women dressed as men.
4. Moving Pictures -- I haven't read this one, but I do know it's about movies.
5. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents -- alas, another one I haven't read.
6. Pyramids -- another one that I have not, unfortunately, read. It's about ancient "Egyptian" culture, as far as I know.

Witches -- this arc follows a group of witches and their various adventures in the world. I've only read a couple of them, so I'll mostly just list them for you.
1. Equal Rites -- A wizard is born, but the only problem is that she's a girl. There have never been any female wizards before, and as she enters the Unseen University (the wizard university in Ankh-Morpork), trouble is bound to arise.
2. Wyrd Sisters -- A rather humorous parody of Macbeth.
3. Witches Abroad -- Esme Weatherwax is called abroad and takes her sister witches, Magrat Garlick and Gytha Ogg, to defeat the mysterious, evil fairy godmother in the far-off country of Genua.
4. Lords and Ladies
5. Maskerade -- I hear this one draws a lot from Phantom of the Opera.
6. Carpe Jugulum -- deals with vampires

Wizards -- this arc follows a particularly inept wizard named Rincewind. That's all I can really say about it, since I haven't read any of these books. I know that some of them are his very early works, and I've heard the opinion that they're not as good as his later works. But I've also heard that some people really like them. I really couldn't say myself. I'll just have to read them.
1. The Color of Magic
2. The Light Fantastic
3. Sourcery
4. Eric
5. Interesting Times
6. The Last Continent
7. The Last Hero
8. Unseen Academicals

Pratchett and Neil Gaiman -- These two authors with very different styles join forces to write a hilarious book. It's not a Discworld novel, but still definitely worth a look.
Good Omens -- The time of the coming of the Antichrist is upon us, much to the dismay of demon Crowley and Angel Azraphael, who have both come to enjoy their lives on Earth. The two join forces to subvert the plans of both God and Satan, with, of course, hilarious results.

Well, that's all of them that I know of. This link is to a visual representation of the reading order, but it doesn't have all the books as it's not completely up-to-date. I may also be missing some of the books, but if you really want to know more, a quick Google search should find you some more information. His Wikipedia page is good, and there is actually a Wiki just for Discworld.

Enjoy!

Day Twenty-two: November 29

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Today we are discussing Karma R. Chávez's "Spatializing Gender Performativity: Ecstasy and Possibility for Livable Life in the Tragic Case of Victoria Arellano"

Want to know more? Check out these sources....

....on critiques of using trans bodies as foundation for queer theorizing:

...on cruel and unusual treatment of trans folk in prison:
Cruel and Unusual (part 1 of 7 available on youtube and at Walter Library)



...on Gwen Araujo (another transwoman who was murdered--mentioned in a comment here)


A few terms:
  • ecstasy as beside oneself...as precarious/vulnerable...as panic
  • gender performativity
  • agency
  • subversion
  • ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

Great event tonight, open to everyone

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Just received an email about this great event:

WOMEN OF COLOR IN THE ACADEMY
Monday, November 28th
5:00 p.m.
211 Coffman Memorial Union

Greetings!
We are having an event called Women of Color in the Academia this coming Monday November 28th at 5:00P.M. in Coffman Memorial Union in room 211. There will be a small panel of women that will talk about their experiences at the University of Minnesota. We are featuring Rose Brewer and Reina Rodriguez. This event is FREE and OPEN to the public; therefore it does not matter what race, gender, sexuality and nationality you are from because EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO ATTEND THIS FREE EVENT!!!! So, please help us spread the word about this event. Also, dinner will be provided!

Death of Marriage the Path to Equality

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Brilliant article by Dr Meagan Tyler http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3698436.html (Anna, we can share this for resist/reject perhaps? =) )

Nobody Passes DE

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Reading essays from the anthology That's Revolting: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity alongside JJ Halberstam's The Queer Art of Failure allows for the problematization of conceptions of 'queer' as inherently radical (by this I am defining the term radical as referring to root cause of social inequity). If one is to take failure as an inherent art of "queerness", what becomes of those who do not have the luxury/privilege to fail? Theorizing from a space of seemingly unchecked race and class privilege, JJ Halberstam hardly seems to engage with material implications of failure within neoliberalist structures that require the success of some at the failure of many. Erased is the link between failure and violence and violence, where the material implications of violence exist to the extent of bodily harm, homelessness, poverty, deportation and starvation, access to healthcare and even death. This denies the power of institutional and structural violence through implying a degree of agency and autonomy that many may not have while romanticizing the notion of what it means to fail in multiple contexts. Who is absent from a definition of 'queer' subjectivity that assumes a certain degree of privilege in order for one to be 'queer'? What subjects exist in contradiction to "queer" (i.e. queer's abject, an impossibility to queer or be queer)? How is capitalism, dominance and hegemony rearticulated in a 'queer'/not 'queer' dichotomy that values certain identities and means of resistance over others?
In their essay "The End of Genderqueer", Rocko Bulldagger presents limitations of the terms 'queer' and 'genderqueer'. Some questions one could pose of genderqueer from Bulldagger's reading are: Is genderqueer a politics of exclusion? Who is absent from conversations that produce 'queer' discourse and understandings of gender and sexuality? What is the radical potential of an exclusively defined community that divides people into camps of those who get 'queer' and those who do not?
Many in Bulldagger's community define 'butch' identities as archaic. According to Bulldagger, many genderqueer folk read butch as bogged down with "too much baggage", implying that 'butch' embodies masculinity in a way that is not queer. This reading of butch is homogenizing and reeks of ageism and classism, as it discounts the validity of older generations experiences of queerness while ignoring the working-class roots many butch-identified folk come from (Stone Butch Blues anyone?). While Bulldagger does not implicitly state this, I do wonder if this dismissal of 'butch' identities subconsciously seeks to establish 'queer' as something modern that was created from the scraps of inactive queer subjectivities found in previous generations. Many LGBT theorists of color suggest that the way to the future is paved by ones relationship to their histories.
Bulldagger also questions the absence of queer people of color, cisgender femmes, trans woman and folks who have "transitioned all the way, however [one] define[s] that today" (That's Revolting pg). First discussing the absence of femininity, this is interesting to me as it seemingly rearticulates heteronormative misogyny albeit in a slightly different context. Referencing arguments presented by Julia Serrano in her book, Whipping Girl, we may have reached a point where it is out of fashion to openly discriminate against someone who would identify as female; this is altogether different from saying we have reached a place where masculinity and femininity are equally valued. This is arguably the case for heteronormative and 'queer' communities alike). By Serrano's argument, many in 'queer' communities read those who actively choose femininity as their gender identity and expression as compliant in their own oppression. This naturalizes a hierarchical relationship between masculinity and femininity, where masculinity is more desirable.
Classed assumptions define femininity as inextricably linked to a politics of consumption. Identification as femme and expressions of femininity by this interpretation, exist solely through accumulation of material possessions--clothing, makeup, and perfume--rather than something innate to one's being. While this may play out differently in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans communities, it seemingly does exist as a link between many of those under the umbrella term of "queer". Class informs how one is to do and be 'queer' (Butler on performance and performativity).
Similar to class, race also informs how one is to do and be 'queer'. Cathy J. Cohen and many other LGBT people of color have expressed hesitation in readily adopting the term 'queer', often because of the relationship between queerness and unmarked whiteness (Alan Bérubé How Queer Stays White and What Kind of White it Stays is a good read for anyone who wants to learn more about this). Universalizing 'queer' is both patronizing and colonizing as it privileges the experiences of 'queer' identified white folk while eclipsing the narratives of LGBT people of color.

Homonationalism FINALE

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In this third installation I am seeking to apply homonationalism to international contexts. While these sources don't specifically engage with the term homonationalism, they argue for similar mobilization of queer/ gay identity. The first two sources deal with Israel and pink-washing while the third source deals with Zimbabwe.

First Source- Queerness as Europeanness
a. "Queerness as Europeaness: Immigration, Orientalist Visions, and Racialized Encounters in Israel/ Palestine"
b. Adi Kuntsman
c. This article begins by arguing that Israel has become an apartheid state wrapped up in European colonial visions. Non- Jewish Palestians have been driven off the land without the ability to return while Israel becomes a haven for Jews. Beyond this, the article argues that queerness is not always transgressive and within the context of Israel, is complicit with violence. Similar to Puar, this article also invokes the image of the terrorist. Palestinians are excluded from national narratives and belonging similar to the ways in which Puar argues the Muslim and immigrant are excluded from the US. Queers operate within the same economy of scarcity in Israel as it does in the US. Palestinians are othered for queers to be accepted into national belonging. The figure of the terrorist and the Palestinian also becomes subject to Orientalist knowledge production that sexualizes and perverses the Other. The literal land and the intangible community and belonging of Israel are founded on the exclusion of Palestinians. When queers continue to operate in that space, they are complicit with that othering.
d. This paper utilizes similar logics as Puar's original writings while pushing it further to apply to a new context as well as expose the Foucauldian arguments. More general theories about the perversity and repression of the Other could be useful here.
e. I had previously read this article and it was my only previous interaction with a queer analysis of Israel.
f. Kuntsman, Adi. "Queerness as Europeanness: Immigration, Orientialist Visions and Racialized Encounters in Israel/Palestine." Dark Matter (2008).

Second Source- Pinkwashing
a. Israel's Gay Propaganda War
b. Jasbir Puar
c. This article discusses the tension between Israel's increasingly repressive policies towards Palestinians while at the same time attempting to portray itself as a benign democracy. Gay people and "pinkwashing" are integral to that process. Pinkwashing is the intentional process of Israel to portray itself as gay friendly to the international community. "To be gay friendly is to be modern, cosmopolitan, developed, first-world, global north, and most significantly, democratic." Pinkwashing allows Israel access to the First World while ignoring ongoing atrocities. Israel is portrayed as civilized while Palestinians are homophobic. Gays and lesbians become complicit with Israel's violence towards Palestine.
d. Within this article Puar mentions several activist groups within Israel and outside of it that are doing interesting work to combat pinkwashing.
e. I was googling Puar and Israel because I knew she had written on the term but I was not familiar with it.
f. Puar, Jasbir. "Israel's Gay Propaganda War." The Guardian [Manchester, England] 1 July 2010.

Third Source- Homonationalism in Zimbabwe
a. Between the White Man's Burden and the White Man's Disease: Tracking Lesbian and gay Human Rights in Southern Africa Note: you have to use your x500 to access it.
b. Neville Hoad
c. This article argues that rights and inclusion within the Zimbabwean nationalist narrative only furthers its violence and exclusion and remains within the nationalist narrative. Instead of gay activism being on the terms of Mugabe, it should focus on criticizing the logic of nationalism itself. Discourses of rights, nationalism, and gay identity circulate transnationally and ignoring any aspect of that would be foolish. There is no authentic African that can be discovered and arguing for inclusion within that category is complicit in its other areas of exclusion beyond gays. Gay rights threaten the cultural authenticity of a postcolonial nation-state because of their claims to modernity. Since claims to authenticity will be impossible given that it is a construction, activism needs to be rooted in questioning the use of nationalism and its violence beyond just queer bodies.
d. This article applies homonationalism to a country where it is rarely used and inspires further thinking about the colonial encounter.
e. I found this source by doing research for my thesis which also centers around the dangers of homonationalism.
f. Hoad, Neville. "Between the White Man's Burden and the White Man's Disease: Tracking Lesbian and Gay Human Rights in Southern Africa." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 5.4 (1999): 559-84.

Josina Manu's piece about Occupy Wallstreet

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Hay ya'll, my housemate Josina wrote something I thought would be of interest.

http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/the-problem-with-occupation-in-the-occupy-movement.html

Day Twenty-one: November 17

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

chapter three: The Queer Art of Failure


failure goes hand in hand with capitalism


history of pessimism is a tale of: 

  • anti-capitalist queer struggle
  • anti-colonial struggle
  • refusal of legibility
  • art of unbecoming

impossible     improbable unlikely unremarkable


weapons of the weak: STALLING recategorize what looks like inaction, passivity, lack of resistance (88)


Trainspotting and unqueer failure: failure leads to while male rage directed against women/people of color 


OUTLINE OF REST OF CH: An examination of what happens when failure is productively linked to racial awareness, anticolonial struggle, gender variance, and different formulations of the temporality of success (92). 


  1. Moffat and 4th Place: The Art of Losing
  2. The L Word, the Anti-Aesthetic of the Lesbian, and the butch lesbian as loser/failure
  3. Darkness, Shadows, Failure-as-style, Limits, Hopelessness, Punk politics, Fucking shit up, and the Queer Art of Failure
  4. Children, Queer Fairy Tales, Shrek/Babe/Chicken Run/Finding Nemo, and Bringing down the winner and discovering our inner dweeb

oneDarkness and a Queer This by Scott on The Queer Art of Failure

twoPunk Politics: God Save the Queen, The Sex Pistols



A rallying cry of England's dispossessed?
A snarling rejection of the tradition of the monarchy and national investment in it?

"No future for Edelman...seems to mean (too) much about Lacan...and not enough about the powerful negativity of punk politics" (108).

Negativity may be anti-politics, but it should not register as a-political.

threeHalberstam, expanding of the archive of negative affects and "fucking shit-up"

halberstam.png

four: A queer archive? Inspired by JH's call to discover our inner dweeb...

The concept of practicing failure perhaps prompts us to discover our inner dweeb, to be underachievers, to fall short, to get distracted, to take a detour, to find a limit, to lose our way, to forget, to avoid mastery..." (121). 


The Remix/Revisit and Final Wrap-up Assignments

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ONE Here's some information about the Remix/Redux/Revisit blog entry: The purpose of this entry is to revisit an entry, reading, or topic from early in the semester and to critically reflect on how your perspective has shifted (or been reinforced) during the course of the semester. This assignment should be posted by dec 7. 

Here's how:

  • Pick a reading, one of your past entries or a one of my class summaries from the first half of the semester (up until 10/25).
  • Write up a 1-2 sentence summary of your thoughts from that time.Then, critically reflect on how your thinking about the reading, the topic of your entry, or the topic of that class discussion has shifted (or how it has stayed the same--or been reinforced).
As part of this critical reflection, make sure to offer up some of your thoughts on whether or not it is helpful to revisit past entries--is this a benefit of blogging? Is it helpful/not helpful to have access to all your/our past ideas? Are my class summaries helpful in clarifying the concepts (or complicating them in productive ways)?

TWO And here's some information about the Final Wrap-Up:

BLOG ESSAY ENTRY REQUIRED ELEMENTS

1. A (roughly) 250-300 word description/discussion of your chosen term. In this discussion, you should provide your own understanding of the term and why it is important for queering theory. This part of your reflection essay/entry should draw upon at least 3 sources (from our readings/your first presentation/annotated bibliographies). I would encourage you to draw upon your own previous entries and link to them.

2. A (roughly) 250-300 word reflection on the question: What is queering? In answering this question you are not required to provide THE definition of queering (which is not possible), but to reflect on what you think queering is. You should draw upon the readings, our discussions, our blog, outside sources, and your own ideas. I would especially encourage you to reference other students' posts (by discussing and linking to them).

3. A (roughly) 350-400 word reflection on the process of tracking your term. This reflection should occur in two ways: 1. A reflection on the process of tracking your term and 2. A reflection on the process of using/participating in the blog and on twitter. In composing your response, answer the following questions:

• What did you learn about queering theory and your term through this process?
• How was the process of writing on the blog and using twitter helpful (or not helpful)?
• What would you like to tell future students about the blog/twitter experience (advice, etc)?
• What connections can you draw between queering theory and blogging/tweeting? How did (or didn't) our blog/twiiter feed allow for a queer space or enable us to engage in practices of queering?

This essay-entry is due day of your presentation, dec 8 or dec 13. Sign-up for your day, by commenting on this blog post. We can have up to 5 people on either day.

PRESENTATION: You will sign up to do a 12-15 presentation on your blog post. You should highlight some key features of your post. Make sure to keep your comments brief; 12-15 minutes isn't that long!

Waziyatawin Speaks to Occupy Oakland

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Here is a clip of local social justice and indigenous sovereignty activist, Waziyatawin, speaking at Occupy Oakland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naY3VFdTKEc. So fierce.

Just something interesting to share

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This link has been floating around in my facebook and I thought I should share to the class because I just think that this is kinda interesting and funny :)

http://thehairpin.com/2011/11/beyonce-songs-re-imagined-as-undergraduate-theses-in-women%E2%80%99s-and-gender-studies

Queery on being cool, relevant and "cute"

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Today in class, I raised the question of whether or not Halberstam's efforts to be accessible sometime lead to trying to be cool and hip. I mentioned some passage that we had read that discussed the desire for queer as always needing to be relevant and transgressive in cool/hip ways. Here's the quotation I was thinking of from Nikki Sullivan's "Queer: A Question of Being or a Question of Doing?"

Screen shot 2011-11-15 at 9.49.37 PM.png

Also, after class, I was talking with Nyssa and Scott (and learning some more new lingo to add to "funsies" and "rage-y"....what was the term again, Nyssa...lol--something?) and I mentioned an exchange on HASTAC and queer and feminist media spaces in which JHalberstam reflects on being cute. Can we read "cuteness" beside/against/through stupidity? If so, what value does it have for Halberstam? For queering theory and university spaces/logics/discourses?


2nd annotated bibliography

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Now that i have defined what gender means and gone into a more general view of gender focusing on news stories describing how trans and/or gay/lesbian people have been treated i want to for my second bibliography look more closely at the pronouns used to describe transgender people while also looking at the process of transitioning and how transgender people are treated by others.

My fourth source
a. Gender Outlaw: on men, women, and the rest of us
b. by: Kate Bornstein
c. Bornstein goes into detail of her own journey in transitioning from a boy to a girl.
In chapter 4 she goes into detail about gender assignment, gender identity, gender roles, and gender attribution. I want to examine the discussion pertaining to gender assignment. Bornstein suggests that gender is a class. She goes into detail claiming that gender is a system classification and by calling gender this we can break apart the system and examine the different components it possesses. Gender assignment as bornstein suggests comes from the idea of when the culture claims "this is what you are" (22). "In our culture once you are assigned a gender, thats what you are; and for the most part, its doctors who dole out the gender assignments, which shows how emphatically gender has been medicalized" (22). In this discussion Bornstein emphasizes the fact that gender has been medicalized, which suggests that society is not yet ready to have people who do not fit into a category as either female or male. My question is why aren't they ready? Who decides what is "normal"?
d. For further research i suggest using Kate Bornstein's Gender Outlaws as a way to raise questions among the community.
e. I found this source as recommended by Scott by using google
scholar.
f. Kate Bornstein. " Gender Outlaw: On men, Women, and the Rest of Us". New York, NY, 1994. Print.

My fifth source
a. Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink Or Blue
b. by: Leslie Feinberg
c. Feinberg discusses within this book how transgender people are treated within society, such as by the police. She goes into detail claiming a trans- liberation. During this liberation there needs to be conversations among communities spreading the word about how transgender people are treated. Feinberg claims, "Transliberation has meaning for you- no matter how you define or express your sex or your gender" (5). She also discusses the idea of the pink-blue dogma. Feinberg suggests that the pink-blue dogma assumes that biology steers our social destiny. According to the pink-blue dogma If you are born a girl you must wear pink, if you are born a boy you must wear blue. Within this dichotomy how can we stay away from things like this that portray people a certain way? How can we change this behavior?
d. For future research it would be a good idea to elaborate more on the pink-blue dogma and talk about what happens to babies who are born "differently", babies that don't fit in with this? How can we make sure that there isn't just one way society thinks about sex?
f. Leslie Feinberg. "Trans liberation beyond Pink or Blue." Boston, Massachusetts, 1998. Print.

My sixth source
a. Mizzou Climate: Transgender at MU
b. by Nassim Benchaabane
c. Within this article Benchaabane explores the ways in which MU (missouri University) supports transgender people. At MU they have a LGBTQ Resource Center that promotes and protects transgender people. The resources coordinator scruby Scrubble says, "Gender is set by society. In many states, Missouri included, there is nothing that specifically forbids discrimination against transgender people" (1). Interviewed by the author is Triangle Coalition President Emily Colvin. She is a transgender student. "Colvin transitioned from the male gender to the female gender, which she identifies with. Colvin said many transgender people conform heavily to extreme stereotypes of either gender, but she is more of a tomboy."
In this particular article we can see that the author respectively refers to Colvin as she. I'm wondering that because in this community transgender people are respected more other people that are not transgender are more respectful towards their feelings, while out "in the real world" where transgender people are not as respected, people who are not transgender may not care and refer to them by a pronoun(s) that are not correct. How can we as a society promote and change the ways in which transgender people are treated in "the real world"? Maybe because of this publicity more people will be willing and accepting of the lifestyles of transgender people.
The author also expresses, "Struble said the transgender community experiences high rates of violence and transgender students face harassment in schools. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality the transgender community has higher rates of suicide than the general population" (1). The question is how can we change this? Colvin the transgender student says, "My hope is the following generation will never have to email professors to request the use of their preferred name or have to fear employment discrimination," she said(1). Because of Colvin's involvement within changing the MU community she has i believe prompted a way for us as a society to encourage others to adhere to the feelings/requests of the transgender community around the country.
d. For future research we as a community need to encourage people and support people like Emily Colvin. In the future we should go out into several communities promoting rights of transgender people. In order to do this we must get ahold of someone who is important in our community.
f. Nassim Benchaabane. "Mizzou Climate: transgender at MU." The Maneater student Newspaper. 2011.

Day Twenty: November 15

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NOTES FOR JHALBERSTAM'S The Queer Art of Failure

see pdf of full notes (with embedded tweets) here.


Introduction: Low Theory


sources of knowledge? Sponge Bob Square Pants


What is the alternative to cynical recognition on the one hand and naive optimism on the other?

What's at stake with this question? hope future anti-social thesis utopia see MLA Forum on Anti-social thesis in Queer Theory


This book loses the idealism of hope in order to gain wisdom and a new, spongy relation to life, culture, knowledge and pleasure (2). 


live life otherwise


Low theory tries to locate all of the in-between spaces that save us from being snared by the hooks of hegemony and speared by the seductions of the gift shop (2). 


standing outside of success: failure = not succeeding, not achieving success

goal = dismantling logic of Success/Failure

re-envisioning failure (and losing, forgetting, unmaking, undoing, unbecoming, not knowing) as offering more creative ways of being parallels with Luhmann and ignorance, Butler and undoing


Failure's rewards (3)? 

  • escape punishing norms that discipline behavior/manage development
  • preserves some of the wondrous anarchy of childhood
  • disturbs "clean" boundary between childhood/adulthood, winner/loser
  • allows us to use negative effects (disappointment, disillusionment, despair) to poke holes in toxic positivity and myth of power of positive thinking and positivity/personal responsibility see Ehrenreich and RSAnimate's "Smile or Die"


Is failure necessarily negative? Does it demand that we embrace and value our negative, "whiny," grouchy attitudes?


Little Miss Sunshine and a new kind of optimism: not based on positive thinking or the bright side at all costs, but a little ray of sunshine that produces shade and light in equal measure (5).


UNDISCIPLINED

not being taken seriously, lack of rigor, frivolous, promiscuous, irrelevant (7).

What should count as "serious" and rigorous academic work? 


  • Benjamin: strolling down the paths, going the wrong way, not knowing exactly which way to go
  • Disciplinary knowledge, the sciences and rogue intellectuals


Do we really want to shore up the ragged boundaries of our shared interests and intellectual commitments, or might we rather take this opportunity to rethink the project of learning and thinking altogether (7)? Is this possible in academic spaces, especially at the U?


Let me explain how universities (and by implication high schools) squash rather than promote quirky and original thought (7). 

  • disciplines and being disciplined
  • normalization, routines, convention, tradition, regularity 
  • produces experts and administrative forms of governance
  • disciplines qualify/disqualify, legitimate/delegitimate, reward/punish; reproduce themselves and inhibit dissent (10)


crossroads between university-as-corporation and university-as-new-public-sphere


need for subversive intellectuals not more critical, professionalized intellectuals (8)

What kind of intellectuals/thinkers does the University produce? What could it produce? How?


Illegibility may in fact be one way of escaping the political manipulation to which all university fields and disciplines are subject (10). How so? What would this look like? What impact does illegibility have on the ability to survive in the academy? How do those forms get evaluated/graded?


Foucault and subjugated knowledges

steal from the university (11)


adding to the 7 theses (including, worry about university, refuse professionalization, forge collectivity, retreat to external world):

  • resist mastery (11-12)
  • privilege the naive or nonsensical
  • suspect memorialization

responses to colonial knowledge formations:

  • violent (Fanon) 
  • homeopathic...one learns dominant system and undermines from within
  • negative...subject refuses knowledge, refuses to be knowing subject (14)

JH's book works with violent and negative responses


LOWTHEORY

  • accessible (17)
  • theoretical model that flies below the radar,  assembled from eccentric texts and examples (17)
  • theory as goal oriented

practicing "open"theory. OPEN =

JH on hegemony (from Gramsci and Hall): "the multilayered system by which a dominant group achieves power not through coercion but through the production of an interlocking system of ideas which persuades people of the rightness of any given set of often contradictory ideas and perspectives" (17). 


traditional vs. organic intellectual


Low theory = counterhegemonic form of theorizing, the theorization of alternatives within an undisciplined zone of knowledge production (18). 


Pirate Cultures

Linebaugh's/Rediker's The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors,Slaves, Commoners, and The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic and the history of alternative political formations

flesh out alternatives: how to live, how to think about time/space, how to inhabit space with others, how to spend time separate from the logic of work (19)


Animated films deliver queer/socialist messages:

  • work together
  • revel in difference
  • fight exploitation
  • decode ideology
  • invest in resistance
"the art of getting lost?"

FAILURE AS A WAY OF LIFE

goals of book: 

  1. "I hold on to what have been characterized as childish and immature notions of possibility and look for alternatives in the form of what Foucault calls "subjugated knowledge" across the culture: in subcultures, countercultures, and even popular cultures."
  2. Turn the meaning of failure in a different direction, away from happy/productive failure to the "dark heart of the negativity that failure conjures"--modes of unbecoming
  3. Early chapters (1-3) chart the meaning of failure
  4. Later chapters (4-6) allow for fact that failure is also unbeing


It is a book about failing well, failing often, and learning how to fail better (24). Reminds me of JB's passage: "Trouble is inevitable, and the task, how best to make it, how best to be in it." 


JHalb hopes this book is accessible to a wider audience. What do you think? How do we put Halberstam's desire for intelligibility/accessibility beside our discussion of Butler's value of difficult writing?


Master the art of getting and staying lost (25).


chapter one: Animating Revolt and Revolting Animation


explain the title:  A cynical reading of the world of animation will always return to the notion that difficult topics are raised and contained in children's films precisely so that they do not have to be discussed elsewhere and also so that the politics of rebellion can be cast as immature, pre-Oedipal, childish, foolish, fantastical, and rooted in a commitment to failure. But a more dynamic and radical engagement with animation understands that the rebellion is ongoing and that the new technologies of children's fantasy do much more than produce revolting animation. They also offer us the real and compelling possibilities of animating revolt (52). 


connection to failure: 

  • Animated films for children revel in the domain of failure
  • Childhood is a long lesson in humility, awkwardness, limitation, "growing sideways"
  • Animated films address the disorderly child


PIXARVOLT: new genre of animated films that use CGI and foreground themes of revolution and revolt, making connections between communitarian revolt and queer embodiment (29)


Pixarvolt films draw upon standard narratives, but is also interested in:

  • social hierarchies
  • relations between inside/outside
  • desire for revolution, transformation, rebellion
  • self-conscious about own relation to innovation, tradition, transformation (30)


Films: Chicken Run (collective rebellion, imagining and realizing utopian elsewhere), The March of the Penguins (resolutely animal narrative about cooperation, affiliation, anachronism of homo-hetero divide), Monsters, inc (anti-humanist, anti-capitalist), Bee Movie (oppositional groups rising up to subvert the singularity of the human w/unruly mob)


difference between Pixarvolt and merely Pixilated? difference between collective revolutionary selves and conventional notion of a fully realized individual...Pixarvolts desire for difference is not connected to a neoliberal "Be Yourself" mentality or to exceptionalism; it connects individualism to selfishness, overconsumption (47). 


chapter two: Dude, Where's My Phallus? Forgetting, Losing, Looping


explain the title: 


"we can argue for queerness as a set of spatialized relations that are permitted through the while male's stupidity, his disorientation in time and space" (65). How?


"The beauty of Dude is that it acknowledges the borrowed and imitative forms of white male subjectivity and traces for us the temporal order of dominant culture that forgets what it has borrowed and never pays back" (67). 


"dude, seriously: forgetting, unknowing, losing, lacking, bumbling, stumbling, these all seem like hopeful developments in the location of the white male" (68). 


Dude offers a potent allegory of memory, forgetting, remembering, and forgetting again which we can use to describe and invent this moment in the university, poised as it is and as we are between offering a distinction "negative" strand of critical consciousness to a public that would rather not know and using more common idioms to engage those who don't why they should care (68) EXPLAIN


  • Forgetting: forgetfulness as useful tool for women/queer people for jamming smooth operations of normal and ordinary (71), allows for rupture of present/break w/past/opportunity for new, non-hetero future (71), delink historical change from family/generations, forget family (71-72), Dory forgets family and opens up new modes of relating/belonging/caring (72)


Edelman and heterofuturity + the Child (73)

Stockton and growing up sideways (73)


Finding Nemo (key argument 80-81) and 50 First Dates (key argument on 77) both deploy forgetting to represent a disordering of social bonds, employ transgender motifs to represent queer disruption in logic of normal, and both understand queer time os operating against progress/tradition (74-75).


" The example of Dory in Finding Nemo in fact encourages us to rest a while in the weird but hopeful temporal space of the lost, the ephemeral, and the forgetful" (82). 


In their conclusion, does JH address (enough) the potential value of remembering and connecting with the community/culture/"family"? How can we put their claim for the value of breaking from family (forgetting/losing) beside E. Patrick Johnson's emphasis on re-imaging home/identity/community/belonging and Andrea Smith's critique of "no future" and the linear past/present/future it relies on (Smith, 50) and the possibilities for re-negotiating home?

See my live-tweets after the jump.

Great event: To Love and Ruckus

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Check out this great event this Wednesday at 5PM in the Nolte Center, Room140

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Day Nineteen: November 10

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Today's focus: Kinship

Local:

National Campaign: FKH8

Butler: "Is kinship always already heterosexual?" in Undoing Gender

Kinship = a set of practices that institutes relationships of various kinds which negotiate the reproduction of life and the demands of death...practices that emerge to address fundamental forms of human dependency, which may include birth, child rearing, relations of emotional dependency and support, generational ties, illness, dying, and death (to name a few) (103). 


Disjoining kinship and marriage


Role of the State

  • Does the turn to marriage make it thus more difficult to argue in favor of the viability of alternative kinship arrangements, or for the well-being of the "child" in any number of social forms?
  • What happens to the radical project to articulate and support the proliferation of sexual practices outside of marriage and the obligations of kinship?
  • Do the turn to the state signal the end of a radical sexual culture?
  • Does such a prospect become eclipsed as we become increasingly preoccupied with landing the state's desire?


Gayle Rubin's Charmed Circle from "Thinking Sex" in The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader:

rubin_charmed_circle_841.gif

The logic of legitimacy/illegitimacy

  • a field outside of this binary that is less thinkable...the never will be, the never was (106)
  • New hierarchies: the "good" queer vs. the "bad" queer (106)


nonplaces: there are middle regions, hybrid regions of legitimacy and illegitimacy that have no clear names, and where nomination itself falls into a crisis produced by the variable, sometimes violent boundaries of legitimating practices that come into uneasy and sometimes conflictual contact with one another. These are not precisely places where one can choose to hang out, subject positions one might opt to occupy. These are nonplaces where recognition, including self-recognition, proves precarious if not elusive, in spite of one's best efforts to be a subject in some recognizable sense. They are not sites of enunciation, but shifts in the topography from which a questionably audible claim emerges: the claim of the not-yet-subject and the nearly recognizable (108). 


what TROUBLES the distinction between legitimate/illegitimate are sexual practices that do not appear immediately as coherent in the available lexicon of legitimation (108). 


JB's points: 

  1. Wants to attend to the foreclosure of the possible that takes place when, from the urgency to stake a political claim [e.g. for/against gay marriage], one naturalizes the options that figure most legibly within the sexual field (108). 
  2. Argues that "a politics that incorporates a critical understanding is the only one that can maintain a claim to being self-reflective and non-dogmatic" (109). 


To be political does not merely mean to take a single and enduring "stand" (109).


more questions: 

  • What is this desire to keep the state from offering recognition to nonheterosexual partners, and what is the desire to compel the state to offer such recognition? 
  • Whose desire might qualify as a desire for state legitimation? 
  • Whose desire might quality as the desire of the state?
  • What may desire the state?
  • And whom may the state desire? Whose desire will be the state's desire?


desire for place and sanctification (111)


JB, the "monstrous" future, and ways to respond (113)

  • challenge current episteme of intelligibility; argue that other configurations of kinship do exist and should be recognized; outline the negative physical, economic, psychic effects of derealization
  • But, are there not other ways [outside of the state] of feeling possible, intelligible, even real apart from the sphere of state recognition? Should there not be other ways?


Dilemma: Living w/out norms of recognition results in suffering and disenfranchisement but the demand to be recognized can lead to new forms of social hierarchy, new ways of extending and supporting state power, and the disavowal of sexual lives structured outside of marriage (115). 


What is the state (116)? In U.S. state = site to which we can turn which will finally render un coherent...fantasy of state power...gap between state stipulation and existing social life (117)


JB's goal: to not resolve this dilemma, but to develop a critical practice that is mindful of both the need for recognition/intelligibility and the need to maintain a critical/transformative relation to the norms that govern what will/will not count as intelligible kinship configurations/practices (117). 


Dean Spade Interview

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America's first openly transgender law professor on the power of zines, the sacrifice social movements require, and the limits of legal reform http://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/2405/spade_3_1_11/

Day Eighteen: November 8

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ANZALDÚA

the seven stages of conocimiento


one el arrebato...rupture, fragmentation...an ending, a beginning

two nepantla...torn between ways

three the Coatlicue state...desconocimiento and the cost of knowing

four the call...el compromiso...the crossing and conversion

five putting Coyolxauhqui together...new personal and collective "stories"

six the blow-up...a clash of realities

seven shifting realities...acting out the vision or spiritual activism


NEPANTLA

  • liminal space
  • birth canal threshold (554)
  • bridge/crossing

"Suspended between traditional values and feminist ideas, you don't know whether to assimilate, separate or isolate" (548). 


  • torn between home and school, family/ethnic culture and the anglo world
  • face divisions
  • bombarded with new ideas, perceptions of self and world
  • experience vulnerability
  • suspended on the bridge between rewind/fast-forward, elation/despair, anger/forgiveness
  • space of extremes
  • critical reflection
  • home

"Nepantla is the site of transformation, the place where different perspectives come into conflict and where you question the basic ideas, tenets, and identities inherited from your family, your education, and your different cultures" (548). 


"Nepantla is the zone between changes where you struggle to find equilibrium between the outer expression of change and your inner relationship to it" (548-549).


  • seeing double
  • seeing through the fiction of monoculture (and myth of white superiority)
  • seeing through, allowing you to examine the ways you construct knowledge/identity/reality, and explore how some of your/others' constructions violate other people's ways of knowing and living (544)
  • begin to see race as an experience of reality, not fixed feature of personality/identity
  • creates split in awareness...you are a double-knower
  • vigilance becomes survival tool
  • mind/body
  • crave change and long to engage with world beyond accustomed horizon
  • fear keeps you between repulsion/propulsion

BUTLER 

beside/s:


Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 9.16.03 PM.png


  • next to, in proximity to, touching others, in relation to others 
  • bodies touching--violence and care (Butler, 21/23)
  • in addition to, another perspective, another direction, always more than "I" (Butler, 32)
  • ecstatic, outside of oneself (but not fully outside of oneself), torn from self/bound to others/undone by others/implicated in lives of others (Butler, 20)
  • overwhelmed with emotion: grief, passion, anger, fear, panic
  • undone by grief
  • a space of im/possibility
  • a space of community, a "we" that is fashioned through "undoneness," refusals to fully identify, inability to fit, disidentification (Butler, 20)
  • relationship to/with theories, mainstream representations/ideologies, other parts of self/community
  • one of many relationships, positions

see some key words after the jump

"World"-Traveling and Loving Perception

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For this Direct engagement, I will explicate Chapter 4, "Playfulness, 'World'-Traveling and Loving Perception" in Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes by Maria Lugones. This is a rich and complex text, and I believe is needs a lot of analysis and explanation in order to be understood. I will use many quotes from the chapter and annotate them as I go along.

I. Introduction
At the beginning of this chapter, Lugones states

"... the outsider has necessarily acquired flexibility in shifting from the mainstream construction of life where she is constructed as an outsider to the other constructions of life where she is more or less "at home" (77).

Lugones states that while this flexibility is "required by the logic of oppression," it can also be "exercised resistantly." She calls this flexibility "world"-traveling, and states that she will argue that this should be done in a playful manner.

II. "Arrogant Perception."
An important part of Lugones' argument is the concept of "arrogant perception." To introduce this concept, Lugones quotes Marilyn Frye:

"to perceive arrogantly is to perceive that others are for oneself and to proceed to arrogate their substance to oneself" (78)

Lugones does not offer any interpretation of what this statement means. I will take the liberty to interpret it as best I can. What I believe it means is that to perceive a person arrogantly is to only see that person one-dimensionally. That is, to see someone as a stereotype or in such a way that ignores the complexity of a person and her/his experiences, and to deny the possibility of a multi-dimensional subject. It is a way of seeing or interpreting a person in a way that is understandable/intelligible to oneself. Or, perhaps, it is to see a person through the eyes of the oppressor.

Lugones states that she plans to make a connection between arrogant perception and "the failure to identify" with the person that one perceives arrogantly, or to view a person as being a production of arrogant perception. She argues that as we learn and continue to perceive others arrogantly or to think of them as merely passive subjects molded and shaped by arrogant perception, we are failing to identify with - and failing to love - that person (78).

Lugones continues, arguing that women have an injunction to "have our gazes fixed on the oppressor" along with another injunction "not to look to and connect with each other in resistance" to oppression. She writes, "It is part of veing taught to be a woman ... to be both the agent and the object of arrogant perception" (80).

To elaborate on this point, Lugones discusses her relationship with her mother. She explains that she struggled with how she ought to "love" her mother. She thought that by loving her mother - by being a "parasite" (a term she uses throughout the chapter, and which I took to mean being dependent on her mother for housing, feeding, etc.) - she was abusing/using her mother. She also had the sense that to love her mother meant that she had to identify with her mother, to see herself in her mother - "Thus, to love her was supposed to be of a piece with both my abusing her and with my being open to being abused" (80).

What Lugones is saying is that the way she was taught to "love" another meant that she had to identify with the other person - identifying with, in this case, meaning seeing oneself in the same position as the person with whom one is identifying. Lugones saw her mother being used/abused by those around her, therefore, if she identified with her mother - saw herself in the same position - that meant that Lugones herself was in a position to be similarly abused.

It is in this way, Lugones argues, that "women who are perceived arrogantly can, in turn, perceive other women arrogantly" (80). Lugones is perceived arrogantly by others in that she is stereotyped and oppressed as a woman, as a woman of color, and so on. However, she was also perceiving her mother arrogantly when she saw her mother as being only in a state of servitude to others - this perception, Lugones argues now, is an arrogant one, as it reduces the possible complexities of her mother's life and does not take into account how her mother might see herself outside of an arrogant/oppressive gaze.

The point of elaborating on arrogant perception is so that Lugones can make the argument that white/Anglo women (who are perceived arrogantly by white/Anglo men), arrogantly perceive women of color. What makes this article unique, I think, is the disclaimer Lugones gives after making this argument:

"I am not interested in assigning responsibility. I am interested in understanding the phenomenon so as to understand a loving way out of it. I am offering a way of taking responsibility, of exercising oneself as not doomed to oppress others" (81).

Lugones does not wish to condemn white/Anglo women, for indeed it is not only white/Anglo women who perceive others arrogantly: as she pointed out, women of color can do it to one another (shown in the example of Lugones and her mother).

Additionally, it is not necessarily a choice made consciously. As Lugones argued earlier, women are indeed compelled to perceive others arrogantly, while simultaneously being compelled to understand themselves as being perceived arrogantly by others. Instead, Lugones wishes to find a way to escape the seductive draw of arrogant perception, and instead find a way for women of all shapes and colors to perceive one another in a loving way.

Lugones continues by explaining why coalitional work between white/Anglo women and women of color has been difficult. She cites Audre Lorde and her argument that the formation of coalitions can have a problematic homogenizing aspect. Focusing on "differences" which are constructed by the "logic of domination" is part of the "divide and conquer" strategy used by oppressors to separate and diffuse the radical potential of different groups of women. Lugones argues that instead we need to focus neither on sameness nor on "difference" (insofar as these "differences" are constructed through the logic of oppression), but instead of "non-dominant differences" (84). What this means is that we need to understand ourselves as occupying interrelated "'worlds' of resistant meaning," - that is, to abandon arrogant perceptions and to instead "travel" to other people's "worlds" and to see and understand these "worlds" (85).
Lugones once again quotes Frye:

"the loving eye is 'the eye of one who knows that to know the seen, one must consult something other than one's own will and interests and fears and imagination'." (85).

What this means, I think, is that we have to abandon our arrogant perceptions and refuse to use our own preconceived notions and experiences to interpret the experiences and lives of other people. To do this, Lugones will argues, we need to "travel" to the "worlds" of other people.

III. "Worlds" and "World"-Traveling
Before we can go further, we need to explore the concept of Lugones' "worlds." Lugones stresses that a "world" is not a utopian theory. It cannot be an imagined place; rather, a "world" must be possible. However, Lugones clarifies, any possible "world" will not necessarily fit into her conception of "worlds." Rather, a "world" must be "inhabited at present by some flesh and blood people" (87). A "world" could be a society, a "dominant culture's description and construction of life" including its constructions of gender, race, class, etc. A "world" can also be a "nondominant, a resistant construction" by a minority of the dominant society. Indeed, she writes, a "world" "need not be a construction of a whole society. It may be a construction of a tiny portion of a particular society" (87). "Worlds" might also be incomplete (88). Furthermore, one does not have to participate in or consider oneself a member of a certain "world" in order to be constructed as a certain subject within that "world." For example, the "world" of patriarchy may construct me as a "woman" and with that construction come adjectives such as weak, emotional, irrational, feminine. I may not accept that construction of myself, yet the fact remains that that "world" of sense still exists and continues to view me in such a way regardless of how I may personally feel or think about it.

The next point Lugones makes is that one can move between different "worlds" and may even occupy multiple "worlds" at the same time. Lugones writes,

"Those of us who are 'world'-travelers have the distinct experience of being different in different 'worlds' and of having the capacity to remember other 'worlds' and ourselves in them." (89)

The peculiar trait of a "world"-traveler is that she knows herself to be a slightly different person while she occupies different "worlds," but still retains the memory of each different person while she moves between these "worlds." The best example I can think of is this:

I think many people probably behave differently around their - for example - grandparents than they do around - to take another example - their friends. Around my grandparents, I become a different person: I am law-abiding and mindful of rules, I focus on my studies rather than on my social life, and I always tell them that I am majoring in political science, which is only about 1/3rd true (since political science is, in fact only one of three parts of my individualized degree). There are various reasons for my animating this particular self, one of them being I don't wish to give my poor grandparents (who were born in the 1930s, and must have been the big scandal of the town when they got married - since my grandfather is Catholic and my grandmother is Lutheran) a heart attack by discussing with them the gritty details of my studies of Gays, Lesbians, and Trans-folk (oh my!) and because it makes them happy to see me as the angel of a granddaughter they have come to see me to be. However, the person I become around my friends is radically different from this self I present to my grandparents. I understand that I am different people within these different "worlds," and yet while I am in either "world," I can still fully recall who I am in the other.

This shifting from being one person to being a different one depending on the "world" that one is occupying at a specific time is what Lugones means by "traveling" in her conception of "world"-traveling. She clarifies that this traveling may or may not be done by choice or even consciously by an individual. While it may be that I choose to be a different person while around my grandparents, it may also be partly due to the fact that in the "world" of my grandparents, they have come to see me in a particular way, and I find myself unwittingly animating that construction of myself.

IV. Ease/Comfort in Different "Worlds"
An important part of this chapter is the degree to which one feels at home (or not at home) in different "worlds." Lugones discusses four different ways of feeling at ease in different worlds:

1. Ease via Fluency

"The first way of being at ease in a particular 'world' is by being a fluent speaker in that 'world.' I know all the norms that there are to be followed. I know all the words that there are to be spoken. I know all the moves. I am confident." (90).

An example would be the "world" of our classroom. I can say that I feel at ease in this "world" because I am fluent in the "language" we use inside of it. I know all the terms and lingo we use to discuss queer theory. I know the protocols for discussion and sharing our thoughts. Therefore, I am at ease in this "world" - I am confident. However, if I were to enter a different kind of classroom - say, a 4000-level chemistry class - I would not feel at ease at all. I would have no idea what vocabulary should be used, nor would I have any sense of how I should appropriately engage with my classmates or my instructor. I am not fluent in the language of that "world."

2. Ease via "Normative Happiness"

"Another way of being at ease is by being normatively happy. I agree with all the norms, I could not love any norms better. I am asked to do just what I want to do or what I think I should do. I am at ease." (90)

The example that immediately came to mind when I read this section was the "world" of a church or another religious institution. One who is in full agreement with the faith being practices within their religious institution would feel at ease. She/he understands and agrees with the doctrine of said establishment. She/he feels that the religion/faith is asking her/him to perform rituals that she/he wants to do or at least feels comfortable doing. I am not a religious person, and so in any religious institution, I feel uneasy. I am not at home in this "world," because I either do not understand or disagree with the norms of the institution.

3. Ease via Personal Bonds

"Another way of being at ease in a 'world' is by being humanly bonded. I am with those I love and they love me, too." (90).

This sense of ease seems fairly self-explanatory to me. An example could be the "world" of one's family. One may feel at east at home among family, whom one loves and feels comfortable with.

4. Ease via Common History

"Finally, one may be at ease because one has a history with other that is shared, especially daily history ..." (90).

Lugones gives an example for this type of ease, but - perhaps ironically - I think it is not as profound for most of us in this class, because it is slightly "dated." The example I will give is of "90s kids." What I mean by this is kids born in the 1990s. While a group of 90s kids may come together without knowing each other at all before hand, if one of them says, "Remember cartoons in the 90s? They were the best!" I can guarantee that a lively discussion will follow in which each member references her/his favorite show that aired in the '90s, and much reminiscing will be had. While a group of strangers would normally feel uncomfortable around one another, the fact that they share a common history (i.e., the golden age of cartoons), they are able to feel at ease with one another in this particular "world." Someone who was not born in the 90s would not feel at ease, because she/he would not have had the same experience of watching the best cartoons ever conceived of, much to their loss. (Forgive my biased-ness. I am being ~playful~ here.)

Lugones states that it is possible for one to feel all four of these types of ease in a certain "world," but she adds that this is often only the case in the "worlds" of the dominant/oppressors, and one who feels all these comforts within a given "world" is often not compelled to travel between "worlds," thus causing the negative effects of arrogant perception and so on (91). Still, the ease one feels in different "worlds" is important to pay attention to, because it can be helpful in examining who one is in a specific "world," and in explaining why one travels between "worlds" to begin with.
Lugones writes that one may experience "oneself as an agent in a fuller sense than one experiences oneself in other 'worlds,'" while at the same time one may dismiss another "world" because one has painful memories of oppression or degradation within it. In some "worlds," one may be compelled to act in certain ways by other people, and may be unable to act in the way one wishes for oneself, yet despite this lack of agency/choice, this is still a "world" in which one travels (91).

The important part of this argument is that the "world"-traveler retains a perfect memory of each different person she/he is in each different "world." Sometimes these persons embody characteristics that are contradictory to one another, which leads the "world"-traveler to have a "double image" of her-/himself. Lugones writes:

"I can have both images of myself and, to the extent that I can materialize or animate both images at the same time, I become an ambiguous being." (92).

This, I think, is where the resistant possibility of "world"-traveling comes in. If one chooses to animate two opposing selves within one particular "world," this will cause ambiguity, confusion, doubt, discomfort. This, I think, can reveal the constructedness of arrogant perception. Lugones uses the example of how she, being a Latin American woman, is constructed as being emotionally intense. She may animate this emotional intensity either unintentionally or by choice. However, the outsider watching her will only see her animating emotional intensity, without being able to access or understand Lugones' true intentions (92). However, the outsider may get the sense of some internal tension, which may cause her/him to wonder if the joke is actually on her/him, and not on Lugones, and she/he may have originally suspected. Here, I think, is a link to Butler's theory of using performativity as a form of resistance. While performing gender in a parodic way may reveal the construction of gender itself, animating multiple, contradictory selves within a specific "world" of sense may reveal the fact that "worlds" to indeed exist, and that some of these "worlds" construct certain people in an "arrogant" fashion.

V. Playfulness
Lugones has now explained "worlds" and "world"-traveling, but she still has an important part of her argument to cover. At the beginning, Lugones states that "world"-traveling must be done in a "playful" manner. In this section, she discusses two types of "playfulness."

1. "Agonistic playfulness."

This type of playfulness, Lugones explains, is a particularly Western and masculinist conception of playfulness. Central to it is competition. She says there is uncertainty involved in this kind of playfulness, but the uncertainty in this case is about who is going to win and who is going to lose. In this kind of playfulness, there are rules, and one is required to know them and to follow them. In this kind of playfulness, the playful attitude is the result of an activity being designated as "play." Lugones uses the example of role-playing, in which "the person who is a participant in the game has a / fixed conception of him- or herself" (94). There is no room for flexibility or interpretation within this type of playfulness.

If one travels between "worlds" using this kind of playfulness, that person is traveling in the same way as an imperialist. Lugones writes, "The agonistic traveler is a conqueror, an imperialist" (94). This type of travel will only ever do violence to other "worlds," as it will try to conquer them and make them assimilate or disappear. Lugones writes, "One cannot cross the boundaries with it [this agonistic type of playfulness]. One needs to give up such an attitude if one wants to travel" (95).

2. "Loving playfulness."

This type of playfulness could be considered the mirror image of agonistic playfulness. While in agonistic playfulness, the playful attitude follows from an activity that has been deemed "play," loving playfulness comes about in the opposite direction:

"Instead, the attitude that carries us through the activity, a playful attitude, turns the activity into play. Our activity has no rules, though it is certainly intentional activity, and we both understand what we are doing. The playfulness ... includes uncertainty, but in this case the uncertainty is an openness to surprise." (95).

In this type of playfulness, the rules are not nailed down, and the participants are not concerned with winning or losing, but rather concerned with the possibility of surprise - of changing the game. One plays in a way that "does not expect the 'world' to be neatly packaged, ruly," and the participants are not pre-packaged subjects, but rather are "open to self-construction" (96). It is this type of playfulness that one must use while traveling between "worlds."

Lugones ends this section with this statement:

"In attempting to take a hold of oneself and of one's relation to other in a particular 'world,' one may study, examine, and come to understand oneself. One may then see what the possibilities for play are for the being one is in that 'world.' One may even decide to inhabit that self fully to understand it better and find its creative possibilities." (96).
This is what I take that statement to mean: Choosing to animate a particular self in a particular "world" fully is not submitting to an outside construction - it is allowing one to fully understand that particular self and to find a potential within it for change, for play, or for creating resistance.

VI. Conclusion
The ultimate point Lugones is trying to make, is that we need to understand that people can move between "worlds" and can inhabit multiple "worlds" at one time. We must come to understand the plurality and multiplicity of selves that many of us occupy. We need to abandon arrogant perception and allow ourselves to travel to other people's "worlds" in order to see them in a full and complete way - a way that does justice to the beautiful complexities of each person's experience. Lugones writes, "Only when we have traveled to each other's 'worlds' are we fully subjects to each other" (97). To travel to another person's "world" is part of knowing them, and knowing them is part of loving them.

"By traveling to other people's 'worlds,' we discover that there are 'worlds' in which those who are the victims of arrogant perception are really subjects, lively beings, resisters, constructors of cisions even though in the mainstream construction they are animated only by the arrogant perceiver and are pliable, foldable, file-awayable, classifiable." (97).

This is, I think I beautiful chapter, full of hope and love. Lugones suggests "disloyalty to arrogant perceivers, including the arrogant perceivers in ourselves" (98). While there are "worlds" that we construct for ourselves, there are also "worlds" that are constructed outside of our control, and in them we are constructed by arrogant perceivers, and are compelled to arrogantly perceive others. However, Lugones shows us that we are not trapped in those "worlds." We can travel to our own various "worlds," and through that travel, we can come to understand ourselves as complex, beautiful, and reject the arrogant perceiver's construction of us as flat, ugly, one-dimensional beings. Also, once we learn to travel between our own "worlds," we can travel to the "worlds" of others. But, we must do this in a lovingly playful way - this is the only way we can enter the "worlds" of others without colonizing them, and without bringing our own preconceptions and our own internalized arrogant gaze into them. We can accept others into our "worlds," and we can lovingly and playfully enter the "worlds" of others. By doing this, we can come to know and understand each other. And through knowing each other, Lugones says, we can love one another.

DE #3 Extra gender reading: 1 percent on the Burn Chart

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This article called " One Percent on the Burn Chart: Gender, Genitals, and Hermaphrodites With Attitude" discusses the argument of how gender and sexuality are construed or understood as cultural not natural. Within this article the authors Valentine and Wilchins examine ways in which bodies are challenged. They first discuss what trans and intersex bodies mean for feminist anthropologists, secondly they discuss what it means to understand cultural constructions of the body. They also define what intersexuality is. This is very helpful when reading the article. The authors also bring in the idea behind the 1 percent on the burn chart. The two authors then bring about 3 stories from 3 different people that either represent themselves as transgender or intersex, or gender oppressed. All three of them prefer to be called hir but two of them also inform the author they can be referred to as she/he.

I want to first examine the ways in which the authors explain their understanding of gender and sexuality and how it is understood as cultural not natural. Valentine and Wilchins suggest " As anthropologists over the past century- particularly from within the field of feminist anthropology- have developed understandings of gender and sexuality as cultural , not natural, categories of experience, they have also increasingly understood "the body" itself as a cultural construct" (215). The idea of embodiment, sexuality and gender come into context in terms of identity markers such as man, lesbian, or even transexual. This produces a coherence between gender, sexual practices and somatic makeup.
Next, the concept of bodies being challenged refers to the idea of discussing "what kinds of bodies challenge the cultural grids of intelligibly gendered, sexual and embodied identity categories and how these categories can contribute to a feminist and anthropological rethinking of what it means to say that the body is "culturally constructed" (215).
Next, i want to move into discussing the two issues Valentine and Wlichins suggest that adheres to the concept of challenging bodies. First, they explain the issue of what a trans and intersex body might mean for feminist anthropological understandings of gendered and sexual bodies.They conclude that the understandings may focus on the issues of power and difference. Are there certain bodies that fit this category of different? How can these bodies gain power? Second, they explain the issue and/or question of "what does it mean to understand the "cultural construction of the body" by studying bodies that are othered by categories such as transexual, hermaphrodite, or intersex, and how might one extend such an analysis?"(216). In this instance i think the authors are suggesting how we as a culture can understand the "cultural construction of the body",how these bodies are looked upon in society through cultural beliefs. What is constructed as "othered" body? In terms of thinking about intersexuality the authors explain this term as " a physical condition that refers to people whose genitals are not clearly male or female" (216). And that there are multiple manifestations of intersexuality... (216).

Next, i want to confront the idea behind the "One Percent on the Burn Chart".
The idea come from a conversation the author had with a registered nurse, who is all too familiar with transgender experiences. Wilchins explains that the nurse indicated to her that "in assessing skin burns, the genital area counts as only 1 percent of the surface area of the body. But - 1 percent or not- genitals carry an enormous amount of cultural weight in the meanings that are attached to them" (215). Wilchins argues that "genitals constitute as almost 100 percent of what we, as both cultural members and as producers of cultural knowledge, come to understand and assume about the body's sex and gender"( 215). This means that most people within our society hold genitals to be a huge part of how one identifies and when certain people are cannot be identified by their genitals it becomes a dominant issue within our culture. Why has genitals become so evident within our culture? Who decides that genitals constitute what a person's gender is?

Lastly, i want to conclude with the three people the author meets up with in discussing the issues of the othered bodies. The first person is Max and is intersex. In this context the author uses pronouns such as hir and she/he to refer to max. Max got surgery when he was as little as 1 years old and was assigned to be a girl. The second person is Morgan and is gendered as a woman according to the author's opinion of hir, She/he. Morgan's father was told by a doctor that morgan's large clitoris would have to be down sizes to avoid erections that may be painful if she/he would be wearing trousers. Morgan is careful to avoid mentioning hir gender, what hir genitals look like as well as hir partners gender.The thrid person is named Rikki Anne and does not identify as either intersex or as anything at all, except for gender oppressed. The author informs the reader the Rikki has been very influential in writing this paper. Rikki has had sex re-assignment surgery.
The author has discussions with these three people about the meanings of bodies. Valentine explains that trans and intersex bodies raise questions for him as an anthropologist. "The ways in which people physically reconstruct bodies comes to mind, but it also raises questions as to how we, as anthropologists and producers of cultural knowledge, make sense of them. The author also mentions the idea of power. Valentine suggests the issue of power in terms of not only agency, but also in the policing of these bodies by cultural apparatuses. what question comes to mind is how these people are being police, by who and why?


Queer this! Trangender kids

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i found this video online. Its from CNN. Its called Transgender boy tries to join Girl Scouts. Its about a young child of about 7 or 8 and how she feels she's a girl but referred to as a boy because she has boy body parts.
I thought this would be a great way to have some discussion in class

due dates for november and december

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NOVEMBER

8 Nyssa presents on liminal

19 Track term comment #2

22 NO CLASS (catch up on blog)

29 Gina and Briana present on bodies/material experiences


DECEMBER

1 Annotated Bib #3

1 Dunstan presents on youth

6 Gabe presents on surviving/thriving

7 Remix/revisit (details discussed on nov 17)

7 DE Comment 2

7 Queer This! Comment 3

7 Tweet sources 7,8 and 9

8 Turn in blog worksheets for final time

8 Final wrap-up post

8/13 Final wrap-up presentation (sign-up sheet + details discussed on nov 17) 

13 Final class!

Schochet Endowment Colloquia

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Hay folks! So now that the panel discussion on gay marriage is done and I have gay divorced myself from it, I am throwing a lot of my energy into setting up two colloquia series:

Queering Performance: The Role of Art in Social Movements

Beyond Marriage: Broadening of LGBTQ Social Movements

If you could spread this information around to folks who may be interested in coming PLEASE do. You don't need to be a student to attend, both of these events are free and open to the public =).

Annotated Bibliography #2!

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For this annotated bibliography, I wished to explore academic texts that offered some form of hope or ideas for change. I followed Sara's advice and looked at the Social Text Journal and read articles that were suggested for a Queer Suicide Teach in. All of these sources had different, and often conflicting ideas about how to tackle the problem of gay teen suicide.

1. a) Queer Suicide: An Introduction to the Teach In
http://www.socialtextjournal.org/periscope/2010/11/a-suicide-teach-in.php
b) Eng-Beng Lim
c) Lim questions the reasons why some queer bodies garner more attention in the media: a question I often ask myself while wondering why Jamey Rodemeyer garnered so much attention and not other people. Noticeably, queer subjects of color who have fallen victim to bullying and suicide rarely make the news, and if they do, they are much less of a media frenzy. Lim discusses how technology connects people to some extent but also allows a new form of bullying: cyber bullying. Lim calls for a teach in regarding queer suicide in order to educate people about ways to try and prevent the suicides.
d) Lim offers many more articles to discuss the situation: Looking Through and At Media Treatment of LGBTQ Youth"; Joon Oluchi Lee's "Gay Rage"; Gail Cohee's "Bridging Feminist/Queer Theory and Practice"; Eng-Beng Lim's "No Kid Play."
e) I found this source through the link that Sara so kindly suggested!
f) "Periscope: Queer Suicide: An Introduction to the Teach-In." Social Text. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. .
2. a) It Gets Worse
http://www.socialtextjournal.org/periscope/2010/11/it-gets-worse.php
b) Jack Halberstam
c) Jack Halberstam is critiquing the very notion that "it gets better" and realizing that for some, it simply gets worse, or even different. Halberstam notes that it gets better for a very select group of privileged individuals and the same cannot be said for everyone. Queers of color, women of color, teenage moms, and victims of abuse simply can't relate to the It Gets Better Project because for them, it may never get better. Halberstam wishes to critique the so notion that it gets better for those who are "born with a silver spoon in their mouth."
d) Halberstam's article makes me want to search through the "It Gets Better" videos and try to find some queers of color, or anyone that fits outside the homonormative idea of white, privileged, gay men.
e) This source was recommended by Eng-Beng Lim as a response to the Queer Suicide Teach in.
3. a) Gay Rage
http://www.socialtextjournal.org/periscope/2010/11/gay-rage.php
b) Joon Oluchi Lee
c) Joon Oluchi Lee is perhaps critiquing the idea that a teach in regaring Queer Suicide would have any effective because Lee claims that no amount of sensitivity training will have a positive impact and end bullying. This is a pessimistic, but perhaps more realistic notion. Lee suggests making our heterosexual world unrecognizeable through our difference in order to enact social change and progress. Lee argues against traditional assimilationist goals like gay marriage and the repeal of DADT and instead suggests queering our society.
d) Lee offers a more radical version of people "getting better" and making our world one that queers are able to survive. I would like to search for more radical view points that offer alternative views to simply waiting our your life and waiting for your life to get better.
e) This text was also recommended on Social Text Journal as an accompaniment to the Queer Suicide Teach In.


Direct Engagement: Munoz!

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Munoz begins his essay with a description of the way that performing queerness on a stage has multiple signifiers because of the many ways that queers and queers of color have been disadvantaged and discriminated against by society. Munoz offers artist Marga Gomez's performance in her metaphoric bedroom as an act of resistance to the Bowers vs Hardwick Supreme Court decision which effectively removed the right of privacy from gays and lesbians. By performing from her on stage "bedroom," she is challenging her lack of privacy and owning her queerness in a way that she is opening herself up from her own accord as opposed to being exposed by the government.
Munoz defines disidentification as something that is meant to: "be descriptive of the survival strategies the minority subject practices in order to negotiate a phobic majoritarian public sphere that continuously elides or punishes the subjects who do not conform to the phantasm of normative citizenship." To put disidentification into my own words, I would say Munoz is saying that they are survival strategies for oppressed minority groups in order to exist in a world that constantly punishes them for existing in a non-normative framework. Munoz also posits that it is possible to exist within and outside of dominant practices while utilizing disidentification survival strategies. I wonder how it is possible to simultaneously exist within and outside of a space. Perhaps it is participating in mainstream Capitalism, for example, while also resisting in other ways such as performing a queer gender or unintelligible sexuality.
Munoz says that these identities-in-difference come from a failure to adopt society's identity norms and create a counterpublic sphere of identity. Munoz provides a definition of identity by Jean Laplanche and Jean-Bertrand Pontalis that states that identity is assimilating to a certain model. By disidentifying, you are resisting assimilation into the model that has been created for us. He discusses Sedgwick's argument that by identifying with something, you are disidentifying with some other identity. This is similar to Judith Butler's idea that in order to create the heterosexual, one most construct the opposite: the homosexual.
Munoz moves to discuss Marlon Brigg's discussion of queerness as always being associated with whiteness, a problem we still face today. Much of the gay rights movement is still seen as "white-faced," or represented only by upper-middle class, white, gay men. This leaves out the possibly for representation for queers of color, of lower class, of lesbians, of transpeople; the list goes on and on. We have a very homonormative ideal about the LGBT rights movement and it's main struggle: gay marriage. This exclusion combined with the racist idea that the African American community is somehow more homophobic and intolerant of gay people makes the gay rights movement a very racist space.
Munoz delves deeper into the idea of working against and within a dominant ideology, clearing up some of my previous confusion. He states that, "this 'working on and against' is a strategy that tries to transform a cultural logic from within, always laboring to enact permanent structural change while at the same time valuing the importance of local or everyday struggles of resistance."

Queer This!: Dan Savage Gets Glitterbombed

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Glitter bombing has typically been reserved for homophobic conservative politicians, but notable gay activist Dan Savage has also become victim to a glitter bombing. Dan was glitterbombed by a member of the "Dan Savage Welcoming Committee" at the University of Oregon.

Queer This! Kelly Osbourne's Transphobic Comments

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I read a recent story about Kelly Osbourne making really awful comments about her ex boyfriends new girlfriend, who happens to be transgendered. I want to queer Kelly's cisgender privilege and the incredible transphobia that she displays by making these comments.

Queer the Crap out of this!!

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Okay I realize that this has little to do with our class, but I thought you should see it any way. Let me know your thoughts!! How is race and class constructed in this story...the narrative is not new. It amazes me how obvious, negative and dangerous this is!!


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Day Seventeen: November 3

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Here's a post that I wrote about Muñoz's Disidentifications a few years back.

munoz_disidentification.gif

So in class tomorrow (11.3), we will be discussing the introduction to Jose Esteban Munoz's Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics. In this chapter, "Performing Disidentifications," Munoz examines how a wide range of cultural workers (as culture makers and theory producers) "imagine a world where queer lives, politics, and possibilities are representable in their complexity" (1). Disidentification--as a concept distinct from identification/assimilation and counteridentifical/anti-assimilation--is central to Munoz's understanding of how to imagine complex (and complicated) queer lives and practices.

So, what is disidentification? Here is what Munoz writes on page 4:

Disidentification is meant to be descriptive of the survival strategies the minority subject practices in order to negotiate a phobic majoritarian public sphere that continuously elides or punishes the existence of subjects who do not conform to the phantasm of normative citizenship.

Here are some more thoughts from the chapter:

  • Not always an adequate strategy (5)
  • About negotiating identity scripts/socially encoded rules that are available (6)
  • Influences: Chela Sandoval, Norma Alcaron, Cherie Moraga, Gloria Anzaldua (7), Crenshaw (8) and This Bridge Called My Back (22)
  • Involves deeply engaging with ideas/theories and using them, but not identifying with them (9)
  • Not good subjects or bad subjects, but dissing subjects who try to transform a cultural logic from within (11)
  • Being misrecognized, as standing under a sign (like human or normal) to which one (as queer) does/does not belong (12)
  • Not to pick and choose theories/ideas or to willfully reject, but to rework and invest them with new life (12)
  • Not an apolitical middle ground (between accepting or rejecting/fitting in or refusing to fit in) (18)
  • About negotiating strategies of resistance with discourses and counterdiscourses... shifting as quickly as power (a la Foucault) (19)
  • While it involves being hailed into existence--by answering the call from ideologies (interprellation), it also involves a reshaping of that call--a shared impulse and drive toward justice. It is the singing of a song that is not ours, but that we infuse/reshape with our own energy/passion (21).
  • Foundational text: This Bridge Called My Back (22)
  • Involves many different (often conflicting and positioned beside/against each other) scripts...not just heteronormativity, but also white normativity (22)
  • The remaking and rewriting of a dominant script and the public sphere in ways that minoritarian subject's eyes are no longer marginal (23)
  • Utopia...infused with humor and hope and camp sensibilities (25)
  • Resists, demystifies, deconstructs (26)
  • Short-circuiting (28)
  • About expanding and problematizing identity and identification, not abandoning any socially prescribed identity component (29)
  • Going against the grain and turning towards shadows and fissures (29)
  • Recycling and rethinking encoded meaning...not just cracking the code, but using the code as raw material for representing the disempowered (31)
  • Hybrid (31-32)
  • Failing to be fully hailed into existence (33)

Munoz introduces a number of different examples from the cultural work of queers of color: Marga's Bed, Baldwin's "fictional" novel, Hidaldgo's film Marginal Eyes, This Bridge Called My Back. Were any of those examples particularly helpful as you worked throught Munoz's ideas? Can you think of some examples of disidentification?

  • How do you understand disidentification in relation to resistance and rejection?
  • What sort of resistance is it and to what? Does it demand/discourage rejection?
  • How might disidentifcation relate to the term you are tracking?

DE 3: That's Revolting!

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My assigned Tracking Term reading included selections from the book That's Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation, edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, which includes submissions from various authors concerned with anit-assimilationist queer resistance. I would encourage you all to take a look at this book, which is very helpful in interrogating anti-assimilationist queer politics and strategies. For my Tracking term project, I focused on three pieces that highlighted and/or problematized potential sites of queer resistance.

The first piece is entitled "Sites of Racism or Sites of Resistance?" and is written by Priyank Jindal. In this essay, Jindal points to the emergence of mainstream gay patriotism and its racist implications. The author framed the move as an assimilation accomplished through white supremacy, one that pitted the privileged (presumably white) "Amerikan" against the figure of the Middle Eastern terrorist and asked mainstream "Amerika" who was worse. Their ability to mainstream, siding with the "victims" of anti-"Amerikan" terrorism, was a highly visible assertion of white privilege. The author goes on to highlight some of the ways in which mainstream gay activist and cultural groups are rarely concerned with issues affecting the poor, the non-white, the trans, etc.

The next piece I looked at was entitled "Revolting", presumably an inspiration for the name of the book, and was written by Josina Manu Maltzman. In this text, Maltzman focuses on resisting gay mainstream consumerist culture. For example, she starts the piece off my telling of her attendance at a Gay Pride Festival in which she was costumed to protest the event. The author also suggests the importance of resisting certain privileges that may be afforded to her due to her status as a white, anglo-featured Jew. She goes on to encourage others who can "pass", who have certain privileges, not to take advantage of them.

The last piece used in my presentation was entitled "Inside the Box", written by Neil Edgar, a zine author who, at least at the time, was imprisoned in the California state penitentiary system. Edgar writes very candidly about his status as a rebellious resistance in an institution that's primary goal is to dehumanize and deindividualize its captives. He also talks about the rigid binary (trans)gender roles that emerge within the prison when men assume homonormatively traditional butch/femme performances within the institution, expression they would not necessarily assume on the "outside". I found this piece particularly interesting not only because of the awesome writing, but because of the massive, all-encompassing forces that the author is resisting from. To resist in a system specifically designed to demoralize and erase difference is quite a feat.

DE #2 Bodies that Matter

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In this article i would like to talk about the ways in which Butler talks to materiality of the body and to the performativity of gender.
Butler proposes the idea of regulatory norms of sex and how it works as a performative fashion to constitute the materiality of bodies (2). Butler then moves her thought process into the concept of power. She suggests that the fixity of the body, its movements, and contours will be fully material, but also that materiality will be thought of as way to effect power (2).This makes me think about ways in which performativity can be thought of as a way to effect power. For one to perform their gender may very well be a way of gaining power. Regulatory norms of sex forms a performative space that promotes the ideas of materiality of bodies. Materiality of bodies adheres to the very "sex" of the person as i think Butler is suggesting. Does she mean certain people are performing their sex through their bodies?

Next, I want to move into Butler's idea of the subject through identification with the normative phantasm of sex and the idea that identification produces the concept of the abject. Butler proposes " the forming of a subject requires an identification with the normative phantasm of "sex", and this identification takes place through a repudiation which produces a domain of abjection, a repudiation without which the subject cannot emerge" (3). This sentence suggests that the forming of a subject must adhere to an identification that includes normative phantasms of sex. In other words in order to form a subject you need to make some kind of identification for the subject with the norms of sex. "This is a refusal or repudiation which creates a valence of "abjection" and its status for the subject as a threatening spectre" (3). This line represents the idea of abjection being part of a kind of refusal for the subject; to refuse the norms of sex, and this becomes a way of threatening the subject in creating something that is feared.
I like this article because of the concepts of materiality of the body, performtivity and how it links into the body, also because of the concept of a formation of a subject. The subject is linked into the formation of materiality and performativity.

Day Sixteen: November 1

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  • Blog Folders are due today.
  • Here are MY NOTES for our discussion on Butler, Nussbaum, Foucault and resistance.
  • See Butler and performativity video here.

RESISTANCE? TRANSFORMATION? Explain this passage

The task here is not to celebrate each and every new possibility qua possibility, but to redescribe those possibilities that already exist, but which exist within cultural domains designated as culturally unintelligible and impossible. If identities were no longer fixed as the premises of a political syllogism, and politics no longer understood as a set of practices derived from the alleged interests that belong to a set of ready-made subjects, a new configuration of politics would surely emerge from the ruins of the old. Cultural configurations of sex and gender might then proliferate or, rather, their present proliferation might then become articulable within the discourses that establish intelligible cultural life, confounding the very binarism of sex, and exposing its fundamental unnaturalness.What other local strategies for engaging the "unnatural" might lead to the denaturalization of gender as such?

D.E #2 Tweeting Foucault

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This is my first attempt to tweet while reading. I have to say I liked it very much, it helped me to understand what I was looking at. Plus I think Foucault is one of the most interesting minds. I like tweeting as a way of note keeping, also others may become interested by the passages chosen. The internet is a source of power and resistance, I find myself wondering what he would have thought of this class. p.s I just realized I posted @quet2011 not #, so you may not see it on the scroll. Good thing, it's long!?!


mejiagmn Gina Cristian
#quet2011 wondering then how Foucault would have equated facebook in the exercise of power relations.
1 minute ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
#quet2011bib dos on the way
9 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 Foucault blows my mind!!
16 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 silence and shelter for power. there is then no one truth that can be undone?
21 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 discourse transmits and produces power.
22 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 therefor we are all implicated in power relations.
26 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet though discourse power and knowledge join
27 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 "medicalization of sex and the psychiatrization of its non-genital form". didn't get that till now!!
28 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 relations of power are a matrix, moving , changing.
32 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 techniques of power knowledge and procedures of discourse were capable of investing (powers, target) WOW!
36 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 "How was the action of these power relations modified by their very exercise"? good question
41 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 interesting how power and resistance shape destroy and reform thought institutions and bodies.
50 minutes ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 "where there is power there is resistance" Foucault. Form inside, power is within there is no escaping.
1 hour ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 power from below a thought we never conceive of unless its viewed as revolution, not that we had power in the first place. Ummm?
1 hour ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 power is NOT a structure or institution, "Politics is war by other means"...I like that!!
1 hour ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 power is ever present, produced at every moment in relation from point to point.
1 hour ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 live tweeting thoughts back on line
1 hour ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 no existence of central point of power.
6 hours ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 "power must be understood in the first instance as the multiplicity of force relations" uhh wow
7 hours ago

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 this is a power bagel
7 hours ago Favorite Reply Delete
»

mejiagmn Gina Cristian
@quet2011 live tweet d.e Foucault History of Sexuality
7 hours ago

DE With Nussbaum

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This piece was challenging for me to read given how reactionary it was. While many of Nussbaum's assumptions are incredibly problematic, points she raises throughout this article are well taken.

Beginning Nussbaum's article, the immediate question that is raised for me is how Nussbaum defines "women". Nussbaum is highly critical of Butler, criticizing Butler for what Nussbaum is reading as apathy and passivity toward activism. Nussbaum further critiques Butler suggesting that her theorizing isn't sound as it is specifically rooted within geographic space (i.e. the "global north", white and upper-middle class) and is solely written for the purposes of academic consumption within the Ivory tower. I believe Nussbaum implies that Butler is engaged in a process of theorizing the category of "women" out of existence. Specifically, Nussbaum remains concerned with negligence of the material realities of poverty, sexual assault, domestic violence, heterosexism and homophobia, structural and institutional violence. Claiming to speak for LGBTQ women, women of color, immigrant women, women residing in the "global south" and working-class women, Nussbaum's definition of "women" as a categorical space remains homogenizing as it assumes her position as a legal scholar is somehow not rooted in a classed, raced and geographic position. An example of this is Nussbaum's use of flaws in rape laws in India as this came across as patronizing. Nussbaum implies a universalized trajectory of development that places a more developed (parental) United States in juxtaposition to a less developed (infantilized) India. That this trajectory is universalized operates on an uninterogated assumption that India will one day develop in a way reflective of the United States. The two countries do not have historical or cultural specificities that have resulted in how laws are written.

Nussbaum places theory and activism as mutually exclusive polar opposites which I believe resembles the Cartesianist split of mind and body. Butler has been active within anti-zionist movements and LGBTQ movements. Michel Foucault was involved in prison abolitionist and LGBTQ movements, that either intended for their theorizations to be used as a means of resistance while also being engaged within communities is rendered both invisible and impossible by Nussbaum's reading.

I also find it interesting that Nussbaum juxtaposes the disrespectful language of Judith Butler to that of respectful language of male philosophers throughout the first half of this paper (though she does cite the work of female and feminist scholars toward the end of this piece).

What I believe is important to take from this piece is that activism within the academy alone can never be enough. Theorizations by feminists of color claiming an impossibility of neutral and objective knowledges, instead claiming situated knowledges as valuable (theory of the flesh). Theorization that is rooted in space and place is a space blurs the divisions Nussbaum has constructed between the academy and the material world.

In class I have made the remark that a common critique of Butler is the limitation of what her theorizing can do. A gender non-conforming queer identified person will find little use in the passages from Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter when experiencing physical and/or verbal violence directed at their body because of their non-normative gender and sexuality. But to deny the reception feminist and LGBTQ communities had to Gender Trouble, folks who were not in academia, neglects the ability of academic texts to leave the Ivory tower and not simply be consumed but embodied (Riot Grrrl? Homocore???).

Annotated Bibliography 2: Tracking Term Resist/Reject

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For my second bibliography I wanted to narrow my project down to the types of resistance and rejection I was finding in my supplimental reading, selections from That's Revolting!. This text, a compilation of different works, was concerned mainly with resisting/ rejecting homonormative assimilation and assimilation into the consumerist, imperialist U.S. culture. So for my sources this time, I looked for pieces that explored those ideas.

a. "Against Equality - Queers Against Gay Marriage with Ryan Conrad"
b. Deviant Production and Ryan Conrad
c. This is an interview with Ryan Conrad, co-founder of a group called Against Equality. His collective archives material specifically concerned with critiquing gay mainstream culture. I chose to look at this group because they echoed many of the same concerns about gay mainstream assimilation that were highlighted in That's Revolting!, mainly pertaining to racism, classism, and homonormativity.
d. The beauty of this group is that they have an archival database of many texts relating to their mission. Their database helped lead me to my next source, concerned with gay militarization.
e. I found this source while searching Youtube. I hadn't yet included any video in my project, so I thought it would be a nice addition. I started my Youtube search looking for "gays against gay marriage", one of the most visible issues concerning gay rights that toes its way over the line into gay assimilation.
f. "Against Equality - Queers Against Gay Marriage with Ryan Conrad." Graphic. ProDeviant. Montreal: Deviant Productions, 2011. Web. 31 Oct 2011. .

a. "Don't Go, Don't Kill"
b. Cindy Sheehan, prominent anti-war activist
c. This article tackled another of the most visible gay rights issues, "don't ask, don't tell". Despite the claim that right to serve openly would help to take gay civil rights a step farther, Sheehan points out that this is the wrong forum for change. She points to the military as an imperialist institution tainted by violence and intolerance. She points out that despite her support of most gay rights issues, she cannot "...rejoice in the fact that now homosexuals can openly serve next to heterosexuals in one of the least socially responsible organisations that currently exists on earth: The US military". I thought this article would be good to include as another example of the complications of gay assimilation, being that many radical queers are anti-imperialist/anti-war. At what cost does assimilation come, and assimilation to what?
d./e. As I mentioned above, I found this source in the archives at AgainstEquality.org. I have often wondered why a gay person would want to be part of the military, but then I remind myself that many people join the military because of limited economic possibilities. Also, being gay does not make one automatically unpatriotic or anti-imperialist, a fact highlighted in several articles within That's Revolting!
f. Sheehan, Cindy. "Don't Go, Don't Kill." Al Jazeera English. 24 Dec 2010: n. page. Web. 31 Oct. 2011.
.

a. "Resistance is hopeless": Assimilating Queer Theory
b. Alan McKee
c. This article was interesting, to say the least. I was attracted to it originally because it attempted to use a metaphor from Star Trek to explain the narrative of anti-assimilation throughout the history of Queer Theory. This authors aim was assimilate the unassimilatable, Queer Theory. He took issue with what he termed the Queer/assimilated binary which, he claims, posits the radical Queer against the homogeneous, passionless, and unindividualistic heterosexual mass. In a way I can see where he is going, but in my opinion he failed to recognize the nuances within anti-assimilationist arguments. Radical Queers are not doing their resistance work for no reason, but to fight against specific raced, classed, gendered, and sexualized injustices.
d. His argument did make me think of the ways in which Queer arguments specifically tailored to anti-assimilation can sometimes take on a victor/victim tone, as can all arguments concerning oppression. It just becomes that much more important to approach every text, every issue, with more focus, in order to tease out the nuances and specificities so we don't fall prey to oversimplification.
e. I found this source on Google Scholar. At this point in my reseach, I had decided I wanted to focus on anti-assimilationist themes, so this was perfect.
f. McKee, Alan. "Resistance is hopeless : assimilating queer theory." Social Semiotics. 9.2 (1999): 235-49. Web. 31 Oct. 2011.
.

Resist/Reject Annotated Bib #2

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1: A: How Queer Stays White and What Kind of White It Stays

B: Alan Bérubé

C: In this essay, historian Alan Bérubé discusses the limitations of LGBTQ social movements that claim gender and sexual orientation and/or preference as root causes of oppression. Through such a claim, race, class and ability are largely ignored, narrowly framing what one would define as a "queer" issue or a "queer" organization as white, cisgender (and largely male), upper-middle class and able-bodied. Left without critique, this could lead to a ranking of oppressions. While this essay isn't specifically a call for resistance, I do believe that the call for broadening how one defines LGBTQ social movements and communities is a process of queer resistance.

D:---

E: I found out about this source through reading my friend Erica Grace Nelson's Masters Thesis, "Gay for Pay: The Role of Philanthropy in Upholding Homonormative Nonprofit Agendas in LGBT Advocacy Organizations".

F: Bèrubè, Allan. "How Gay Stays White and What Kind of White It Stays." The Making
and Unmaking of Whiteness. Ed.. Birgit Brander Rasmussen, Eric Klinenberg,
Irene J. Nexica, and Matt Wray. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001. Print.


2: A: Queer Okie Zine! (QOZ!)

B: Norman Queer Alliance

C: This zine was released by the Norman Queer Alliance, a collective of queer identified folks in Norman, Oklahoma. It is a collection of poems, essays and short stories critiquing neoliberalist homonormative politics (marriage, the repeal of DADT), while claiming the possibility of queerness within a space thought as unsustainable for queer communities. What stands out for me about this zine is the adamant refusal for Norman, OK based queers to move to the "city" in order to actualize themselves as queer subjects.

D: The zine provides a resource list of other organizations within Norman, OK. While many of them are situated within Universities or are non-profit organizations, others are collectively run spaces and collective houses, sites of community formation that resist dominant narratives.

E: Two of the founding members of Norman Queer Alliance, Joseph Bonnell and Parker Chambliss, were housemates of mine in Olympia Washington from 2003-2005. I shared arts and activist communities with both of these fellas.

F: Norman Queer Alliance!. Queer Okie Zine! Ed. Paul Mitchell

3: A:The Non-Profit Industrial Complex and Trans Resistance

B: Rickke Mananzala and Dean Spade

C:This piece is critical of the conflation and subsequent erasure of trans specific experiences within the broad LGBTQ umbrella. Mananzala and Spade are simultaneously discussing a policy shift in social welfare from being the responsibility of the State, to being at the mercy of philanthropic foundations and business. According to Spade and Mananzala, much of the radical nature of LGBTQ politics have been coopted by the non-profit Industrial Complex (NPIC) and that through this cooptation they have been watered down and largely disempowered. They offer organizational structure alternatives--as used by Queers for Economic Justice, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, FIERCE! and the Audre Lorde Project-- as a means of resisting neoliberalism, transphobia and the selling of LGBTQ social movements.

D and E: I found out about this essay after reading Jane Ward's book Respectably Queer: Diversity Culture in LGBT Activist Organizations. This another source I could potentially use for my tracking term(s), especially Ward's conceptualizing of homonormativity, diversity culture's maintenance of institutional violence, and neoliberalism.

F: Spade, Dean, and Rickke Mananzala. "The Nonprofit Industrial Complex and Trans
Resistance." Sexuality Research & Social Policy. 5.1 (2008): 53-71. Print.

DE 2: "A Question of Class" by Dorothy Allison

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So, this was my first attempt at live-tweeting, or taking queer notes as I've started to call it. This was my second time around on the Allison piece. In all honesty, I felt I paid it better attention the first time, reading it uninterrupted. However, the tweeting did help me to engage with the piece and ask questions. I apologize for having so many tweets. It seemed necessary for this piece. *Sorry about the poor format, I had some trouble embedding my tweets. Please, start at the bottom.


Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 ...are dismissed when it is utilized by the upper classes and internalized by the poor themselves, who feel shamed and hopeless.
2 hours ago Favorite Reply Delete

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 "...I know that suffering does not ennoble. It destroys" (Allison). The good/ bad poor is a dangerous myth. Whole populations...
2 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 ...We live in a society that prioritizes crime by the class of the perpetrator. Not Allison's focus, but I wanted to note it.
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 "and after jail he couldn't join the army" (Allison). As if stealing money from phone booths makes you unfit to shoot people...
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 ...Is Allison describing a specific arrangement here, one that is only possible when money has extreme material consequences?
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 I find myself thinking about the quasi-prostitution Allison writes of, are relationships of unequal power exclusive to poor women?
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 Allison's family's rejection of unions reminds me of capitalism's need to keep folks on the bottom in competition.
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 We can see this phenomenon in greater society with class rigidity.
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 Dorothy talks about avoiding home for sometimes years at a time, as if poverty/ hopelessness is contagious.
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 When Allison talks about hope/fear in regard to her familial community, it is as if to hope is too dangerous, too much of a risk.
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 "I also experienced a new level of fea[r], a fear of losing what had never before been imaginable" (Allison).
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 ...Or, does the abject, having no hope to survive within, commit a sort of encouraged suicide?
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 "...we had been encouraged to destroy ourselves..." (Allison). Do those within the hegemonic destroy the abject?
3 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 ....but how many of her family/community members did not achieve what she did? Does that proportion justify the system we live in?
4 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 To some, Allison's story might be the "American Dream" played out. Poor girl grows up to become renowned author...
4 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 "Entitlement...is a matter of feeling like we rather than they", Allison says. Strong connection to OWS, "We are the 99%"
4 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 Second time reading this piece. It spoke to me deeply the first time around. Let's see how live-tweeting changes any perceptions.
4 hours ago

Awake0064 Anna Wakefield
#quet2011 Alright, folks. Going to live-tweet my DE 2 on Dorothy Allison's "A Question of Class"...
4 hours ago

Liminality: Bibliography #2

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"Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage"
V. Turner
-Turner writes that society is a "structure of positions," and liminality is an "interstructural situation" that takes place during rights of passage ("rites de passage") as a transition between states.
-"States" can mean "legal status, profession, office or calling, rank or degree." It can also mean a "culturally recognized" point of "maturation," as in marriage or infancy. Finally, it can also mean mental, emotional, or physical conditions.
-Turner writes that the transition is a process that takes place over time -- a state of becoming.
-It includes these steps:
-Separation: a symbolic detachment from "earlier fixed point in the social structure."
-Margin: the liminal state, in which the "ritual subject is ambiguous" -- he/she has little or none of the "attributes" of his/her previous position
-Aggregation: the liminal state comes to an end, he/she is "in a stable state once more," and he/she is expected to behave in a manner appropriate to his/her new position in society.
-The person in the liminal stage is "structurally" invisible; that is, there is no no way for us to conceptualize and understand the person who is in-between states.
-The liminal person is at once "no longer classified and not yet classified"
-The symbols attached to the liminal person as "no longer classified" usually have a negative tint -- linked to decomposition, death, menstruation, etc. The images attached to the liminal person as "not yet classified" are images of potential -- gestation, newborn infants, embryos, etc. They are neither living nor dead while at the same time being both living and dead.
-This position of liminality is seen as being unbounded and limitless, while at the same time seen as a polluting agent to the rest of society. Thus they are often excluded/isolated from everyone else.
-Sex distinctions are a major factor in societies that are structured around kinship (matrilineal/patrilineal societies). In these cases, the liminal person can be seen as neither male nor female, and/or be ascribed with both male and female characteristics. They are either sexless or "bisexual." Turner writes, "Since sex distinctions are important components of structural status, in a structureless realm they do not apply."
-The liminal also have nothing -- no property, no possessions, etc.
-I found this source thanks to Sara putting it up on Moodle. It is useful for describing in more detail the concept of liminality as a transition between social roles within societies. Turner's discussion of the symbols attached to the liminal figure may be useful in the future when examining how this concept of liminality may be applied to queer theory.
Turner, Victor. The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual.. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1967. Print.

Images of the Liminal
Presentation Transcript
James Kennell, University of Greenwich and Wesley Rykalski, Birkbeck College, University of London
-This is a power-point presentation discussing the "Arcades Project" of Walter Benjamin.
-This "Arcades Project" (which was left incomplete by Benjamin) is apparently a series of writings about and images of the "Parisian arcades" -- which I gather is a seaside promenade.
-Images themselves are somewhat liminal. The presenters quote Benjamin:

"It is not that what is past casts its light on what is present, or what is present its light on what is past; rather, image is that wherein what has been comes together in a flash with the now to form a constellation. In other words, image is dialectics at a standstill. For while the relation of the present to the past is a purely temporal one, continuous one, the relation of what-has-been to the now is dialectical: is not progression but image, suddenly emergent" (Benjamin AP N2a,3)

-They say that the promenades is a good place to consider as a liminal geography because of the way the embody class divides, changing architecture, the development of leisure time, and how the promenade has changed as a public/private space over time.
-The presenters find that the promenade is a space of management/managing of behavior. They write that this leads them "to the idea of managed liminality- the frissons of the historic shore have now been effectively brought into the capitalist mode of production, including the production (and productivity) of leisure"
-They seem to suggest that leisure activity challenges the split of public/private space. This is not expressly stated in the presentation, but I would think that this is the case because these spaces are "public" -- for the use of the community -- but still managed -- there are things one can and cannot do on the promenade -- and that leisure is a "private" activity -- it is done for one's personal benefit; how one engages in leisure time differs from others -- but it is done in a "public" space -- like the promenade.
-The last quote from Benjamin is about the concept of the "flâneur":
"The crowd is the veil through which through which the familiar city is transformed for the flâneur into phantasmagoria. This phantasmagoria, in which the city appears now as landscape, now a room, seems later to have inspired the décor of department store, which thus puts flânerie to work for profits. In any case, department stores are the last precincts of flânerie." (Benjamin 1939: 21)

-I know that the French verb "flâner" means "to loiter" or "to relax." I wonder if the "flâneur" could be said to be occupying a liminal state -- he/she is moving through public spaces without an express intent or purpose, making him/her unintelligible to those who have a specific goal in mind.
-I found this site while searching for images or photography regarding the subject of liminality. I was looking for a non-traditional source, and I found this. I'm not entirely sure about the usefulness of this source, or if it has any place here. But I thought I'd take a chance and try it out. I think more exploration of the concept of the "flâneur" could be interesting or useful.
Kennel, James and Wesley Rykalski. "Images of the liminal - Presentation Transcript." Slideshare.net. Slide Share Inc, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2011.

'I am the Prince of Pain, for I am a Princess in the Brain': Liminal Transgender Identities, Narratives and the Elimination of Ambiguities
From Sexualities
Mandy Wilson
-In this article, Wilson explores the liminal process of transgender identities. She explores why it is seen as a process between one fixed point (gender) to another fixed point (another gender) by the transgendered people she interviewed.
-She writes:

"the trans of transgendered meant for many a temporary liminal phase and
was before long perceived as one of limited gender potential, where the
body is out of necessity suspended in a 'betwixt and between' limbo but
where it 'is simply a means to an end rather than an end in itself'."

-Wilson writes that the people she interviewed were critical of the male/female gender binary, but, "their criticism was directed more towards the inability to shift from being one gender to the other or to being allowed to be both male and female, rather than of the
categories themselves" and mostly retained the "mutual exclusiveness of gender boundaries."
-Wilson writes about the meetings of transgender people in Perth, Australia, and likens these gatherings to Turner's idea of "communitas" -- communities of those in a liminal space. In this communitas, "the transgendered body now occupies a space where the
distinction between conventional notions of male and female becomes
considerably ambiguous."
-An important passage:
"What is interesting about the private collectively liminal stage is that gender conventions are temporarily suspended, variant bodies are everywhere and yet, the purpose of this phase is often to privately nurture the variant individual for publicly unambiguous genderhood."

-Finally, Wilson writes that interestingly enough, once a transgender person transitioned finally to his/her final gender of choice, he/she rarely, and usually never, returned to the transgender support group. In Turner's theory of liminality, this would be because that person has attained his/her final stage and has now exited the liminal period.
-This article specifically engages Turner's theory of liminality with the transgender experience. It applies the term and the concept usefully to a "queer experience." Perhaps more research along these lines could be helpful.
Wilson, Mandy. "'I am the Prince of Pain, for I am a Princess in the Brain': Liminal Transgender Identities, Narratives and the Elimination of Ambiguities." Sexualities. 5.4 (2002): 425-448. SAGE Journals Online. Web. 31 Oct. 2011.

Annotated Bib #2 Bodies/ Material Experiences

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In this section of my annotations I want to focus on different ways bodies are constructed. This is the first time I will be attempting non-traditional sources, I hope they work!!.
My first source is a video on youtube of a procedure called Labiaplasty.

a) Labiaplasty: Understanding the Anatomy



b) The poster of the video is Otto Placik MD of bodysculpter.com

c) I chose this video to accompany another source. I was also interested in the language used by the male doctor when describing the female anatomy. I think it is very interesting how the doctor creates analogies with objects when describing the body, he uses terms like mound of venus or a procedure called an un-roofing. What is the standard of genital beauty??

d) Two additional sources I think that would be useful are Somerville's Queering the Color Line. Chapter one: Scientific Racism and the Invention of the Homosexual body. Also Emily Martins the Sperm and the Egg.

E) I found this video on youtube while looking at a lecture on Labiaplasy and Material Bodies.

F) Placik, Otto. "Labiaplasty: Understanding the Anatomy - YouTube." YouTube -
Broadcast Yourself. 11 June 2008. Web. 31 Oct. 2011.
.

Second: Thinking Gender 2010: Material Bodies and States of Feminism.

b) Neslihan Sen Anthropology and Geography, University of Illinois at Chicago.



c) This source as stated above is of a part of a panel discussion on Material Bodies and the Stated of Feminism. Sen gives a great talk on the construction of the ideal vagina. She discussed the ways in which science has informed the normative selling of the vagina. She states that almost all of the images of vagina's in medical journals look the same. Even one taken from "Our Bodies Ourselves", which is just sad. Vaginal reconstruction has become a booming business. There have been shows dedicated to them such as Doctor 90210. Sadly I had seen that show when I was a teenager in the 90's. Are vaginas elegant?
Labia .png

e) I found this source on Youtube with the search term Bodies and Material experience.

f) Sen, Neslihan. "Thinking Gender 2010: Material Bodies and States of Feminism,
Sen - YouTube." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Center for the Study of
Women, 27 Apr. 2010. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. v=P-o1lGEUPnM>.
Third : Chris Bruce, Transgender Bodybuilder

b) David Moye

c) This article was found in the weird news section of the Huffington Post. Problem in itself that people are "weird" as in not normal...ummm news source!! Well chose this article because of the way in which the body is depicted. As a body builder transgender person Chris Bruce choses to live her body in a interesting way. It seems that even transgender bodies are also constructed in a normative way. By this I mean that it seems there is an expectation for transgender people to also fit into normative standards as closely as possible?

 

d) I found this article just reading the news.

e) Moye, David. "Chris Bruce, Transgender Bodybuilder, Competes As A Woman 20
Years After Doing It As A Man." Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington
Post. Huffington Post, 28 Oct. 2011. Web. 31 Oct. 2011.
bruce_n_1062737.html>.

Mash-up!

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I would like to talk about the idea of the value of identity/identities. I am interested in learning more about how one perform's an identity and what that means for quote on quote "queer people." Also, I want to look further in the idea of resisting regimes of the "normal" as well as the idea of focusing on the logics of race, colonialism, gender, sexuality, and capitalism.
The articles I sought out are Patrick E. Johnson's "Quare studies, or (almost) Everything I know about queer studies I learned from my grandmother" and Andrea Smith's "Queer Theory and Native studies: The Heteronormativity of Settler Colonialism". In "Quare studies", the focus presumes to fall under the importance of calling for the value of identity and the idea that not everyone has access to each other's identities. His argument is rounded towards how people of color are viewed with the idea of queer and he uses his grandmother's views of queer to understand himself what queer means to him. Johnson uses Butler's concept of performativity to unpack his thoughts of her in critiquing the way in which Butler does not articulate in his words "the meatier politics of resistance" ( Johnson,136). He suggets an example, " what are the implications of dismantling subjectivity and social will to ground zero within oppressive regimes? Does an overemphasis in the free-play of signifiers propel us beyond a state of quietism to address the very real injustices in the world?"
Now to use a Queer this post: I want to use Sara's Queer This! of the image of the starving black children on the right and the gay men on the left about to kiss. As I had already commented on this i wanted to further use it as way in which Johnson describes his "quare" concepts. I think in terms of the idea of performing as a form of resistance Johnson would interpret the picture of the gay men as maybe posing in a sexual way to perform their identity or gay lifestyle. This would suggest that these two men might be performing in order to survive their day-to -day experiences. He mentions that we should reconceptualize "play" (performance) as "work". And then draw our attention on the social consequences of those performances. (Johnson, 140).
Now i want to turn my attention to "Queer Theory and Native Studies":
In this article Smith suggests the idea of resisting to regimes of the normal. I like this idea very much because it gives us a chance to talk about the ways in which the native peoples sought out to resist colonists with a queer look. Smith argues that native studies can be informed by queer theory's turn toward the subjectless critique. In other words you can look at native people's as not being acknowledged as a subject and not acknowledging themselves as a subject. Smith borrows Silva's "Toward a Global Idea" and suggests the concept of the "transparent 1" and the "affectable other". "The queer (white) subject is the universal self-determining subject, the "transparent1", but the racialized subject is the "affectable other" (Smith,45).
I'm not sure if this DE goes well with what i'm saying but i want to use Kelly's DE on Sullivan because Andrea Smith mentions some of the same theorists that Sullivan does. Kelly suggests, "Often queer falls short of its radical potential. Sullivan describes activist groups who find that queer is still male centered and utilizes white privilege. Queer can also fall into dichotomous ways of thinking that endanger coalitional strategies (48)."
Andrea Smith also argues to the fact that queer is male centered and utilizes white privilege. She refers to discussing the logic that indigenous peoples must disappear and through this logic of genocide, non-native people then become the rightful inheritors of all that was indigenous, including land and resources (Smith, 53). The non-native people's are referred to white males as most colonists at the time were.

Finally, we can see that both these articles mention the concepts of the value of identity and the concepts of resistance and logics in referring to race, sexuality, gender, capitalism, and colonialism. I'd like to say that these two articles enhanced my understanding of queer theory.

Mash Up!! Performative realities Whaa!

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I would like to explore queering though performativity. For me queering is calling to the forefront the notion of naturalizations and norms both visible and invisible. I want to start for a position that all identities are performative, calling into question any signifier. Anything can and should be queered including queerness. In my thought and identity or proclaimed space should be critiqued. I am very much interested in unpacking all claims to identities as many of you can probable tell at this point! ☺

The two readings I elected are that of Patrick E. Johnson and the interview Judith Butler gave on Performativity. How can one, come into being with out excluding the possibility of another? When I read the article this question pops up over and over. The question may seem convoluted, but I find it interesting to ponder no the less. Is identity predicated on what one is not? She sets out to question how "norms materialize the body" (Butler, 3), in that no body is without entanglement to the material world. For this I want to turn to a Queer This! Post by Gabe. In his post he questions National Coming out Day.
"The only reason we have to "come out" is because we are presumed heterosexual/heteronormative until we say differently. Therefore, the very fact that we have to come out in another way of othering us and placing us outside of the realm of normativity".

While I also feel there is a need for a space to articulate ones existence, being called to the national stage may not be the best option as it objectifies ones experience. Also it is a performance of another identify that is based on the exclusion of what to gain that acceptance? From this I turn to Nyssa's direct engagement with the Berlant and Freedmen article in which she is critical of the "I hate straights" movement. Nyssa writes:

"I Hate Straights" perpetuates the incorrect and unproductive hetero/homo binary"

I could not agree more with her assessment. She also critiques "coming out", calling this identity forth for some can be a dangerous move. She asserts that there is a need to examine privilege in the case of coming out. Some can afford to do so, while for others community and familial ties are a lifeline. And Finally I would like to bring Johnson into the conversation. Jonson writes of the need to critically engage with queerness. He questions the ability of queer to encompass queers of color. Johnson asserts that queer has an homogenizing effect, in that in there is a "false umbrella" effect in which all queers are said to fall under. For Johnson quare opens up the possibility for identities that are not fixed questioning constructions of normsIt to me is an acknowledgement that identities change, we are not who we where a minute ago. Bodies are always constructed and reconstructed by the material world. There is no one identity.

Monster Mash (Up): Queer Pedagogy Revisited

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In this post, I want to explore the idea of queer pedagogy further. Specifically, I am interested in the queering of academic space happening in our own classroom, which has been expanded now to transcend physical space because of our internet-based sites of study and presentation. In Susanne Luhmann's article "Queering/Querying Pedagogy? Or, Pedagogy Is a Pretty Queer Thing" (moodle), the author discusses what a queer pedagogy might look like and who it might serve. In my interpretation, the author was positing that queering does not necessarily concern itself solely with sexuality or gender, but is a tactic to unsettle the normative academic method. For me, the structure of this class has been very closely aligned with Luhmann's piece, which I have come to think of as a kind of handbook or model for our journey this semester (check out my own DE). Throughout this blog post I intend to highlight some of the ways in which we have intended and/or succeeded in queering our academic endeavors.

While going through the Direct Engagement category, I started to think about the live-tweet option that some of our classmates have chosen to utilize. Normally, when I read a text I sometimes jot down notes with key themes and ideas, as I believe many of my classmates probably do as well. However, I don't always do this. Usually, if I do not it is either due to time constraints, where I am just reading as fast as possible hoping I can soak up the material, or because I believe myself to be comprehending the material completely, which I can assure you is really never the case. I was struck by an introduction Kelly wrote to her DE live-tweet. Her post reads:

"Live tweeting Butler was an interesting experience. I thought that it might be helpful for me personally to engage as I went along. Sometimes as I am reading difficult texts I start off thinking about each sentence and then begin to gloss over as I go along. Live tweeting forced me to summarize as I went along which really helped as I got to the psychoanalysis parts".

In this case we can see that the live-tweet option helped her to slow down and comprehend the material more deeply. In a way, the live-tweet option is like taking queer notes (a term I have just coined, use it!). Also, the live-tweet/queer note option has communicative possibilities. I do not believe any of us have done a multi reader live-tweet/queer note conversation yet, but it would be interesting to see how interaction with other students could queer the traditionally solitary practice of reading academic texts.

Another way in which we are effectively queering our academic process is by reading non-traditional academic work, both in assigned texts and blog post links. For example, early on in the semester we were assigned to read to blog posts, by Danah Boyd and Jenna MCWilliams, respectively. These posts, concerning a recent Digital Media and Learning conference, were in conversation about the controversy concerning the format and content decisions of the conference. Not only were these oppositional arguments posted within four days of each other, but the format of the blogs in which they were posted allowed for an even wider conversation to take place. In my experience within gender studies, a great emphasis has been put on the importance of open discourse. It is the responsibility of theorists and other authors to allow for criticism and be able to engage with challenging arguments. We are not only able to see that taking place within the DML controversy, but we can do that within our own academic space by commenting on posts written by other classmates.

In addition to the diverse formats of the academic works we read and watch, we also have the opportunity to present topics for discussion via our Queer This! and Announcements posts. I believe that this is a good embodiment of the Frierean model of pedagogy, one in which the contributions of the students are as important as that of the teacher. For example, in response to posts by both Scott and Nyssa about the "Decolonize Wall Street" countermovement, Sara posted an image from the movement she found on facebook. This is not your average, or should I say normative, academic space.

I will admit it. Initially I had my doubts about the technology we would be utilizing in class. However, there are some really interesting ways we have been queering the academy. I say kudos to Sara for putting together this site for queer academic engagement! I also want to commend my fellow classmates for utilizing the tools she set up for us even though it may have been a new experience.

Live-Tweeting Nussbaum

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I'm not biased at all, really.

#quet2011 Live-tweeting Nussbaum for my second DE. Be prepared.
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Academics have "eyes always on the material conditions of real women" -- Real women? What's that mean?
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Nussbaum focuses on the "practical" and the "real." This seems to mean legislative change in rape law for the most part.
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Nussbaum says "new feminism" tells us that we're "prisoners" of power structures that we can never escape. Is that so?
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Nussbaum complains that Butler is hard to understand & her theorists tend to disagree with one another. Cry me a river, Nussbaum
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Nussbaum complains about Butler's unanswered questions. Is it wrong to ask questions w/o having an answer?
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Nussbaum says Butler's "gender as social construction" isn't a new idea.
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Nussbaum critiques Butler's agency: it "dooms" us to repetition and "parody" as our only recourse.
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Nussbaum misinterprets Butler's argument about the social construction of the body, in my opinion.
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Nussbaum says Butler argues for waiting for a political struggle to reveal itself.
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Nussbaum criticizes Butler for not prescribing a "normative theory of social justice"
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 Nussbaum: "Butler says that our subversion cannot hope to change the overall system." Does Butler really say that?
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

#quet2011 IMO Nussbaum never engages Butler's criticism of the subject of "woman" -- instead continually uses it unproblematically
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Mashup

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To queer is to undo something, to turn it upside down or on its axis, to change something in a way that makes it non-normative, to look at something with a non-normative framework, through the lens of a queer theorist.

I chose to queer the idea of National Coming Out Day because it's process of coming from a place of unintelligibility, (being closeted and therefore not recognizable to society), to a place of intelligibility, (one where society can easily define you based on the binary system of sexuality.) In her direct engagement, Gina references Chaz Bono's reinforcement of the heteronormative framework by assuming a heterosexual male gender and sexuality as a female to male transgendered individual. Because heterosexuality can only exist with the existence of its inverse: homosexuality, is coming out as homosexual also reinforcing heteronormativity? By coming out as non-normative, you are claiming opposition to the norm, which in turn further defines the norm by defining what it is not. In "Decking Out: Performing Identities," Judith Butler reinforces this idea with her claim that "being 'out' always depends to some extent on being 'in,' it gains its meaning only within that polarity." She also discusses how one performs a gender in order to be intelligible in, "Changing the Subject: Judith Butler's Politics of Radical Resignification." Butler describes the impossibility of avoiding naming one's gender in the binary, or therefore becoming intelligible to our society. She explains that "we work within the norms that constitute us as individuals," and how they limit our agency because of their inherent restraints. Our strive towards intelligibility limits our ability to act on our own free will because our supposed "free will" is dictated by societal norms and constructions of gender.

One is able to queer our notions of the gender binary by presenting a non-normative gender that conflicts with our society's expectations about gender regarding representations masculinity and femininity. To queer ones gender is to render yourself unintelligible and opens up the possibility of resisting the rigid heteronormative norms and ideals.

Scottie's Mash UP

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What does queer/ing mean for me? One can "queer" a space, either by drawing attention to something that others hadn't/didn't want to notice before one made it visible/brought it to their attention. One can queer a space through migration, through taking up space that is otherwise normative and transforming it into something else (such as Guerrilla Queer Bar seeks to do). "Queering" is broadening, non-normative, the periphery, and a politicized ambiguity. One can "queer" an identity, "queer" an event, "queer" an object by broadening the possibilities of meaning. What remains consistent for me is that it is often political.

Many LGBT people who identify as "queer" move to urban centers as these spaces are seen as reflective of a "region's social tolerance" (Hanhardt, 63). This relies on the assumption of rural queerness as impossible. Moving is required to realize the full potential of ones "queerness". This may be symptomatic in its answer however, what Dorothy Allison calls the "geographic solution. Change your name, leave town, disappear, make yourself over. What hides behind that impulse is the conviction that the life you have lived, the person you are, is valueless, better off abandoned, that running away is easier than trying to change things, that change itself is not possible" (19-20). While Allison is referring to her own experiences with "queer" migrations, this example is applicable here as it is resembles the stories of how many LGBTQ folk find themselves in cities to begin with (myself included).

Dorothy Allison states that she is queer because she is not simply a lesbian, but a transgressive lesbian (23). By transgressive, Allison is referencing her gender identity, how she does her sexuality, how her class and geographic position have complicated the universality of coming out narratives as she goes to college, as she creates her chosen family within feminist circles and movements against sexual violence.

Allison's identities are multiple, transgressive, not simply a complication but in flux, fluid, in movement, as a bridge between multiple cognitive and physical spaces. What is the abject to "queer" in this context? Is the abject to "queer" fixed and rigid, gender conforming, middle/upper class, and heterosexual?

In defining what is "queer", one inevitably will define what is not "queer". Cathy J. Cohen and Roderick Ferguson add wonderfully to Allison's conception of "queer", recognizing that "queer" is not exhaustive, that "queer" by this conception could allow for some kinds of "other" to come into existence by subversion at the expense of another "other". Cohen and Ferguson would argue for a queer politics that practices inclusion rather than exclusion. I do not mean this as a criticism to Dorothy Allison, I mean to "queer" Allison's conception of "queer". Allison's conception of "queer" does not inherently reject the experiences of marginalized communities who may be gender conforming and/or heterosexual. Kelly's direct engagement further interrogates ways in which "queer" can create and naturalize the very dichotomies it may seek to dismantle --side note-- Has anyone read Allan Bérubé's "How Queer Stays White and What Kind of White it Stays"? If not please do it is essential. "Queer" could be both/and rather than either/or.

How one defines "queer" issues informs the dichotomies "queer" can create, these dichotomies fracture along lines of gender, race and class. Further, as Kelly states in her direct engagement, this dichotomous thinking can actually endanger coalitional strategies rather than allowing radical social change through acts of subversion.

One cannot define "queer" simply as those issues that specifically affect communities who identify as LGBTQ people. In Minnesota, this is very much the case. Outfront Minnesota, Project 515, Minnesotan's United For All Families and Quorum all assert the single most important issue for ALL Minnesotan's (LGBTQ and otherwise) is gay marriage. I want to recognize a few things before I unpack this. First, in the context of Minnesota this is slightly different as the response by LGBTQ communities has been in defense to a proposed amendment by conservative populations who wish to ban gay marriage. Second, this is not an issue of equal importance to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. Even when one has not factored in differences of race and class, gay marriage remains an issue more specific to the needs of lesbian and gay folk (thus my reason for separating the L and the G from the BT and Q in the acronym). With that preface, what does it mean to focus so heavily on gay marriage? For me it means broader issues are put on the back burner. Absent from a politics that take gay marriage as their central tenet is racism, classism, sexism, transphobia, poverty, and homelessness, access to healthcare, employment and housing.

Specifically looking at Quorum, this becomes increasingly problematic as LG(BTQ) folks working within business are courting their corporate employers to financially and politically support the fight for gay marriage. Referencing my own "Queer This!", I pose the question: What dose it mean to ally oneself with corporations such as Cargill, that receive a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign equality index while having been well-documented for human rights violations in other countries? Highly pertinent to this is Kelly's discussion of "homonormativity" in her direct engagement, as the goals of an affluent subset of the LG(BTQ) community have now aligned quite nicely with the goals of the heteronormative elite. In this case, an effective battle for gay marriage that allies itself with corporations such as Cargill has aligned itself with trade policies that severely compromise the livelihood and well being of others. This is in direct conversation with Nyssa's "Queer This!", as Jessica Yee articulates her problem with a social movement that seeks to build its successes on the backs of others. How can one use "queer" for social justice?

On Butler and peformativity

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I just came across a blog post that I wrote about gender performativity and Hannah Montana for my research/writing blog several years ago. It's called:

Uh Oh. Hannah Montana is in (gender) trouble! 

Check it out and let me know if it's helpful for you in thinking through what JB means by gender and gender performativity in the first ch of GT. I even briefly mention the abject, towards the end of the post. 

Also, check out JB's video on performativity for big think:

Homonationalism Part 2

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For the second installment of tracking homonationalism, I started with looking at how whiteness can be reinscribed on bodies through a sense of national belonging. Norms and ideals are flagged on bodies in certain ways. Then, I wanted to see how this might play out in popular media. The Advocate article provided a way to look at what bodies are included in these lenses and how whiteness and national belonging are utilized in a gay framework. Finally, I turned to how debates around DADT emphasize how GL people are useful for nationalist projects like military cohesion and readiness. These sources all revolve around how bodies are utilized or exude nationalism either through surgeries, pictures in media, or military belonging. The first source can provide a framework for how to analyze representations and how whiteness and patriotism can be unmarked.

Source 4:

a. 'Flagging' the Skin: Corporeal Nationalism and the Properties of Belonging Note: the link is only an abstract- you can use your x500 to access the whole article.

b. Emily Grabham

c. This article is concerned with how nationalism is displayed on bodies. The author describes this process as 'flagging' and looks at two particular examples: aesthetic surgeries to assert whiteness (specifically in the UK context) and veterans with prosthetic limbs (in the US with War on Terror vets). Both of these surgeries allow the modified body a degree of flexibility. Bodies are able to operate within a white, abilist society. Grabham describes these body alterations asvperformance: bodies act out and repeat certain nationalisms in order to create imagined communities. These communities are built on hegemonic understandings of race and abilities. Bodies that appeal to these standards of whiteness and patriotism can go unmarked in public spaces. I thought this was useful to the discussion of homonationalism because it allows for a critical interrogation of whiteness and ability and how bodies move throughout space. Queer bodies may be allowed entry into this imagined community as long as they are unmarked by race, class, nation, or ability. This provides a useful frame for how to think about the ways my next sources create imagined communities of their own through representations. What queer bodies are allowed entry to the nation-state? How do ideas of national belonging play out on queer bodies? How does this depend on their proximity to whiteness, property, and patriotism?

d. This article really focuses my attention on the corporeal. I also want to do some more thinking about homonationalism in terms of ability, both historically and in the present context. I think imagined communities was also a very helpful aspect of this article and very relevant to homonationalism. I want to try to explore these frames through unconventional sources.

e. This source was a reading for GWSS 5190 last week as a part of discussions about race. I wanted to use these concepts in other ways though and apply it to the term.

f. Grabham, E. "`Flagging' the Skin: Corporeal Nationalism and the Properties of Belonging." Body & Society 15.1 (2009): 63-82.

Source 5:

a. A Day in Gay America

b. The Advocate, photos submitted by readers

c. The pictures shown in this expose clearly invoke an imagined community. Flipping through the photos, whiteness is overwhelmingly present- they are definitely overrepresented. Another thing that is striking is the lack of labor and the photos of leisure and hobbies. (White) people are shown going ziplining, attending plays, watching the sunset. All things that evoke an awww response. Readers are meant to feel happy for these gay people and not saddened. There is no discussion of class. The closest we get to working class people are a postal worker and a social worker. But that couple is also white and male. There are no poor or homeless people despite their existence. They are excluded from "Gay America." Another noticeable trend is the presence of monogamous, long-term couples. They are "good" gay people, offered entry into the nation. Often, these couples are also featured with children. They have a certain proximity to the ideal family, just with a same sex coupling. The emphasis on children can also be a nationalist project- gay couples provide a stable basis for the next generation of (white) US children. There is also a noticeable lack of transgendered people, or at least they are not identified as such. Overall, the article presents a non-threatening image of GL people to the US nation. The nation-state and its ideals remain intact, just with a slightly larger population.

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I don't care that much about the image on the left, but they're attached. But look at the image on the right! A white male couple with kids! Little blonde ones at that! That's what "Gay America" looks like, folks.

d. This was my first source that dealt with the mainstream gay movement and media. I think it is a useful way to trace homonationalism. I also like analyzing images specifically because I think it is interesting to analyze how these snapshots can portray ideals.

e. I came across this source while looking to trouble the mainstream movement and how its media outlets are complicit with nationalism.

f. "A Day in Gay America | Features | The Advocate." Gay News | The Advocate | The World's Leading Source for LGBT News and Entertainment. Web. 26 Oct. 2011. .

Source 6:

a. HRC campaign- Repeal DADT Now: Military Leaders for Repeal

b. Various military leaders quoted, compiled by HRC

c. I wanted to look at mainstream campaigns and their appeals to belonging. The tie to nationalism here is quite obvious- gays are patriotic and want to serve their country and they should be allowed to do so. I specifically wanted to talk about the move to seek legitimacy from military leaders. The HRC appeals to enhanced military cohesion, recruitment, and retention with the repeal of DADT. Not only does this campaign seek inclusion into the nation, it seeks to make it better, more efficient . It needs to be proven that gays are not a threat to the US military. The quotes all focus on how the biases against gay people no longer exist within the military. Discrimination is described as a "generational problem." I think this allows for narratives of progress to be written onto the nation-state that make it more inclusive than it used to be. This narrative stays within the models of neoliberalism. Therefore, the inclusion of gays does not rupture the structure as a whole, in fact it functions better.

d. I want to think further about how the appeals of DADT can be found in places that are less obviously about patriotism or enhancing the military structure.

e. DADT has been on my mind since the beginning of this assignment, but I found this source most intriguing because of its appeals to enhanced military readiness.

f. "Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell Now (DADT)." HRC | Human Rights Campaign | Home. Web. 26 Oct. 2011. .

Queer This!

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beer__67793_zoom.jpg

What does this image mean? I found this image online and i am very confused as to what this is referring to. Apparently it's on a pranksters website.
I figured this image needed to be queered... Is this offensive?

Mash Up: (un)Intelligibility

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I was browsing through the direct engagements, looking for something to do this Mash Up post on. I found this entry (by Anna, I believe), and what struck me was this line:

"...queering is an interrogation of ways of knowing normalcy in general, how it is produced and how it functions to render subjects intelligible."

I thought this a good place to start in a Mash Up post which asks us to answer the question "what is queer/ing?" Anna is discussing Luhmann's article about queer pedagogy, and the quote above in context is about how one might teach in a queer way. Anna writes that in a queer pedagogy, one does not necessarily focus on the transmission of knowledge, but on the how and why knowledge is transmitted, and also on what kind of knowledge we choose to transmit. While Anna does not go into this specifically, I would add to this argument and say that the type of knowledge we transmit (in a non-queer pedagogy) is only that knowledge which the instructor finds intelligible, and that this knowledge is transmitted only in a way and context that is intelligible. Queering pedagogy would mean, as Anna writes, interrogating that idea of "intelligibility." Indeed, I think the concept of intelligibility and unintelligibility is central to the practice of queering.

From here, I'd like to reference some of our Judith Butler readings. The first text I'd like to quote is "Changing the Subject: Judith Butler's Politics of Radical Resignification" by Gary A. Olson and Lynn Worsham, which is an interview with Butler. In it, Butler discusses the issue of performance/performativity. Butler explains that her concept of performativity is often mistaken with the broader category of performance. She explains that the concept of "performance" is misleading, because the "tendency was to think, 'Oh, great, now we can perform gender differently'," as in a sense of "radical free agency" (751). However, that is not entirely the case. Butler explains that "the performance of a gender is also compelled by norms that I do not choose" (752). What I take this to mean is that while gender is a performance -- it's something that we consciously do -- there are still limitations on what we can choose to do. While a "biologically male" person can dress in "women's clothes," that choice is still embedded within a system of binary gender. It's not entirely possible for us to make up an entirely new gender, because our thoughts and perceptions concerning gender are so ingrained in the current male/female binary that it is nearly impossible for us to think outside of it. Even if it were possible for us to think outside of our current "gender box," there's no guarantee that those around us would receive and interpret this performance in the way we intended. Butler says, "What are being performed are the cultural norms that condition and limit the actor in the situation; but also in play are the cultural norms of reception" (753). So, even if it were possible for us to conceive of and perform a radically different gender, it is entirely likely that those around us would only be able to interpret it in a way that is still confined within the male/female gender binary.

The second text I'll draw from is the 1999 preface to Gender Trouble. Butler writes that "under conditions of normative heterosexuality, policing gender is sometimes used as a way of securing heterosexuality" (xii). In this text, Butler links gender and compulsory heterosexuality. She writes that "normative sexuality fortifies normative gender" -- the two are deeply interconnected. If one is not gender-normative, one's sexuality is certainly called into question. Furthermore, Butler argues that gender and heterosexuality are contexts in which one is understood by the other. She explains that "one is a woman ... to the extent that one functions as one within the dominant heterosexual frame," and if one engages in non-normative/non-heterosexual behavior, that calls into question one's identity/categorization as "a woman."

These arguments have implications for the idea of intelligibility. In the first article, Butler explains that our performance of gender is constrained within our own context of intelligibility -- which is, at this moment, a male/female gender binary. It is nigh impossible for us to think outside this box, because it would simply not make sense. Even if we could, the people around us would find a way to interpret our performance within a male/female context, because that is the only way a subject can become intelligible. In the second article, Butler adds heterosexuality into this mix. Gender becomes intelligible within the context of heterosexuality, and vice-versa.

Now, I wish to illustrate these points by referring to a Queer This! post I made early on in the semester. In it, I discuss the romantic options available to the main character of Mass Effect, Commander Shepard.

First, I wish to elaborate on a point I mentioned only briefly in the original post. I talked about the "lesbian" relationship female Shepard could have with a crew mate in Mass Effect 1. I made a brief aside about how this relationship isn't technically "lesbian," because of the species of alien that the crew mate is. Let me explain. This crew mate, Liara, is a member of the species called "Asari." The Asari are "mono-gendered," meaning that there is only one sex in their entire species. Asari reproduce through a specialized form of parthenogenesis, in which the Asari meshes her nervous system with that of her partner. This allows her to randomize genetic coding so that the offspring is genetically divergent from the Asari mother. This allows the species to avoid the usual problem of parthenogenesis, which is a lack of genetic diversity which leaves the species vulnerable to disease and parasites. Asari can mate with any species and any sex. However, the offspring are always Asari. The thing I find fascinating is that the Asari are always referred to as "she/her," and they look like this:

samara.jpg

As you can see, they are incredibly sexualized. It is unclear if the Asari born of parthenogenesis are carried in some sort of womb, or if they are born in such a manner that they require breast-feeding. Therefore, to me, it is unclear why Asari need breasts and feminine hips.

So, here is my argument: even in an imaginary universe, where the creators of the game were free to imagine creatures vastly different from us ... all they managed was a blue, shapely, female-bodied figure with tentacles on her head. The Asari in the game refer to themselves and are referred to by everyone else in the game as female, and pronouns such as she, her, and hers are used -- despite the fact that this makes no sense in the context of a supposedly mono-gendered species. Despite the insistence of the game that the Asari are a single-sexed species, they are given bodies that are read as female and are referred to as females. I think this illustrates the point Butler makes about our possibilities and imaginations being circumscribed by the male/female binary. Would it be possible for a game designer to imagine a truly "mono-gendered" species? Could we even imagine what that would look like? And even if we could, how would that species be referred to in dialogue? There are no pronouns available that would work to refer to such a character.

My next point is on the subject of compulsory heterosexuality. I wrote in my Queer This! post about how Shepard, whether male or female, is not allowed to have relationships with members of the "same sex," while at the same time he/she is allowed to have relationships with aliens, provided that they are the "opposite sex." I'd like to elaborate on this further, and point out that all the species (besides Asari) in Mass Effect conform to a male/female sex binary. This seems particularly absurd to me. Even on Earth, we have a myriad of species that do not conform to this binary. There are species that change sex, species that have multiple sexes, and species that have no sex at all. It seems logical that in the expansive universe, there would be many species that would not conform to a male/female sex binary. Yet, it seems that the imaginations of the game designers are confined to this very binary. Is it impossible for us to create imaginary species outside of the male/female sex binary? Even if we did, would the players of the game be able to understand such creatures? The game designers would not only have to create a new species, but a new language with which to describe and refer to these species. Is that a task that is simply too daunting, or one which is impossible? Again, I see Butler's argument that the possibilities for our performance of gender are limited to those possibilities that are intelligible to us.

Intelligibility seems to me to be a central part of queer/ing. Queering the video games I enjoy involves deconstructing the representations of other species and the genders/sexes they are presented as having. Our communication depends on intelligibility -- for, if I cannot make sense to you, the reader, how will we be able to discuss these topics? If our imaginations and performance possibilities are constrained within the realm of what is/isn't intelligible, is it possible for us to step outside the boundaries and binaries we have constructed?

Queer This! If the picture on the left...

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This image is making the rounds among my facebook friends. I feel it really needs a queer analysis (using Johnson or Smith). What do you think?

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Day Fourteen: October 25

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REMINDERS:

  • Mash-ups are due on Thursday
  • Midterm check-in presentations will be on Thursday, October 27. You will give a brief 5 minute presentation on your progress tracking your term. This is brief (we don't have that much time!), so please spend time thinking through what you want to say and how you can say it succinctly. After everyone has a chance to present, we will have a more general discussion about how the class is going (what's working, what's not working, etc).

Readings for Today on ABJECT

RT @mary_churchill: Judith Butler: Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street http://t.co/TdNfSE9f#quet2011
Oct 24 via Twitter for iPadFavoriteRetweetReply

Judith Butler at #OWS

The Abject:

from Gender Trouble: the process in which others become shit
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from Bodies That Matter: unlivable/uninhabitable zones


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Allison and the politics of "they"

My people were not remarkable. We were ordinary, but even so we were mythical. We were the they everyone talks about--the un-grateful poor. I grew up trying to run away from the fate that destroyed so many of the people I loved, and having learned the habit of hiding, I found I had also learned to hide from myself. I did not know who I was, only that I did not want to be they, the ones who are destroyed or dismissed to make the "real" people, the important people, feel safer. By the time I understood that I was queer, that habit of hiding was deeply set in me, so deeply that it was not a choice but an instinct. Hide, hide to survive, I thought, knowing that if I told the truth about my life, my family, my sexual desire, my history, I would move over into that unknown territory, the land of they, would never have the chance to name my own life, to understand it or claim it.
Most of all, I have tried to understand the politics of they, why human beings fear and stigmatize the different while secretly dreading that they might be one of the different themselves. Class, race, sexuality, gender--and all the other categories by which we categorize and dismiss each other--need to be excavated from the inside.

...and the good vs. bad poor:

My family's lives were not on television, not in books, not even comic books. There was a myth of the poor in this country, but it did not include us. no matter how hard I tried to squeeze us in. There was an idea of the good poor--hard-working, ragged but clean, and intrinsically honorable. I understood that we were the bad poor: men who drank and couldn't keep a job; women, invariably pregnant before marriage, who quickly became worn, fat, and old from working too many hours and bearing too many children; and children with runny noses, watery eyes, and the wrong attitudes. My cousins quit school, stole cars, used drugs, and took dead-end jobs pumping gas or waiting tables. We were not noble, not grateful, not even hopeful. We knew ourselves despised. My family was ashamed of being poor, of feeling hopeless. What was there to work for, to save money for, to fight for or struggle against? We had generations before us to teach us that nothing ever changed, and that those who did try to escape failed.

2 or 3 Things I Know For Sure...

My aunt Dot used to joke, "There are two or three things I know for sure, but never the same things and I'm never as sure as I'd like." What I know for sure is that class, gender, sexual preference, and prejudice--racial, ethnic, and religious--form an intricate lattice that restricts and shapes our lives, and that resistance to hatred is not a simple act. Claiming your identity in the cauldron of hatred and resistance to hatred is infinitely complicated, and worse, almost unexplainable.

On Shame

That night I understood, suddenly, everything that had happened to my cousins and me, understood it from a wholly new and agonizing perspective, one that made clear how brutal I had been to both my family and myself. I grasped all over again bow we had been robbed and dismissed, and why I had worked so hard not to think about it. I had learned as a child that what could not be changed had to go unspoken, and worse, that those who cannot change their own lives have every reason to be ashamed of that fact and to hide it. I had accepted that shame and believed in it, but why? What had I or my cousins done to deserve the contempt directed at us? Why had I always believed us contemptible by nature?

Resistance and imagining new possibilites:

I grew up poor, hated, the victim of physical, emotional, and sexual violence, and I know that suffering does not ennoble. It destroys. To resist destruction, self-hatred, or lifelong hopelessness, we have to throw off the conditioning of being despised, the fear of becoming the they that is talked about so dismissively, to refuse lying myths and easy moralities, to see ourselves as human, flawed, and extraordinary. All of us--extraordinary.

Judith Butler speaks at #OWShttp://t.co/vFWdXkWi#quet2011 "if hope is an impossible demand, then we demand the impossible"
Oct 24 via Twitter for MacFavoriteRetweetReply


Butler in BTM: 

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  • the good vs bad poor
  • Us/Them
  • Subject/Abject
  • We are the 99%
  • OWS: "we are our demands"
From Dorothy Allison's website: A troublemaker!

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Mash Up- What is queer/ing?

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In approaching the question of "what is queer/ing?" I think it is necessary to take some sort of an angle. I'm going to discuss queering in terms of activism and as a response/ resistance to oppressions.

I'm going to start with Scott's queer this that he very recently posted on the Quorum response to Burgess.
I think this letter and Scott's discussion of this incident in class serves to juxtapose what I would define as a "queer" approach to social justice utilized by Burgess and the approach of Quorum. Quorum's luncheon involved a few problematic approaches. First, it comes off as tokenism. Gay rights are recognized on one day (and National Coming Out Day at that- feel free to insert our discussion on why this day in itself is problematic ala Butler and Gabe) while the ongoing oppression that these companies create in the global south are not visible. Second, let's critique the HRC shall we? Companies are given a good rating from the HRC that they can boast about. But how is that rating obtained? Apparently by enacting violence on communities of color. Clearly, systems of power are kept in place and certain bodies are privileged as worthy of protection. Third, how about capitalism? It's obviously the unspoken evil behind the business luncheon. The letter opens by calling Burgess' speech "very anti-business." The practices of capitalism were clearly not open for debate at the luncheon. It seems like it is almost untouchable and therefore Burgess was "thoughtless" in her critique. The practices of capitalism themselves (like the profit drive) are major motivating factors in violence enacted on poor populations and the exploitation of labor. But because this is not strictly a "gay rights" issue as the luncheon defined it- Burgess was wrong to mention it.

So, how does this contrast with the strategy Burgess uses? Well, in summary- Things beyond the limited sphere of gay rights are queer issues. RACE AND CAPITALISM ARE QUEER ISSUES. I think the form of activism that Burgess utilizes are essentially "queer/ing in practice." She seeks to uncover how systemic issues like capitalism and racism intersect with violence upon LGBTQ bodies. But, not only that- queer issues are not defined by direct impacts to gay people- it goes beyond that to a concern with oppression in general. Burgess provides an excellent example of how queer questions and makes visible systemic violence and thinks beyond what appear to be all encompassing systems of power.

Turning to a queer this of my own, I'll look at how individualized approaches to oppression leave systemic issues unquestioned. By criminalizing those who fail at the American dream, who also happen to be black, disabled, and/ or elderly, we individualize those problems. Certain people fail because they didn't work hard enough, not because of structural forms of power. The act of criticizing the 47% as individual failures within the system ignores the way the system has failed individuals and conceals that white privilege even exists. Exceptional stories about black success within racial structure enacts violence on those that do not succeed. It also serves to ignore how people must work hard in order to merely survive and how people in places of privilege inherited their success or were afforded opportunities based on identity.

Now to analyze a direct engagement, again from Scott (thanks!). Scott engages with the Butterflies, Whistles and Fists article. Hartmann is explicitly writing as an activist. She imagines "queer" as a means of resistance against systems of power. She is explicitly concerned with violence against material bodies.
Hartmann understands that these systems of power intersect in many ways. She discusses a coalitional politics that was originally utilized by the Stonewall movement. Scott discusses how Stonewall united people of color, anti-Vietnam peace movements, feminists, and Black Panthers. Hartmann laments fractures among class and race lines in the larger movement. A true "queer" politics can bring together various movements that are all resisting structures of power. This is contrasted with the mainstream gay movement in the US that works within homonormative frameworks like marriage and an emphasis on "safety" within gay spaces and gentrified neighborhoods. These approaches reaffirm institutional privileges and structures of power as well as fracturing the mainstream movement on class and race lines.

To turn to the readings, I'm going to look to Andrea Smith first. I think she calls attention
to the ways in which the GLBT community may be unknowingly pursuing colonial aims or utilizing colonial logics. She wants us to consider how the queer movement "neglect(s) the normalizing logic of settler colonialism" (Smith, 42). Rather settler colonialism should be an integral part to queer strategies because Native bodies are often viewed as deviant and queer. She also calls attention to the harm that is done by engaging in a politics based on the individual in the Western, post-enlightenment context:
"The Western subject differentiates itself from conditions of 'affectability' by separating itself from affectable others- this separation being a fundamentally racial one." (Smith, 42)
Any politics based on this Western subject is inevitably doomed to repeat racial injustices. This is precisely why Smith wants to utilize queer frameworks. She views queer as a "subjectless critique" (Smith, 44). The instability of the queer subject opens up the possibility of a politics outside the individual. Though, Smith is hesitant about post-identity politics because whiteness can go unspoken. She also wants to hold on to a tangible reality for political action. "Opting out," as she calls it implicitly requires privilege because those who are able to opt out are comfortable enough in their own social condition (Smith, 48). Queer, for Andrea Smith requires unsettling heteropatriarchy, instability, and holding on to a tangible, political means of resistance.

Finally, I'll turn to Butler's interview with Osbourne and Segal, entitled Gender as Performance. In this interview, she articulates a vision for queer and feminist politics that are not divorced form each other. It is an essentially, coalitionist approach. In the answer to the first question she says, "to combat it through a queer theory that dissociates itself from feminism altogether is a massive mistake." Clearly the two frameworks rely on each other and while Butler was critiquing compulsory heterosexuality within the feminist movement, she wants to hold on to its usefulness for feminist politics. Butler goes on to articulate her theories of performativity and sex which are challenges to larger systems of power. A queer analysis of gender and sexed bodies renders these daily repetitions, "performance," visible. Butler pushes her audience to discomfort. She explains that compulsory heterosexuality has a certain comfort, and coherence. It constitutes the subject. Homosexuality represents "represents the prospect of the psychotic dissolution of the subject." How does queer/ing help us to think through the subject as incoherent? Is this incoherence the starting point for subversion? Can Butler and Foucault's understanding of power as diffuse aid the process of queering and queer politics?


Queer This! Quorum response to Katie Burgess' speech.

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Hay folks, a few weeks ago in class I mentioned a speech the executive director of the Trans Youth Support Network, Katie Burgess, gave at Quorum's National Coming Out Day Luncheon. In her speech, Katie spoke of the interrelatedness of oppressions and systems of violence, especially in regards to LGBTQ communities of color. Burgess called for LGBTQ organizations to hold corporate sponsors accountable for heterosexist, racist and classist policies. Focusing on a disconnect between the Human Rights Campaign's Award of 100% on their equality index to the National Coming Out Day Luncheon's largest sponsor, Cargill, and Cargill's exploitation of communities of color and the working poor in the "global south".

Following is a letter penned on behalf of the Board Director of Quorum:

To All of our Valued Luncheon Attendees:

A very anti-business speech was delivered at the National Coming Out Day
(NCOD) luncheon that attacked not only our presenting sponsor, Cargill,
but also all corporations, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and those who
work in business in general. This speech was not only completely against
the spirit of the luncheon but also against the principles of inclusion
that Quorum as an organization believes in. When we asked Katie Burgess to
speak at the NCOD luncheon this year, our intention was to increase
visibility and support for a small queer youth organization. As opposed to
bolstering support for the Trans Youth Support Network (TYSN), of which
she is the Executive Director, Ms. Burgess' speech was thoughtless,
divisive, and offensive. This is not at all what we anticipated and for
that we offer our most sincere apology. We would also like to make it
absolutely clear that the views expressed by Ms. Burgess do not, in any
way, represent the values and beliefs of Quorum.

Our corporate partners are integral to creating and maintaining diversity
in the GLBT and Allied business community. We believe that large scale
change, like that being initiated on the corporate level, has lasting
impact on the fabric of the GLBT and Allied community. The National Coming
Out Day Luncheon is supposed to be a day that celebrates this kind of
change. The luncheon that happened on Friday was an incredibly poor
representation of that and, as the host of the event, we accept full
responsibility. Going forward we will not only use a strengthened and
enhanced vetting process for all event speakers, including the requirement
of a signed contract, we will also be more thoughtful with our community
involvement. We hope that you can accept our sincerest apologies for not
appropriately and effectively representing our membership and the spirit
of NCOD. Although we did reach out to TYSN to request an apology for Ms.
Burgess' remarks, we received no response.

Thank you for your support of Twin Cities Quorum and for everything that
you do to support GLBT and Ally inclusion and empowerment in the
workplace, and in the community as a whole. We could not do the important
work that we do without your support and we look forward to moving past
this unfortunate incident and continuing the progress we have begun.

Kirk Gryder
President, Quorum Board of Directors

on behalf of Quorum Board of Directors

Live-tweeting @Shatoll004's presentation on gender

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After the jump, check out my live-tweets of Shatoll004's presentation on gender. I got a little distracted during the discussion of pronouns in source 2. Let me know if I missed anything important in my tweets.

Day Thirteen: October 18

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Reminder: No Class on Thursday. Use the time to catch up on blog assignments (like your Mash-up post and reading others' posts. 

Other Announcements:

1. Make sure to comment on someone else's first annotated bibliography by Oct 22 (this Saturday)
2. Slight Reading Change for next Tuesday (10.25)

25       ABJECT 

Readings:

2. Midterm check-in presentations will be on Thursday, October 27. You will give a brief 5 minute presentation on your progress tracking your term. This is brief (we don't have that much time!), so please spend time thinking through what you want to say and how you can say it succinctly. After everyone has a chance to present, we will have a more general discussion about how the class is going (what's working, what's not working, etc).

Shanon's Presentation on Gender

JButler and the first chapter of Gender Trouble: see my notes here

QUEERING PRACTICE

  1. to disrupt/trouble the understanding of gender as Real or natural by exposing the regulatory practices that present it as such but that are concealed and
  2. to trace how power works to produce (positive, discursive power) and regulate (negative, juridical power) gendered Subjects (and abjects).

WHY?: Not merely to demonstrate that gender is not natural or to open up gender to limitless possibilities of how to "do" gender, but to demonstrate the fragility/tenuousness of gender as performative and, in so doing, develop ways to extend dignity to those practices/individuals/communities that already exist but whose lives have been relegated to the unlivable. 

Queering/troubling gender is primarily aimed at:

  1. exposing the violence that is part of the process of gender subject formation and 
  2. developing ways to resist and lessen that violence.
Important Concepts:
  • Juridical and Discursive Power 
  • Sex/Gender distinction: Gender and the Body 
  • Heterosexual Matrix: Gender and Identity 
  • Gender as normative not descriptive 
  • Gender as stylized performance

PASSAGE #13: Feel like a natural woman
Although it might appear unproblematic to be a given anatomy, the experience of a gendered psychic disposition or cultural identity is considered an achievement. Thus, "I feel like a woman" is true to the extent that Aretha Franklin's invocation of the defining Other is assumed: "You make me feel like a natural woman." This achievement requires a differentiation from the opposite gender. Hence, one is one's gender to the extent that one is not the other gender, a formulation that presupposes and enforces the restriction of gender within that binary pair (30).


The Mash-up Assignment

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Reading Mash-up Assignment: Part of Reading Engagement Grade, due 10/27

  • At least 2 readings from class
  • 1 Queer This! (yours or someone else's)
  • Another Student's Direct Engagement 
  • Whatever else from our blog or other blogs that is relevant
Combine all of these to make an entry in which you critically reflect on the following question: What is queer/ing? You don't have to provide a definition of queer (although you can), just an engagement with the question and with your various sources. This entry is your opportunity to articulate your own vision and to offer it up to others to reflect on. Be creative and push yourself to engage deeply with our blog/readings. Good luck and have fun!

Here are 3 examples from past classes. And, here are my own (failed?) attempts at mashing-up on my own blog. These posts served as an inspiration for our assignment. 

DE: Gender Trouble Ch. 1

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Live tweeting Butler was an interesting experience. I thought that it might be helpful for me personally to engage as I went along. Sometimes as I am reading difficult texts I start off thinking about each sentence and then begin to gloss over as I go along. Live tweeting forced me to summarize as I went along which really helped as I got to the psychoanalysis parts. Live tweeting did take a lot longer and I did find myself tweeting quite a bit. On the first few pages I was tweeting about once every 2 sentences and then I realized that was not going to be feasible going forward. So I tried to reduce to about once every paragraph.

There's a lot of tweets here, but here goes:

#quet2011. Attempting to tweet the first chapter of gender trouble. Could be an interesting way to engage with Butler.
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#quet2011 how does an emphasis on visibility construct women through language? What is the cost visibility in terms of stable categories?
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#quet2011. Women are formed by the discourse that names them as subjects of feminism.
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#quet2011. Appealing to women as subjects of feminism could replicate domination if we engage uncritically with language
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#quet2011. Is the construction of the subject always exclusionary?
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#quet2011. Language and discourse conceals it's own construction.
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#quet2011. Butler critiques pre discursive implications of social contract theory.
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#quet2011. Gender cannot be separated from the political and social. Not a stable term- needs context.
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#quet2011. Women do not face a single form of oppression.
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#quet2011. Feminism as colonizing. Ascribes patriarchy to non western cultures.
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#quet2011. Limits of identity politics- ignores intersectionality. Fractures the movement through exclusionary categories.
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#quet2011. But... There is not outside of representational politics. :(
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Queer This! Black Migrations

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This article from Colorlines describes a trend of Black people moving to the American south and to the suburbs. I think this is interesting to discuss given our previous class discussions about migrations. This article brings up a lot of interesting implications of this movement for both cities and the people engaged in this movement. What I think is a really interesting element is the stratification of the Black community. The article explains:
"Inner city neighborhoods that have lost black residents also face new challenges as a result of this migration. In cities across the country, community schools have been shuttered as the number of school-aged children has dropped. Inner cities, which still have high levels of need, can expect fewer federal funds as Census results inform the distribution of money for community development, utility assistance, Head Start and senior housing."
How does this impact those communities that are left behind? What does this stratification mean for American cities in general? How do social movements need to be framed?

Queer This! Criminalizing the 47%

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Currently politics is wrapped up in discussing the economy, whether it's the Occupy movement or vigorously cutting taxes on the right. What I think is particularly egregious is recent remarks essentially criminalizing the 47% of people who are the poor, disabled, and the elderly. This article provides the basis for my post. How is status quo politics framed in a way to alienate people? Why is a discussion about structural inequalities so absent in US discourse? wheelchair-sky-cropped-proto-custom_2.jpg

Live-tweeting Kelly's presentation

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Yesterday, Kelly gave a great presentation on Jasbir Puar's "Mapping U.S. Homonormativities" and her term, homonationalism. I experimented with live-tweeting as she presented. You can check out my tweets after the break (note: Nyssa also live-tweeted, so check our class list or #quet2011 for her great tweets).

I like live-tweeting because it allows me publicly document talks/presentations. In some ways, I treat it like taking notes...in public. While I like live-tweeting, I find it to be difficult; people talk fast and it's hard to record what they're saying (especially in 140 characters). What do you think of my tweets? Anything you want to add that I missed? Have you thought about live-tweeting a class (or as you are reading an essay)?

Another great class! Of course we didn't have time to discuss all of the readings/questions (surprise surprise). Here's your chance to keep the discussion going. What do you think about the relationship between social justice and queer/ing? What are your reactions to JB as a troublemaker? Thoughts on A Davis' terrain of struggle? Questions about your blog assignments? And, most importantly, what theorist might you want to dress up as for our post-Halloween class?

Feminist Ryan Gosling Meme

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Quickly, for those who don't know, a "meme" is an image (most often amusing) or a series of images that are variations on the same theme that circulate through the internet. It's like a video that's gone viral on youtube. Some examples are "lolcats" (above the picture are "previous" and "next" buttons; feel free to browse for lulz), "Pimp My Ride's" Xzibit "Yo Dawg" meme, and "Courage Wolf".

I found this new set of memes called "Feminist Ryan Gosling." I think Ryan Gosling has become a meme in some other way, and that this is a riff off of it. I found this link to a series of what are probably some of the original Ryan Gosling memes. I don't know why he's suddenly the center of the internet's attention, but through my many years on the internet, I've learned it's better to just not ask questions like that. In any case, I liked this "Feminist Ryan Gosling" pic the most:

feminist ryan gosling judith butler.jpg

I thought maybe you guys would get a kick out of it. Here's the link to the rest of them. Hopefully there'll be more to come!