css.php

Discussion Post #7: Day TWO of Presentations

Apologies for the delay in posting this.

For this post, you will compose two paragraphs. Each paragraph will reflect on one cultural artifact from that day that provoked some sort of response from you: interested, disturbed, excited, curious, empowered, surprised, worried, and more—whatever you feel!

Describe exactly what you felt and reflect on why the presentation/artifact made you feel this way. Therefore, in total, this post will reflect on TWO presentations; each of these will be discussed in its own single paragraph.

This is due by TUESDAY, 12/10, at 12:30 PM.

Discussion Post #6: DAY ONE of Presentations

For this post, you will compose two paragraphs. Each paragraph will reflect on one cultural artifact from that day that provoked some sort of response from you: interested, disturbed, excited, curious, empowered, surprised, worried, and more—whatever you feel!

Describe exactly what you felt and reflect on why the presentation/artifact made you feel this way. Therefore, in total, this post will reflect on TWO presentations; each of these will be discussed in its own single paragraph.

This is due by FRIDAY, 12/6, at 12:30 PM.

Post Assignment #5: Queerness is Burning

This post assignment is rather open-ended. In at least two fully-developed paragraphs, I would like you to reflect on a moment or scene in the film Paris is Burning that you found particularly provocative, problematic, eye-opening, or just plain interesting. What is it about this scene that caught your attention? Are you unsettled by this scene? Are you empowered? Are you confused? How do you feel about how this queer subculture is represented in this documentary? Did you find it controversial, like so many people often do? Whatever you choose to address, be sure to EXPLAIN.

Please complete your post by Thursday, 11:59 PM. Please also remember that you must read this article for class on Friday.

Post Assignment #4: Queerness at the Borderlands

Anzaldúa provides readers multiple ways of understanding/conceptualizing her idea of the borderlands: it is a place, a mindset, an identity, and more. In thinking about the multiple meanings Anzaldúa attributes to the borderlands, I would like you to address the following:

  • Anzaldúa’s reflections are grounded in a particular place, time, and history. Do you think this limits the ways in which we can use Anzaldúa’s concept of the borderlands (i.e. Do you think her theories only apply to this US southwest and Mexican and Chicana/o cultures?)? Or do you think Anzaldúa’s reflections exceed their original context of development?
  • How do Anzaldua’s reflections relate to our discussions of queerness, happiness, melancholia, etc.?

Please write one developed paragraph for each question above, using quoted evidence from the text (you should, then, have a total of two paragraphs!).

Please submit your response by Monday, 10/14, at 10 PM.

Post Assignment #3: The Perils of Identification

Respond to the following questions in at least two full paragraphs:

  • In their essay, Caldwell describes the torment, the psychic pain, often caused by the act of identification. Near the end of their essay, Caldwell writes of this tormented identification: “This identification is without consolation: never free of confusion, set against itself, and drenched in the blood of others.” What do you think Caldwell means by this? What does one risk by giving in to such a tormented act of identification?
  • Have you ever encountered something–a book, a movie, a song, something else–that has, in some way, elicited a similar sort of tormented identification described by Caldwell? Explain. Remember, one need not necessarily be queer to encounter something that brings about the torment, sadness, and shame Caldwell so vividly describes.

Please submit your response by THURSDAY, 9/19, at 11:59 PM.

Post Assignment #2: Happiness and Loss in Giovanni’s Room

For your post, I would like you to apply ONE of the critical readings by Ahmed and Freud to Baldwin’s novel to address one of the following questions:

  • Are there any ways in which David seems to be directed or influenced by the promise of happiness? In other words, what objects, fantasies, or people does David chase out of the belief that these will provide him the happiness, peace, and stability associated with the “good life”?
  • Are there any losses that David has experienced in his life that he melancholically cannot “get over”? In thinking about the losses experienced by David, remember that these are not limited to only those associated with death (i.e. the death of David’s mother). You might think, for example, of the losses associated with David’s adamant refusal to come to terms with his homosexuality.

Your answer must be two full paragraphs in length (aim for at least 6 sentences in each). Furthermore, your answer must engage with at least 1 (and no more than 2) well-chosen and relevant quotations from the novel (you need not quote from Ahmed or Freud).

Please complete your post by Monday, 9/9 @ 10:00 PM!

Post Assignment #1: Ahmed’s “Why Happiness? Why Now?”

In her introduction, Ahmed presents an argument about the coercive nature of happiness–about how happiness directs us toward some objects and not others, and about how happiness makes certain forms of life and personhood more desirable than others.

For this first post assignment, I would like you to address two tasks/questions:

  1. Identify a point or argument that Ahmed makes that you find particularly convincing or surprising. How has this point/argument transformed (or even confirmed) your understanding of happiness and the ways in which it shapes society? Be specific. Or perhaps there is something with which you disagree in Ahmed’s writing. Why exactly do you disagree? What EXACTLY do you find unconvincing?
  2. In your own experience, has there ever been a time when you have experienced happiness (or the pursuit thereof) to be coercive in the manner Ahmed describes? If you can’t identify anything from your own personal experience (or if you don’t want to!), consider whether you have encountered any books, movies, essays, articles, etc. that paints happiness in a way similar to that of Ahmed. Be specific. Do you think it is possible to imagine forms of happiness that do not present certain ways of life and personhood as more desirable than others?

Please address these two questions together or separately in at least two full, well-thought-out paragraphs.

DUE THE DAY BEFORE CLASS ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2ND, AT 10:00 PM