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Reflections of the semester

Class Reflection:

A truly enlightening experience – I am sure if it were not for this class I would not have been introduced to the theorists and theories discussed! This class gave me the tools to uncover much like a sleuth to be able to piece together ideas put forth in the readings. This class was the most intellectually challenging than all my classes so far – this is why I am going to school! While I cannot say I have a fully grasped all concepts presented it has provided me with a framework on which to continue on my own. I can say, however that I will not look at language in the same way.  Epistemic violence (great!), Spivak’s subaltern point of view, Bodies without Organs (by far the most challenging concept and no way would I have encountered this reading without this class!) Judith Butler’s gender performativity (love this concept!) and Puar (still mulling this over!!), Audrey Lorde, and Elizabeth Grosz which I will sit down with soon!

A lot of labor went into the assignments and the blog was extremely helpful even with technology glitches! I am floored that I can actually provide guidance with how to maneuver within the site (Christina can you believe it?!!). The blog was also great in giving exposure to theorists that we did not have time to cover – (Derrida and deconstruction going to delve into this over break!). Additionally, the blog provided a way to flesh out our understandings of the readings and in doing so I was amazed at how much I got out of it.  It also provided camaraderie in that I didn’t feel alone at times not fully understanding a reading.  Everyone’s input and their analysis was immensely helpful to me! Thanks!

A suggestion for categories for the Encyclopedia Project – I think going simple is best perhaps put theorists in alphabetical order I’ve seen it in other places and I found it to be extremely efficient in finding information.

All this to say, that having an instructor whose passion for the concepts and theorists presented made for a great learning experience! Thanks Christina!

Best of luck to all on with finals and enjoy the winter break (if you have one!). I look forward to seeing everyone next semester in the halls, library or maybe in another class!


Gun control a discourse worth having sadly

“Fuck you, people who say, “if only the good guys had guns.” Mother Jones, again bringing the awesome rationality and crucial data, analyzed 61 recent U.S. mass shootings and found that the killing wasn’t stopped by a civilian with a gun in any of those cases. It’s delusional to think that guns can help stop massacres like the one that happened today. Of course, people do think that; yesterday, the Michigan State Senate passed a law allowing concealed weapons in schools and daycares. No no no no no. Let’s stop pretending the “if everyone had a gun, everyone could protect themselves!” argument is worth considering. It’s obvious it doesn’t work, and it’s demonstrably dangerous to suggest otherwise. As in, hundreds of people are dying because we can’t have a real talk about guns.”

Here is the link for the stop the mta’s bullshit!

Reality Housewives as Feminists.

I saw this woman on Watch What Happens Live Camilla Paglia where she talks about women in these reality shows are redefining feminism because of the repressed sexuality in the workplace (made me think of our discussion on Butler)..

Butler an attempt to clairify

An attempt to clarify Butler:
Butler argues that feminism had made a mistake by trying to assert that women were a group with common characteristics and interests. That approach she says performed unwitting regulation and reification (making it into a thing – I think here it means making a gender a thing when in fact it is an abstract idea?) of gender relations reinforcing a binary view of gender relations in which human beings are divided into two clear cut groups – women and men. Rather than open the possibilities for a person to form and choose their own individual identity, therefore feminism had closed the options down. In doing so, this excludes those who do not experience gender identity such as lesbian, gays, transgendered and bisexuals. In Gender Trouble she calls for the mobilization and proliferation of genders in a sense the idea of identity as free floating and not connected to an essence. In other words, we need not be bound by society’s idea of what a gender is or how one should be act according to his/her gender based on societies expectations. People do oscillate between genders throughout the course of a lifetime. In freeing our minds or rejecting the notion of what a gender is for a sex we may be able to move beyond ostracizing and discrimination of gays, lesbians etc. (my thoughts and a hope!). Butler also makes the case that “Gender is he repeated stylization of the body, a set of repeated acts within a highly rigid regulatory frame that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance, of a natural sort of being.” (p45). This I take to mean that by constantly acting out a gender it loses the “acting” part and becomes real and/or natural. The act begins to cement the idea that a gender should be this or that way – we lose the illusion and gender performance becomes real – we no longer think of it as acting and think it is a part of our make-up in a science way.
Butler’s illustration of a drag performance highlights how this notion that gender is performance and not innate to sex. As performed through Drag gender codes can be enacted by any/either/all sexes unearths gender as a “parody.” In other words, gender is an enactment separate from our chromosomal sex, which is learned much like playing an instrument.
For me personally, the best part is Butler talking about moving beyond culture with sex/gender and moving over to nature. I was particularly taken aback with the Science & society split! Biology not neutral who would have thought? Biology gendered – it an aha moment of course it would be given who runs the institutions and coins terminology why should biology be any different then say policies or for that matter business speak – who is in charge.
Unless commented on I’m standing by my interpretation!
Now grasping Puar…oh la la…

Meet up to discuss exam

Hey if anyone is interested in meeting up to discuss Thursday’s exam let me know – it would be great to discuss and get some ideas! I’m free tomorrow anytime from 12:30 until 5:30..let me know!

Derrida post on Enc. Project

Hey guys,
Check out the comments under Derrida – feel free to address some of the remarks. A picture and grammatical errors were corrected but perhaps some more input on criticism? Or if anyone would like to elaborate more on Deconstruction please do!