Prepping for class: Queering Desire

It’s that time of year again. Time to start seriously prepping for classes this fall. Last fall I taught Queering Theory and Feminist Pedagogies. This fall I’m teaching Queering Desire and Feminist Pedagogies. Several of the same students from queering theory will be in queering desire so I need to radically redo the syllabus. Here are some books that I am thinking of using:

1. The Promise of Happiness by Sara Ahmed
2. The Queer Child: Growing Sideways by Kathryn Bond Stockton
3. Curiouser: the queerness of children edited by Steven Bruhm and Natasha Hurley
4. Queer Ecologies edited by Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson
5. Cruising Utopias by Jose Esteban Munoz
6. Mad for Foucault by Lynne Huffer

Will I use all of these books? At this point, I’m not sure. I do know that I want to add in many more random articles. And I also want to focus a lot (again) on blogs and blog reading. Last year students in the class suggested that we spend more time on each others’ blog entries. If I want to do that, which I do, I will need to make sure that I don’t assign lots of articles/book reading. In addition to reading each others’ blog entries, I want students to read entries from other blogs. What if I did some blog clusters (that is, a series of articles around the same issue + some non-blog background reading)? I was thinking it might be useful to start with the recent “Butler Scandal”–the scandal that erupted when Judith Butler refused the civic courage award in Berlin. Here are few sources that the students could read for this section:

a. Where Now? From Pride Scandal to Transnational Movement
b. Judith Butler Refuses Prize at Berlin CSD 2010
c. Transcript of Butler’s refusal speech
d. Celebrating Refusal
e. Angela Davis’ youtube response:

f. Interview with Judith Butler

Along with these blog sources, I might want to throw in a reading or two. Maybe an excerpt from Puar’s Terrorist Assemblages + something else? I need to spend a lot more time thinking through all of this. Good thing I have more than a month before I start.

Addendum: I posted this entry a few hours ago; since then, I found a couple more sources that I might want to use in the class. I wanted to post them here before I lost/forgot about them. All three of these sources discuss the value of new social media for queer communities/activism/theorizing/engagement:

Queer Blogger Roundtable: What’s the future?
Queer and Feminist New Media Spaces

Out in the Country by Mary Gray

10 thoughts on “Prepping for class: Queering Desire”

  1. This course sounds so awesome! And thanks for sharing the Angela Davis response–I had read about her comments but hadn’t seen the video, which is really, really great.

  2. Hey again, Sara!

    The course sounds like it’s shaping up to be totally exciting– no need to worry about the “repeaters” 😉 I have a few thoughts to get out before I forget them…

    The book list is intriguing, and I hope it means in part that we can spend more in-depth time on queer in relation to childhood and curiosity, questioning, growth. Could we also (re)visit Edelman’s No Future, in concert and in contrast? I don’t really know what else is out there that’s at all similar, but I for one feel like I could work with that text in much more detail.

    Reading more Puar would also be great, and I’m really interested in the Butler scandal now (please start us out with that?)… it made me think of something else related to assigned “blog clusters”– have you checked out Brandon Lacy Campos’s blog My Feet Only Walk Forward?:

    He is from Minneapolis and is connected to I believe quite a few TC queers (some very close to you) so I may not be sharing anything new. In any case, I think he raises interesting complexities that may fit in throughout the semester. He recently wrote on Why NOT to Boycott Target:

    Of course I’m also hoping that butch/trans (and feminist/trans) tensions can come into our discussions at some point(s) as my work is going to be focused there. If we played with this, it would be useful to watch the film “against a trans narrative” by Jules Rosskam which is now on hand at Wilson Library, either as a group or outside of class.

    Here are some more texts I’ve been thinking about lately that may or may not work for the rest of the class:

    1. Speaking Sex to Power by Patrick Califia
    2. Socal Text 84-85: What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now? (while I’ve read one or two essays from this, not sure if it was in queering theory…)
    3. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others by Sara Ahmed
    4. Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities by Ken Corbett
    5. Self-Organizing Men: Conscious Masculinities in Time and Space edited by Jay Sennett
    6. Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality by Gayle Salamon
    7. Gender Politics: Citizenship, Activism, and Sexual Diversity by Surya Monro
    8. Pedagogies of Crossing: Meditations on Feminism, Sexual Politics, Memory, and the Sacred by M. Jacqui Alexander
    9. The Empire of Love by Elizabeth Povinelli
    10. The Body and the Screen: Theories of Internet Spectatorship by Michele White (especially this one for its relation to blogging and other online documentation as well as bringing together film theory and queer theory)

    That’s all I can think of for now but I’m sure I’ll remember more later. Thanks for sharing, and sorry for such a lengthy response.

    Looking forward to the fall!

  3. Thanks Remy! I really appreciate your comments. I had been wanting to do more with Edelman, but wasn’t sure if I should since we discussed it last year. Now I will definitely put it into the syllabus. Thanks also for your other suggestions. I am really enjoying Sara Ahmed’s work so maybe I can add something from queer phenomenology to fit in with our discussion of her “The Promise of Happiness”. All of your other suggestions look great too. Wow, we’re going to have fun this semester!

  4. I am so excited for a stimulating semester!

    I’m wondering if we can bring some rather recent news into our work with queerness and children:

    Had you seen this yet? I just read it today and need more time to think about where I fit with this journalist’s analysis…

    “The attack, and the apparent impulse behind it–that a violent man was made uncomfortable by even a perceived variation on gender-normative behavior–is exactly what makes transgender and gender-variant Americans among the most vulnerable segment of the population, and children who even appear gender-variant are the most vulnerable of all.”

  5. Thanks, Remy for posting a link to this article–very disturbing. I agree that we should fit it into the queer/ing children section. It might be interesting to read it alongside these two things:

    a. Transparent
    b. the recent obsession with how Shiloh Jolie-Pitt dresses/is being dressed “like a boy”

    I am also very excited for our semester! I’m just finishing up the syllabus now!

  6. I’m comment lurking – BLC is totally connected to “some very close to you” (in Remy’s words) MPLS queers – i.e. he is one of ALN’s bestest friends and of course a dear friend of mine as well.

    In other news – is this or my last comment #100?! I hope it was me!

  7. You all just made my friggin’ day by even considering using my blog as a resource in your classroom.

    And, I love Kandi as much as I love fried rice, and she can tell you that is pretty much the highest love that I have to give ;-).

    Thank you everyone, and please let me do know if you decide to use my blog, as I would love to hear what your students have to say in response.

  8. For the future, I recommend my book Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on Culture, Sexuality, and Spirituality, Volume 1.

  9. Love Brandons blog and relate quite a bit to it on many levels. Am also in Minneapolis, and am also a fraternity brother of his, and share the same birthday. Not like any of that matters much, hes just a very open, honest, extremely gifted, poignant, and a wordsmith, (or what I like to call a Lexiconographer, lol) that is ALWAYS fresh and to the quick and current. Wish I were taking this class but like many of my fraternity brothers know, I just cant sit still long enough to get past the shiny sparkly new things in a new setting….ooooh look, a squirrel…See ya on facebook…Gotta go…have fun!

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