Aberrant Example

Assignment Description

The bulk of your assignments this semester (blog entries, blog participation, 2 presentations and your final wrap-up) will be organized around the development of and participation in our class blog. Once we have worked out the details together in the first and second weeks of class, I will distribute and post on our blog a more detailed handout.

By the third week of course you will be required to pick one of the suggested topics related to queer and queering theory. These topics are listed at the end of this description. You will be responsible for tracking this term throughout the course of the semester. By tracking I mean that you will be required to pay particular attention to your topic as you are reading, discussing and thinking about queering theory. You will be required to post weekly entries in which you critically reflect on your topic and: a. how it is addressed in our readings or discussions or b. how it is relevant to current events or c. how it is represented within popular culture (television shows, movies, music, on the internet). You are encouraged to be creative in your tracking of the term. You can draw on a wide range of sources and post your blog entries in many different forms.

In addition to posting your own entries, you are required to actively read other blogs and other students’ entries. Your active engagement will come in the form of commenting on other blogs, creating links within your own entries, and incorporating comments from other entries/blogs into your in-class participation.

Each of the suggested topics is explicitly related to the readings for one class session. You are required to do one brief (roughly 10 minute) presentation on your topic on the day that we are explicitly reading about and discussing it. You are also required to do one (slightly) longer presentation on your topic/blog participation in the last week of the course. More information about your presentation (including the date of your first presentation) will be listed in the detailed handout.

Finally, you are required to submit a final wrap-up on your experiences tracking your chosen topic and on helping to develop and participate in the blog. This wrap-up can come in the form of a lengthy blog entry (or series of entries) or a separate (more formal) reflective essay. Please see me if you have other thoughts on how to organize/develop/articulate your reflective thoughts on your topic and your experience with the blog.

ENTRIES: 30% or 300 points (15 total @ 20 points each)

  • 7 Direct engagements with the readings
  • 3 Annotated bibliographies
  • 5 “Queer This!” posts

ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT: 10% or 100 points (10 total @ 10 points each)

  • 3 Comments posted in response to the query in “Class Summaries and Queries”
  • 4 Comments posted on direct engagement OR annotated bibliography entries.
  • 3 Comments posted on any blog entries


  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. 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 helpful (or not helpful)?
  • What would you like to tell future students about the blog experience (advice, etc)?
  • What connections can you draw between queering theory and blogging? How did (or didn’t) our blog allow for a queer space or enable us to engage in practices of queering?

This essay is due the last day of class on December 15.

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