ENGL 326 MO /
WGST 304 MO
TuTh
4:30-5:45 PM
BC 217
Spring 2015
Dr. Edmond Chang
Drew University

Download the course policies and syllabus (PDF).

"You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it."
--Adrienne Rich


"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive."
--James Baldwin



DRAWING INSPIRATION from Raymond William's influential Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society and Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler's Keywords for American Cultural Studies, this "approaches" class will identify and explore some of the key concepts, moves, and key terms of the interdisciplinary fields that make up LGBT studies and queer theory. Topics, themes, methods, and lines of inquiry will include:

• histories of sexuality and sexual identity;
• the politics of identity, embodiment, and desire;
• heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, normativity, and other forms of oppression;
• queer resistance, activism, liberation, and worldmaking;
• intersectionality with race, gender, class, family, religion, ability, and nation;
• and finally, queer temporalities, spaces, and technologies.

THROUGH THE LENSES of literature, scholarship, new and old media, and popular culture, our class will trace and trouble theoretical and everyday understandings of LGBT and Q terms, figures, bodies, and experiences. Williams argued, "I have emphasized this process of the development of Keywords because it seems to me to indicate its dimension and purpose. It is not a dictionary or glossary of a particular academic subject. It is not a series of footnotes to dictionary histories or definitions of a number of words. It is, rather, the record of an inquiry into a vocabulary: a shared body of words and meanings..." This class therefore is all about reading, thinking, writing, and contributing to queer theory's shared body of words, ideas, and theories.

A REQUIREMENT for this class is a well-developed curiosity and a willingness to explore and interrogate interdisciplinary lines of inquiry. Our class will be organized around an intensive survey of readings engaging literature, scholarship, old and new media, and popular culture. Theoretical texts will include in whole or in part: Michel Foucault, Sandy Stone, Judith Butler, Michael Warner, Jose Esteban Muñoz, Judith Halberstam, Gayle S. Rubin, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Adrienne Rich, Monique Wittig, Lee Edelman, Sigmund Freud, Samuel Delany, Susan Stryker, Roderick A. Ferguson, Donna Haraway, Alan Turing, and others. Literary texts will include Nella Larsen's Passing, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, and Octavia Butler's Dawn.

SPECIFICALLY, our course goals include:

Close Reading: we will employs a range of close reading skills and strategies to engage with literary and media texts.
Synthesizing: we will bring a variety of texts, scholars and/or theories into conversation in creating arguments about literary and other texts.
Knowledge: we will develop and demonstrate knowledge of key texts, terms and theories of queer theory.
Range of Approaches: we will use different questions to open texts in different ways.
Writing: writing will be used as a mode of learning and as a way to share ideas and research, and we will use writing to practice critical and analytical thinking about literature and digital texts and to reflect on our writing process and revision.
Information Literacy: use different disciplinary research tools and find and evaluate sources appropriate to the subject of study.
Integration: we will integrate the above skills and deploy them simultaneously in our work.
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"You have some queer friends, Dorothy...The queerness doesn't matter, so long as they're friends."
--L. Frank Baum, The Road to Oz


"Where there is power, there is resistance."
--Michel Foucault

Required Course Texts & Materials

• ENGL 326 / WGST 304 Course Reader (available in Sitterly 108)
• Larsen, Nella. Passing.
• Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home.
• Butler, Octavia. Dawn.
• Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction.
• Web access and an active Drew email account.

Course Requirements

Major Papers (40%)
Presentation (10%)
Identity Log (10%)
Critical Review (10%)
Class Participation (30%)




"We all came into this world naked. The rest is all drag." --RuPaul


"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." --Oscar Wilde


"I see fashion as a proclamation or manifestation of identity, so, as long as identities are important, fashion will continue to be important. The link between fashion and identity begins to get real interesting, however, in the case of people who don't fall clearly into a culturally-recognized identity." --Kate Bornstein

Requirements & Grading

Your grade should not be the sole exigence or motivation for this class. It is the hope of the course that you walk away from English 326/WGST 304 with something more. Find some pleasure and some edification and some knowledge from this class (or any class really) and success is usually not far behind. With that in mind, your grade will be a reflection of engagement, effort, close reading, critical thinking, writing, and participation.

Major Papers (40%)

You will be required to write up to three formal papers, each 4-6 pages in length, that engage each of the novels and theoretical and critical texts of the class. Papers will be collected three times during the semester, approximately in Week 5, Week 10, and Finals Week. You must complete a minimum of two papers. Each paper will be graded and the average of the number completed will constitute 40% of your final grade. See the Major Paper prompt for more details and explanations.

Critical Context & Question Presentation (10%)

You will be a required to sign up for an oral presentation individually or in small groups. For your presentation, you will read the texts assigned for a particular week, research a topic relevant to the texts, generate a critical question, and get class discussion started for the day. You will be required to create a single-spaced, 1-page handout copied for the whole class. Topics (usually biographical, historical, or theoretical context) will be assigned to you or your group. Presentations are 5-7 minutes and may include media.

Identity Log (10%)

Over the course of the quarter, you will keep and maintain a weekly "identity log" or "iLog," recording, detailing, and thinking about your own identities and identifications, particularly those mediated by and through the course's keywords. Your "iLog" will function as a kind of identity workbook, an analytical and metacognitive journal, connecting your observations and experiences to the texts, theories, and ideas of the class. Periodically, you will be given specific prompts or experiments, and you will share your logs in class and via the class moodle. These weekly logs will be evaluated on completion and your critical, analytical engagement with the prompt.

Critical Review (10%)

You will be required to write a short, 500-750 word, single-spaced critical review of a text not covered by the course that you believe fits the critical, theoretical, and intellectual stakes of this class. You will locate a text, close read the text, and generate an academic critique and assessment of the text's value for study. In other words, what text might you include in a class like ours? You must have your text approved by the instructor. The critical review will be turned in and published on the course blog and is due by the last day of instruction.

Participation and Preparedness (30%)

Preparedness and participation forms a large component of your final grade. It is essential that you prepare for class, attend class, and participate. Missing class may seriously compromise your ability to do well in this class. Moreover, negative participation will hurt your participation grade. Participation is determined by 1) your respectful presence in class and interactions with me and others, 2) your willingness to discuss, comment, and ask questions, 3) your preparation for class, which includes bringing required materials to class and doing all of the assigned reading for class, 4) your engagement in group work, and 5) your care and use of the class moodle--henceforth called the "class blog"--bookmark the address, check and comment regularly, think of the blog as an extension of class:

https://moodle.drew.edu/2/course/view.php?id=4593

Finally, failure to turn in homework, incomplete assignments, or late papers will negatively impact your participation grade.
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Download the course policies and syllabus (PDF).

Attendance

Attendance is required. If you are absent, you miss the explanation of an assignment, the discussion of a reading, the chance to participate, and overall, the class as a community of learning. Also, you are expected to be in class on time. Class will start immediately at the appointed time. In the first minutes of class I may make important announcements, establish the agenda for the class meeting, begin immediately with an important lesson, or field questions. If you come in after we start class, even by only a few minutes, you are late you will be marked as such. Chronic or conspicuous attendance problems will negatively affect your overall participation grade for the class. Moreover, absences for more than 12 class session (50% of class time) will result in a failing grade regardless of reason. If you know you are going to or must miss class, please let me know (via email) as soon as possible and make any necessary arrangements. When you do miss class, always find another student to get class notes or see me during office hours in order to make up missed work in a timely manner. You are always responsible for all material covered during your absence.
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MLA Paper Formatting

1) 1" margins top, bottom, left, and right on each page.

2) Single-spaced block header on the first page only with your name, date, course, my name:

Student Name
ENGL 326 MO
January 27, 2015
Chang

3) Appropriate title.

4) Print single-sided. Papers are double-spaced with paper page numbers in the upper right hand corner; no extra space between paragraphs.

5) Standard Times Roman Font, 12 point only.

6) Correct MLA citation and bibliographic format. A paper turned in without a bibliography automatically fails and will be returned with no comments.

Assignment Format

All papers must be typed or produced on a word processor. All documents should be saved in Microsoft Word format; if you do not have access to Word, then save your documents in PDF or Rich Text Format (RTF).

All papers must follow the manuscript format outlined by the assignment. All papers must use MLA citation and documentation conventions. All papers must be neatly printed (in black), single-sided, stapled in the top, left-hand corner if necessary, and not be three-hole punched. Papers that do not follow these format guidelines will not be accepted. They will be returned unread to you. Papers will be regarded as late until they are resubmitted in the proper format. Response Papers and the Critical Review have different manuscript guidelines detailed by their assignment prompts.

Always make a backup copy of every paper you turn in, lest you be one of the unhappy people whose paper is eaten by the computer. You may even want to take the precaution of e-mailing your paper to yourself as an attachment at least a couple of times during the drafting process and certainly BEFORE you exit the document for the last time and leave the computer. This way, even if you lose your flash drive or your paper gets mysteriously erased, you still have a copy in your e-mail files.

Evaluation Rubric

Over the course of the semester, your assignments will receive feedback and comments that will identify what you are doing well and what still needs improvement. Your grades assess your fulfillment of the assignment, the quality of work, detail, analysis, and argumentation, overall effort, and finally, style, polish, and risk taking. Consider the following evaluation rubric as signposts or a kind of legend to your progress and evaluation:

Outstanding (A/A+): Offers a very highly proficient, even memorable demonstration of the trait(s) associated with the course or assignment goal(s), including some appropriate risk-taking and/or creativity.
Strong (B+/A-): Offers a proficient demonstration of the trait(s) associated with the course or assignment goal(s), which could be further enhanced with revision, additional support, and creativity.
Good (B-/B): Effectively demonstrates the trait(s) associate with the course or assignment goal(s), but less proficiently; could use revision to demonstrate more skillful and nuanced command of trait(s).
Acceptable (C/C+): Minimally meets the basic course or assignment requirement, but the demonstrated trait(s) are not fully realized or well-controlled and would benefit from significant revision.
Inadequate (D/D+): Does not meet the course or assignment requirement; the trait(s) are not adequately demonstrated and require substantial revision on multiple levels.
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Late Assignments

All assignments must be done completely and turned in on time. Late assignments will be penalized half a grade for every day that they are late. So, if your essay is late by one day and you received a B- for your work, then your final grade would be a C+. Moreover, I will not comment on late work. However, you still need to complete late work or you will receive a zero. If you miss class on the due date of a paper, you must notify me and make arrangements to get the paper to me as soon as possible. Unless previously arranged, I DO NOT accept assignments via email. Remember that a paper has not been officially handed in until it is in my hands. Never turning anything in late is always the best policy.

Contact Ed

Office:
Sitterly 303
Office Hours:
TuTh 2-4 PM
or by appointment
E-mail:
echang @ drew.edu
AIM or Google Talk:
EDagogy


Download the course policies and syllabus.

Finding Help

My office and office hours are listed in the left sidebar. I am available during that time and by appointment to help you. I encourage you to come see me early in the semester even if it is just to talk about the class, about the assignments, or about school in general. I may ask you to meet with me when I think a conference would be useful. My office is located on the third floor of Sitterly House (southeast of Brothers College), Room 303. See http://www.drew.edu/map/buildings/sitterly-house/.

I am also available electronically by email and the course blog. Email and the blog are the best means of contacting me. I will do my best to answer your emails and blog posts, usually within twenty-four hours. If there is an emergency and you need to reach me, please contact the main English office in Sitterly 108. Furthermore, when time permits, I will supplement my office hours with virtual hours via AOL Instant Messenger or Google Talk (nickname: EDagogy); if I am logged in, during reasonable hours, you are more than welcome to discuss the class or ask questions. Please, when you initiate an IM conversation for the first time, please identify yourself to me; also, be patient because my responses may not be immediate.

You can find additional writing help at the Drew University Center for Writing Excellence, a good resource for this class and other classes. The CWE is located on the first floor of the library in the Vivian A. Bull Academic Commons and offers a variety of services including help with papers, brainstorming ideas, help with reading, and research. See http://www.drew.edu/writingstudies/writing-center to make an appointment and for more information.

Further resources, both on- and off-campus can be found on the Links page of the course website: http://www.edmondchang.com/courses/107/links.html.
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"Do work that matters. Vale la pena."
--Gloria E. Anzald˙a

"The experimental linguistic, epistemological, representational, political adventures attaching to the very many of us who may at times be moved to describe ourselves as (among many other possibilities) pushy femmes, radical faeries, fantasists, drags, clones, leatherfolk, ladies in tuxedos, feminist women or feminist men, masturbators, bulldaggers, divas, Snap! queens, butch bottoms, storytellers, transsexuals, aunties, wannabes, lesbian-identified men or lesbians who sleep with men, or...people able to relish, learn from, or identify with such."
--Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Learning (With) Technology

Unless you have an official accommodation, the use of technology in our classroom is a privilege, not a right. Mobile devices like phones, media players, and cameras should be off and put away. Computers and tablets should be used for note-taking, in-class work, and readings only. Print is generally preferred for course texts and readings, but full-size e-versions are acceptable provided the student is able to readily highlight, annotate, and index. Finally, be conscientious and respectful in the use of the course website and social media and post no material from class to the internet or non-class sites without explicit permission from the instructor and the class. Keep in mind these three rules: 1) Use the Right Tool for the situation and the task--keep it simple and elegant, 2) Practice Best Practices--it must improve or enhance your learning, 3) Be a Good Neighbor--it cannot distract or detract from others' learning. Inappropriate use and abuse of technology in class will result in the taking away of technology privileges for the offending student and/or class as a whole.

Academic Dishonesty

All students are required to uphold the highest academic standards. Plagiarism, or academic dishonesty, is presenting someone else's ideas or writing as your own. In your writing for this class, you are encouraged to refer to other people's thoughts and writing--as long as you cite them. Many students do not have a clear understanding of what constitutes plagiarism, so feel free to ask questions at any time. For our class, plagiarism includes:

• a student failing to cite sources of ideas
• a student failing to cite sources of paraphrased material
• a student failing to site sources of specific language and/or passages
• a student submitting someone else's work as his or her own
• a student submitting his or her own work produced for another class

If you have any doubt about how to cite or acknowledge another's writing, please talk to me. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Any case of academic dishonesty will be dealt with according to the guidelines and procedures outlined in Drew University's "Standards of Academic Integrity: Guidelines and Procedures." A copy of this document can be accessed on the CLA Dean's U-KNOW space by clicking on "Academic Integrity Standards." Play it smart, don't plagiarize!

Accommodations

Should you require academic accommodations, you must file a request with the Office of Disability Services (BC 119, extension 3962). It is your responsibility to self-identify with the Office of Disability Services:

http://www.drew.edu/academicservices/disabilityservices/register

and to provide faculty with the appropriate documentation from that office at least one week prior to any request for specific course accommodations. There are no retroactive accommodations.
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"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities."
--Maya Angelou

"If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."
--Harvey Milk


"The cyborg is a kind of disassembled and reassembled, postmodern collective and personal self. This is the self feminists must code."
--Donna Haraway

© 2014-15 Edmond Chang. All original material. All rights reserved. Contact the webmaster of this site. These pages are best viewed with Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. Open your browser to the largest viewable area. These pages are hosted by ED(MOND)CHANG(ED)AGOGY, the academic, professional, and creative website of Edmond Y. Chang.