The main requirement in this class is to read: carefully, thoughtfully, strategically, and collaboratively. I do not expect you to close-read every text in detail, or to be able to unpack every paragraph on every page, but I do expect you to be familiar with each assigned reading each week and to have questions, thoughts, ideas, and challenges to bring to discussion.
If you find yourself struggling with language that is unfamiliar, dense, or troubling, remind yourself that this is inevitable when you are reading work that breaks away from dominant epistemologies. Persevere; you many well find that a later moment in the argument illuminates something earlier, or that an idea brought up ten pages in to a text is as inspiring as the opening pages were obscure. The speculative fiction stories are chosen in the hope that they might illuminate ideas from the theory; read them in that spirit, and if you find them obscure or unhelpful, set them aside.
As you read, you will often find yourself encountering references to bodies of knowledge we are not directly studying in class. Do not simply gloss over these but note them down, research where they come from, and think about what it would mean to take up these traditions in your own emerging and ongoing work of knowledge production. Written assignments are designed to develop your expertise in this process, but I also encourage you to meet outside of class to share your perspectives, opinions, and concerns about the readings.
You will be writing a lot for this class, most often in shorter formats requiring you to summarize and synthesize others’ ideas, though you will produce one medium-length piece of writing at the end of the semester. You will also lead class discussion once in the semester. Your final project should connect our class readings and discussions to your own emerging research interests; it may take the form of a argumentative paper, but I encourage you to consider working in a more exploratory format in which you delve into key questions in an aspect of women’s and gender studies that is important to you.
You will write regularly on the class website; student writing will be available only to those registered for the class unless you choose to make it public. We will be using WordPress, widely used open source web content management software. Part of the work that you will be doing when you post your writing will be to take the time to make sure that you understand what happens when you hit “post,” and that you know how to make the appropriate edits if your post doesn’t look the way you expected it to.
Informal writing posted on our website:
- Opening reflection
- Five reading summaries
- Two post-class reflections
- Weekly comments
- Closing reflection
Formal submissions via ELMS :