Choosing Content

The first step in the process of writing your post is to choose cultural item that you would like to analyze. The following are some thoughts to consider as you make your choice.

Concept: The broadest category that we need to consider is queer culture. Like queer, a word that can mean so many different things, I want to consider culture in a similarly capacious way. I am therefore open to whatever kind of cultural content that you want to include–it can either represent queer culture, or queer normative culture.

Categories: I currently have the website divided into eight cultural categories: literature (novels, plays, poetry, non-fiction, criticism), music (classical, hip-hop, jazz, pop, etc.), performance (dance, theatre, opera), film, art (sculpture, painting, architecture), television, events (concerts, festivals, parades, pageants), the internet (websites, webseries), people (performers, activists), and institutions (stores, clubs, bars, restaurants, neighborhoods, centers). These are only my initial ideas, so if yours take us in different directions, we can change the categories accordingly. Every artifact that you submit to the digital archive must have a category.

Artifacts: You will submit three artifacts to the archive over the course of the semester. Each of the three artifacts must come from a different cultural category, which means that you cannot choose three films, or two books and a film. As we will throughout the course, I want you to engage with a variety of cultural forms. Additionally, these artifacts must be a substantial contribution. For example, rather than a single poem or song, submit the book of poetry or album from which they are excerpted. Over the course, you should also aim to tackle at least one difficult artifact that will require more extensive time to research and analyze.

I really want you to explore as much as possible. Some of you come into the class with lots of previous exposure to and participation in queer culture and communities. For those of you, I want you to show the rest of us what is cool and what you’re into. Some of you might have little to no familiarity with queer culture, so I’m glad that you’re in this course. For you, you might start with your interests and search for queer perspectives. I really just want everyone to explore.

Proposal: Before you compose the written portion of your submission to the archive, you will send me a brief proposal in an email that includes what your artifact is and why you think it belongs in our archive. Only one person in the class can submit an artifact, so make sure to check previous submissions before sending me your proposal. You must submit a proposal at least a week before the post is due. Failure to do so will result in a lower final grade on your post.

The following are some of the more compelling choices and engaging analyses from last semester’s class:

W.H. Auden
Heather Cassils
Andrea Gibson
Allen Ginsberg
The Legend of Korra
LGBTQ Children’s Books
Orange Is the New Black
The Price of Salt
Salacious Magazine
Shibari and Kinbaku Erotic Japanese Bondage Traditions
Still Black: A Portrait of Black Trans Men
Taxi Zum Klo

After you have chosen your artifact or item, the next step is writing the post.