Dear Students

Twelve weeks isn’t much time to explore the lives and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and their allies, both here in the Midwest and around the world. Our syllabus is necessarily selective, and the questions you are most interested in exploring may be addressed only peripherally, if at all.

So this blog is an opportunity for you to write a short, focused reflection (800-1000 words) on a topic of your choosing. Current events that unfold during the semester are a good option, as is a review or critical reflection on a text that does not appear on the syllabus. Personal essays are a possibility, and so are manifestos. Think expansively about format: what about an image gallery or a playlist, which you would then annotate? What about a letter to the editor? We’re looking for diversity at the level of both content and form.

Here’s how this will work: by Sunday, March 1, I expect you to email me with an idea for a post, however preliminary. We’ll work together to refine the idea, and once I’ve approved it, you’ll work with our TA, Josiah Mosqueda, on your first draft. He’ll give you comments, you’ll make revisions. I will look over each post before it is published, and I may ask for additional revisions. All posts must be published, in their final form, by April 16.

This post is worth 10% of your final course grade, and it will be evaluated against the following criteria: originality, timeliness, and ambitiousness of the topic; clarity and novelty of the post’s argument; effective use of supporting evidence; fluency of writing.