This blog can be a place where you can workout, think through, and get feedback on ideas related to our course topic and texts. It is an extension of the classroom space and should be treated as such.
Remember that, unless they demonstrate otherwise–and perhaps even then, everyone is here to learn, and we should expect that mistakes and missteps may occur, generally without malicious intent. While we should hold one another accountable for our words, doing so ( at least in the context of this course and blog) must not include personal attacks and denigrations.
When responding to a statement you find problematic, explain why you think this idea is problematic: “Attack”the idea never the person.
I am the only person structurally obligated to “educate.” This does not mean that each of you should not feel empowered to do so ( in constructive, non abusive ways), nor does it mean that I do not recognize the various academic, cultural, personal (etc.) knowledges that each of you possess that I may not. It is however to relieve anyone of feeling obligated to do this work: particularly if you can not do it constructively. In a classroom setting, constructive means a congenial, peer exchange in which all parties deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Other than in clearly cited quotation, generally avoid clinical/ sociological language when referring to groups (i.e. “Blacks” or “Gays”). Historically, the language of the expert/ sociologist/ psychologist has been granted to socially defined and constructed groups as a mechanism by which to control and dehumanize minority groups.
Recognize that at the time that these texts were written, at the present moment, and for the foreseeable future, conversations about gender, race, sexuality, religion and more in the context of the American nation were, are, and will be difficult. The authors we will read in this course have something to say to all of us, and they have something to say about all of us if we listen both to what we hear them saying and what others hear them saying with courage and compassion.