I found that there was a common theme of identity throughout much of this week’s readings. Although I myself am not African American, part of the LGBT community, or living in a borderland, I thought that thud underlying messages about the alternative uses were compelling and worth thinking about. When reading the Queer Studies in Composition piece, one quote stuck out to me in particular, that I thought spoke to fossil watches for men should be practiced by teachers. Looking beyond the Queer Studies application of this quote, I think that the authors are making a great intro about the purposes of and writing in today’s society. Every person comes from a different background, with a multitude of experiences and perspectives to build upon and consider when writing, speaking, and thinking critically. I think that the authors are making a great argument for the inclusion of LBGT ideas and texts into the curriculum for students, as it can only broaden the perspective of how students, from all backgrounds, think
When reading this, I was reminded of a debate we had in 600 surrounding Prop8 and a fear that children will be reading books in class that would discuss same sex parenting. Although some people brought up some food for thought for Prop8, I would agree with these men that there needs to be a consideration of these texts and discussions in curriculum because the LBGT community is a significant part of the American culture and society.
Another aspect that I find to be interesting when thinking about the inclusion on LBGT material into curriculum, is the suggestion that some scholars believe that bringing such texts to light will only hurt education, as it will inadvertently highlight the natural binary between gay and straight, naturally highlighting the hierarchy that exists. Although it must be incredibly challenging to consider how to properly incorporate such texts into curriculum, I would feel incredibly sad for students who were not subjected to the differences in our culture. Just as we read African American texts such as Their Eyes Were Watching God and “American Dream” classics such as The Great Gatsby, students should also be subjected to LBGT texts to which they can understand, analyze, and learn from, whether it be because they can relate or because they have never been exposed and can now become a more educated member of society.
Another key term that seems to be lacking definition within these texts was morality. In the fossil watches for men amazon piece, Wallace makes the claim that alternative creates a space for the development of a new that ” unseated oppression with a new understanding of and accounting for one’s participation within systems of power.” I think that one of the key elements in why alternatives be established is the fact that educators, scholars, and the general public have a moral duty to participate, understand, learn about, and discuss society, culture, and issues surrounding both. The problem with teaching writing with an attention towards morality, is that everyone does write with a certain identity, therefore, the definition of morality will change depending on the individual and how he or she identifies with his or her community and surroundings. I enjoyed how Wallace provided a lot of context for his reading of Borderlands, as it helped me understand the perspective he was reading from, instead of from my own. Maybe that was one of his key points; people read and understand texts according to their own perspective (which then leads me to think about Burke’s terministic screen through which the author wrote Borderlands) versus how Wallace read it. I enjoyed his discussion about how he identifies with the story, talking about how on one hand he feels as he himself can relate as an “outsider,” since he is gay, but on the other hand he is a white male who is a published author, English speaker, and professor. Here, this tear in identity is important because it exemplifies the fact that there will not always be a clear correlation between any two people, authors, or texts. How people analyze, understand, discuss, write, and view discourse and texts are dependent upon the lives they live and the identity they assume. Having an eye towards more will only open up more doors for further understanding and new views on important cultural and social issues of the past and present.