Posts Tagged ‘exams’

Bockting, thrice

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve started working with Walter Bockting. He’s going to help me with this last exam, and he’s going to help me with my research afterwards. As a part of that, I need to get a few reviews here on the site. I want to make sure I have all the quotes I need right at hand.

To that end, I’m going to talk about three articles that involve Walter in some way: “Homosexual and Bisexual identity in Sex-Reassigned Female-To-Male Transexuals.” by Eli Coleman, Walter Bockting, and Louis Gooren; “A Further Assessment of Blanchard’s Typology of Homosexual Versus Non-Homosexual or Autogynephilic Gender Dysphoria.” by Larry Nuttbrok, Walter Bockting, Mona Mason, Sel Hwahng, Andrew Rosenblum, Monica Macri, and Jeffrey Becker; and “Gay and Bisexual Identity Development Among Female-To-Male Transexuals in North America: Emergence of a Transgender Sexuality.” by Walter Bockting, Autumn Benner, Eli Coleman. I’ll start from the top, and move to the article where Walter was the primary author. (more…)

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As promised, I have more research to share. Today I will be discussing Judith Butler’s article “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.” For those who don’t know, Butler is one of the most important voices in feminist theory, and one of the most cited authors in the humanities (almost more than Marx and Nietzsche put together).

One of the things I like best about this article is how it talks about gender as a performance, as something in flux. Butler tells us early on that “gender is in no way a stable identity or locus of agency from which various acts proceede [sic]; rather, it is an identity tenuously constituted in time – an identity instituted through a stylized repetition of acts. Further, gender is instituted through the stylization of the body and, hence, must be understood as the mundane way in which bodily gestures, movements, and enactments of various kinds constitute the illusion of an abiding gendered self” (519, emphasis in original). She is saying that the way we act informs our gender identity. That is, we have to act a certain way in order to have a gender. Theoretically, if we acted a different way, if we did not repeat the acts , the gestures, movements, and other enactments, we would lose or change that gender identity. (more…)

I’ve been branching out my reading lately. I figure I need to re-establish my base of knowledge on identity and kinds of minds, so I figured I would start with John Searle, particularly his book Minds, Brains and Science. Within this book, he supposedly solves the mind/body problem, then goes on to talk about why computers can’t be intelligent. He does this with his famous Chinese Room thought experiment.

The idea of the experiment is that if someone who did not understand were in a room, and people put messages in Chinese through a slot on one side of the room, the guy inside could use a sort of ‘code book’ telling him what the proper response was (also in Chinese) and he could then send those messages out of the room, and people outside might be convinced that he understands Chinese.

I’ve got a couple problems with this. I’ll start from the beginning.

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So in four days, I start my exams. I have two questions from each of three professors. The first two days will have two questions a piece, and the second two days will each have one. I won’t lie; I am both stressed and scared. But not as scared as I might have been.

It’s weird feeling prepared. Not because of the work I’ve been doing (I’ve done A LOT), but because a few months ago, this felt like something I could NEVER be fully prepared for. Now, within spitting distance of my questions, I find myself anxious to get started. It’s turned from this looming obelisk of terror into just one more hoop to jump through.

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I realized that usually when I write these entries, I have a pattern for length. If it’s a book, it gets its own entry. Articles have to share. But I try to make sure the articles have something in common.

I have not done this today. The articles for today are from very different fields and very different thinkers. They don’t relate to one another, but they DO relate to my larger research. Which creates an interesting pairing, all things considered. See, while the first article, Clay Spinuzzi’s “Guest Editor’s Introduction: Technical Communication in the Age of Distributed Work” is talking about the internet and networks, the second article, Derek Parfit’s “Divided Minds and the Nature of Persons” is talking about personhood and identity. The tie in comes from my earlier research on personal identity. The Only X and Y principle, which basically says that the identity (in the sense of sameness) of any two things (X and Y) is determined only by those two things, and not by anything else.

Why does that matter? Well, each of them (X) are continuous with my research (Y), though not with each other. Well, I thought it was interesting. But you’re right; on to Spinuzzi. (more…)

Both of the articles I’m looking at today were published in Computers and Composition. The first is “‘Always a Shadow of Hope’: Heteronormative binaries in an online discussion of sexuality and sexual orientation” by Heidi McKee. The othere is “Power, language, and identity: Voices from an online course” by L.E. Sujo de Montes, Sally M. Oran, and Elizabeth M. Willis.

Let’s start with McKee.

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Today, I’m going to write about “When Identity Play Became Hooking Up: Cybersex, Online Dating and the Political Logic of Infection” by Jeremy Kaye. I don’t have a second article to go with it, so instead I’m going to talk about these exams that I’ll be starting in 13 days. But, seeing as that is a digression, I will first write about the article, so if you want to skip my pep talk to myself, you can. (more…)