Posts Tagged ‘Identity’

And so it begins

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Uncategorized
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My exams are done and passed. My prospectus is all but done, awaiting only the official word of my committee. But while waiting for that official word, I did get the go ahead from my adviser to just keep going. He said that he is glad I learned not to wait around, and that I should continue to just forge ahead, and not worry about hearing the official word. I am taking that to mean that the prospectus has met his approval, meaning it will eventually get the official word.

That’s both liberating and terrifying. It’s liberating because I am finally able to start on my dissertation. It’s terrifying for exactly the same reason. I have to write a dissertation. This is a book, and a scholarly one. (more…)

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Bockting, thrice

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Uncategorized
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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…)

I’ve discovered recently that the used book store is one of my primary places to find sources for my dissertation. I keep finding incredibly good books there. I’m guessing students who take classes on feminist theory or queer theory sell their books there, and then I can scoop them up. Works well for me. I’d like to talk today about parts of one of those sources. The book is called Genderqueer: voices from beyond the sexual binary, and it’s edited by Joan Nestle, Clare Howell, and Riki Wilchins. They open the book by each giving their own introduction, and Wilchins’ is where I’d like to start.

There will probably be more on this book at a later date, but for now, I’m just looking at Riki Wilchins’ contributions. (more…)

I’d like to talk about a book I read last semester. It’s called Virtual Gender: Technology, Consumption and Identity Edited by Eileen Green and Alison Adam. It was published in 2001, and is a collection of essays. My major thought when reading through this was my amazement at what has changed in the past ten years.

When I think back ten years, the world in my memory doesn’t seem that different. Unless I look at the details. I didn’t have a blog then, but I think I was just starting this new thing called Livejournal. I had a cell phone (I think), but almost never used it. I didn’t have a laptop. I did have AIM, but that was the only messenger system I used. So as I look at the details, I see a pretty significant change.

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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…)

The article I’d like to discuss today is Chapter 6 of the Handbook of Gender Research in Psychology, “Gender Identity Disorder: Concerns and Controversies” by Kate Richmond, Kate Carrol, and Kristoffer Denboske.

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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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