Da-na-na-na-NA-na, today's my birthday...

Well, technically I was born at 11:18 p.m. on October 3, 1974, making me now 29 years old. I went to the doctor for an annual physical yesterday, and they wanted to check my hemoglobin, my cholesterol, my glucose levels, etc. The doctor thinks I might have an overactive thyroid (which would explain why I'm hot all the time, why I have trouble sleeping, why I start shaking when I haven't had food for several hours, etc.). What a fantastic way to usher in my 30s, sigh. I need to get back in the exercising habit. Anyway, I'm happy to have a lot of people to celebrate with!

Anarchy in Academe? A Cultural Analysis of Electronic Scholarly Publishing

A year ago, I wrote a paper for my Technical Communication as Cultural Practice class titled "Anarchy in Academe? A Cultural Analysis of Electronic Scholarly Publishing." After much hemming and hawing, I have finally decided to publish the paper online. Note: It's a big pdf file. The assignment for the final paper was to use cultural studies methodology to study mundane text (any text outside of "the canon," which means basically anything goes). Cultural studies methodology, in this class, entailed using Foucault, de Certeau, and Lyotard as a theoretical framework and asking questions about the cultural context surrounding our mundane text, including: How did conditions come to be this way? What's at stake in this issue? Who benefits from the status quo?

Notes on the Sex/Gender Distinction

This is one of my short response papers (called "problematics"--each one is organized around a particular issue in feminist theory). I still heart Gayle Rubin. :-)

Before the 1970s, it was understood by most theorists that one's biological sex determined what one's gender was. During this time, feminist theorists began to question the biological determinism implicit in the causal relationship between biological sex and gender by theorizing a distinction between sex and gender. Theorists also recognized the importance of theorizing sexuality as integrated with sex and gender. In the history of the sex/gender distinction and sexuality, we see disagreements regarding the logical and temporal priority of one over the other two and the extent to which sexuality is a stand-alone system, independent of or only marginally intersecting with sex and gender. In this brief essay, I will trace the genealogy of the sex/gender(/sexuality) distinction, pointing out the theoretical affordances and drawbacks presented by three representative essays spanning thirty years of thought on the distinction.

Why, UPN? Why.

I feel like Amélie.

Recently, I Googled a friend of mine from undergrad and found her blog. I emailed her, we briefed each other on the past 7-8 years, and I told her I had some photos of a band she was in a long time ago called The Chicklettes, and that if she wanted them, I'd send them to her. I had meant to send them to her for years now, but never had her mailing address. She was delighted, and said that the other members of the band would be thrilled to see them too, that they're 30-year-old wives, architects, etc. now. They've never seen these pictures. So today I very excitedly rummaged through my archives, found them, and they are now en route to North Carolina. The whole thing makes me feel really happy; these women are going to see heretofore lost photos from their rock'n'roll grrrrrrrl days. I'm having this warm fuzzy Amélie kind of day as a result of having sent this stuff--I hope it gets there soon!

The Role of the Delete Key in Blog

The New York Times has a story today that harks back to depublishing. Daniel Weintraub of the Sacramento Bee has been keeping a blog on California's recall election, and now the newspaper is starting to edit it before it goes live:

Many of the initial censorship accusations stemmed from an article published by The Bee's ombudsman, Tony Marcano, that implied that the new policy was a response to objections to Mr. Weintraub's blog raised by the Latino Caucus, a powerful group of Hispanic state legislators. But Mr. Marcano and other Bee editors have since sought to correct the record, saying the policy was not the result of political pressure, but a response to complaints from Bee news staff members who wanted similar editing procedures of the blog and regular print stories.

Mr. Marcano said he supported the decision, and neither he nor Mr. Weintraub said they agreed with critics who see the new rules as a muzzle.

"I think this is more of a logistical issue than a editing issue,'' Mr. Weintraub said. "I've written nearly 500 columns for The Bee; all of them have been edited, and I can count on one hand the number that have been changed in any substantial way. I expect the same to apply to my blog entries." He said his blog had been edited since about Sept. 10. "It might be slightly more difficult to be immediate and spontaneous, but the editors are committed to being available whenever I am ready to post."

The article suggests we take a look at Cyberjournalist, a resource and portal to journalists' blogs. They have an interesting artifact, the Bloggers' Code of Ethics, which doesn't address the depublishing debate at all.

Cross-posted at Kairosnews.

Bowling for Columbine Teacher's Guide

Michael Moore has released this very cool Teacher's Guide for using Bowling for Columbine in class. There are TONS of ideas for activities in the guide. I stumbled onto the guide while daydreaming about Moore (last night I watched Bowling for Columbine for the third time, which revived the little crush I've had on him for some time).

Edited to add: Cross-posted at Kairosnews, where there are some interesting comments. I feel compelled to say that I am not using Bowling for Columbine in my class (and never have), and am not, then, using Moore's guide. As I said on Kairosnews, I think the activities are useful because one can re-tool them and use them as heuristics for discussing just about any film or other media.

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