Category Archives: Week 1: About Cities and the Bodies within Them

Sharing the #CLAGSqNY Twitter Hashtag Archive & Its Relationships

For those of you interested not only in the conversations we shared in the class–that are available via video on this site or in the comments below each week’s post for the course for those who talked in the chat window–the Twitter hashtag archive for #CLAGSqNY is now available at the bottom of this post.

I have also rendered a social network analysis of Twitter mentions of various individual’s handles (namely those in the class) who used the #CLAGSqNY hashtag. Each dot below is a person or group tweeting. Each line indicates they mentioned or were mentioned by someone else connected to them. A total of 502 tweets let us see that three major networks of communication (based on the colors of the connections) formed on Twitter: @CLAGSNY (Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies), @meganbigelow (artist Megan Bigelow), and @jgieseking (me). We also can see that while there are a number of folks on the edges only mentioned once (one line to or from their dot) which indicates a lack of conversation, there are more folks with two or more connections to others, showing a level of connection between those involved in CLAGSqNY.

For those out there still checking in on this site, I have taken a position at Bowdoin College. Please feel free to reach out!

Twitter Mentions Using #CLAGSqNY Hashtag. Jen Jack Gieseking CC BY-NC 2013.

Twitter Mentions Using #CLAGSqNY Hashtag. Jen Jack Gieseking CC BY-NC 2013.



First Class Follow-Up: About Cities and the Bodies within Them

Good morning, incredibly awesome participants in Queer(ing) New York! Thank you so much for a riveting first class! I am especially thankful to Kalle Westerling and Jasmina Sinanovice of CLAGS for their ceaseless social media and tech support during the class–these are the awesome people who were chatting with you on Twitter and in the live stream chat window.

If you are just getting started, you can watch the first seminar video here. Continue your comments on Twitter with the hashtag #CLAGSqNY or just keep chatting on the in-class thread here, and the first comment includes a chat history from the online folks watching during the live stream.

To continue to keep this open, online registration will stay open throughout the class. Sorry that more in-person seats are not available but the physical room is already bursting!

Thanks again for an awesome first class! Your ideas about the readings and responses to them were inspiring. – Jack

First Pre-Class Thread: About Cities and the Bodies within Them

Framing the Readings

Cities have been theorized historically as a site that encompasses the depraved and the delinquent, including the homosexual even before the Chicago School in the early 20th century, and such ideas still permeate the imagination of the urban (Abraham 2009). Against the isolation lgbtq people experienced in rural and suburban areas, particularly before the era of the internet, it was common knowledge to tell lgbtq people, as Kath Weston (1995) put it, “to get thee to a big city” to find and connect with like-minded and -bodied people This sense of urban promise was both myth and fact, and congealed as increased urbanization along with the separation of the sexes during WWII provided the necessary conditions for the growth of lesbian and gay cultures we know today, as asserted by the work on John D’Emilio (1983a; 1983b). Yet narratives of the city still tend to suggest they are spaces for men, while women are regenerated to the private places of their homes, more publically in a state of fear, and remain generally invisible. Considerations of race, class, and citizenship are also pinkwashed through processes and practices homonormativity (Duggan 1994), or the assimilation of radical homosexual ideas, but the geographical imagination of the grand lgbtq city continues.

Feminist philosopher Iris Marion Young (1990) suggested that the city affords the cover of anonymity and the potential for social interaction across differences. While idealizing the possibility for a critical mass from and across these differences, Young’s city can be read as a space of queer flux that celebrates and reproduces its unoppressive, unfixed, unassimilated communities and identities. Elizabeth Grosz’s concept of bodies-cities (1996), which argues that bodies and cities mutually define one another through social, economic, and political elements, advocates relationality as a way of supporting and producing recognition so that the city is a space that affords pressure and possibility for agency and access.*

Our Discussion Questions

What can the work of refusing the norms and structures of city life and the bodies who move, live, dwell, love, and desire within it enact and sustain the cities of difference long imagined? How does New York City queer norms and enact difference, and where is it less successful? What ways does the city work for and against you when it comes to difference? As you reflect on these questions, remember that theory is divined from experience so share as much as you wish about you wish of your ideas and experiences to reflect on this.

*See the Further Recommended Readings for this week to see the citations for the works mentioned here.