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Third Quarter Feedback

2009 April 5
by Guinevere

1. what connections have you seen among all the imaginative representations of gender and technology that we’ve looked @? I’ve been really interested in the role that technology has played in the representations we’ve examined. I think it’s possible to see technology as a villain in the three we’ve looked at; in The Handmaid’s Tale, The Republic of Gilead uses technology as a scapegoat (nuclear power plants melting down, chemicals causing Caucasian infertility); in Metropolis, workers are slaves to/fuel for a monstrous machine; and in Watchmen, the technology created by Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias brings incredible destruction. I haven’t really been that interested in the gender roles during this section of the class because our discussions of gender seem to be getting repetitive. I feel like we’ve talked gender issues to death and are simply concluding that “meh, this is the way of the world. it’s stereotyping men and women. and we don’t think that’s right.” This is a perfectly valid conclusion, but I don’t think it’s a particularly useful one.

2. how do these works contribute to your understandings of gender, technology or the relations between them? As I just discussed, our discussion of gender hasn’t contributed much for me. But our discussions of technology have kind of scared me a little. I’m more in awe of the power of technology than I was before and it’s made me more wary of what I do online and how I present myself, especially on facebook.

3. any other feedback about how the class has been working the past three weeks, w/ all the small group work we’ve been doing? are there other things you’d like to be doing in class that we haven’t done yet, or that you’d like to do more of? The small group work has been nice and I appreciate the opportunity to get to know my classmates, but I still haven’t worked with half the people in the class and it’s not because I keep getting placed with the same people. There have been a few times where we’ve had the same small groups for two classes in a row. I think that can sometimes be valuable, if a group has a discussion they can easily continue from the previous class, but I don’t think that happens as often as it could. So, I’d really like to make an effort to change groups and meet at least one or two new people every class.

4. what concrete suggestions do you have in particular about wordpress functionality? (Laura and Anne have started a log here….) In general, WordPress functions nicely and doesn’t have many glitches, but I think if I were less tech-savvy, I’d have more trouble navigating the site admin pages. The blog is user-friendly, but I wish WordPress were more blogger/writer-friendly. I know this isn’t particularly concrete, but there isn’t much else I’m unhappy with.

5. what has your experience been with posting and receiving online commentary on your papers? I’m pretty ambivalent about the online commentary. I think it would be useful if any of us (students) had the time to read and comment on other people’s papers. Perhaps then, professors’ comments would contribute to a larger conversation.

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