Queer Pop Culture

ENG 106. Fall 2021. University of Miami

Readings (Requires UMiami authentication)


Course: ENG 106
Institution: University of Miami
Course Location:
Course Time:

Course Credit hours: 3                                                    
Instructor: Preston Taylor Stone
Email: ptstone@miami.edu
Office Hours: By appointment (Virtual)

Course Description:

The University of Miami’s English Composition program has two required introductory writing courses: ENG 105 and ENG 106. Both courses are largely skills-based classes. In ENG 105, students learn inquiry and argumentation. In ENG 105, students continue to develop argumentation strategies and incorporate academic research and interpretation techniques. In this course section of ENG 106, we will focus these skills on a centering topic: queer studies. Developing after the institutionalization of LGBT Studies, queer studies comes to us from a variety of places: rejection of identity politics as liberal fantasy, embrace of solidarity, and on-the-ground activism. In this course, we will begin by asking What was queer studies?, a question of history. Reading important pieces of theory from the late 1990s and the 2000s, we will then turn to different cultural texts, including films, songs, music videos, poems, and television. Finally, we will ask the question What is queer culture? and develop a theoretical and cultural lexicon and network of queer culture.

In order to develop the skills of close-reading, research and annotation, interpretation, and citation, this course will use queer theoretical texts and cultural texts. Throughout the course, we will have in-class and online discussions about the social legibility of gender, sexuality, race, and class as well as the project of justice and solidarity. Those who are interested in LGBTQ studies or culture and those who are within the following disciplines/majors are strongly encouraged to join: gender and sexuality studies, English, sociology, anthropology, sociology, political science, modern languages and literatures, American studies, Africana studies, history, philosophy, psychology, art, theatre arts, cinematic arts, communication studies, pre-law, journalism, and music.

Course Goals and Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course, students will exhibit the ability to

  • Demonstrate effective written communication skills in relation to specific rhetorical tasks.
  • Construct original, well-reasoned arguments using a range of materials
  • Find, evaluate, integrate, and synthesize appropriate and relevant primary and secondary sources in their writing
  • Engage in close-reading of texts
  • Cite sources formally (using MLA, APA, Chicago, or other citation formats)

Required Texts and Materials:

  • Regular access to a computer
  • Portable storage (flash drive, email, cloud, etc)
  • Most texts will be provided on Google Drive and linked on the schedule section of this document. You will be expected to print and bring these to class or have full access to them during class. The text that will not be provided via PDF will be required purchases for students. These required purchases is listed below:

Queer Theory Now: From Foundations to Future by Hannah McCann & Whitney Monaghan


Barnes & Noble


Policies & Assignments

Students are required to attend class, come to class on time and prepared (having done the reading/s or assignment/s), at least attempt all classwork activities, turn in assigned work when due, participate fully in good faith in any peer work, participate in class discussion, focus on the work at hand, and conduct oneself in a manner appropriate to the college classroom.

Rubric for class participation

5Student is always attentive and contributes relevant insight very often, completing all in-class assignments in a collaborative and receptive manner
4Student is attentive and completes all in-class assignments in a collaborative and receptive manner
3Student is distracted but completes all in-class assignments
2Student is often distracted and off-task, hesitant and unreceptive to collaboration
1Student does not complete in-class assignments
0Student is absent

Face coverings are mandatory at all times (with the exception of when drinking water) while in on-campus class sessions. Failure to follow this requirement is grounds for disciplinary action and may lead to removal from the classroom and/or the course.

The seat you select on the first day of class must be from among those identified as meeting the physical distance requirements for COVID-19; this seat will be your assigned seat for the remainder of the semester. This will enable the most effective COVID-19 contact tracing, should it be required.

Students are required to use the Daily Symptom Checker and be cleared to attend class each day. Students may be asked to show the green “Good to Go” notice. You may be required to produce your notice at any time while on campus. Students who fail to comply or to produce their “Good to Go” notice will be asked to leave the classroom.

AttendanceRubric (click here)
Each student is allotted 5 unexcused absences (one and a half weeks) and 3 tardies. Absences beyond this may result in deductions from the student’s final grade. Excessive absences will result in the student failing the course. After a student has been late (tardy) 3 times, each following time the student is late will result in 1/3 an absence. This means once a student has been late to class 6 times, they will receive an absence. Students who are consistently distracted in class (texting, browsing the internet, etc.) will be warned to pay closer attention to class. After this warning, if a student is continuously distracted in class, they will be marked absent. Students who acknowledge holy days on the same day(s) we have class will be excused if they have alerted the professor of all of these by the end of three days after you are enrolled in class. Absences do not excuse any due dates or work missed.

Unless you are approved to take this course under the Remote Learning Option, physical attendance in the classroom is required as scheduled. You are expected to participate with your video enabled during your non-classroom days. If at some point in the semester you cannot physically attend class sessions due to illness, injury, or other approved absence, you must contact the instructor for permission to temporarily attend the course online. Unexcused absences from the classroom may affect your grade or lead to failing the course.

On Writing and Reading
This class will ask a lot of you in terms of writing and reading. You are likely to do more reading in a quicker time in this course than any other course you have taken before. I will, before class, ask that you respond to several informal prompts on Blackboard in the hopes you will at least attempt to do this work. Homework is a small part of your participation grade but will be immensely helpful to you in thinking about the texts we are discussing and formulating a topic for your final paper. I understand this is not your only class and I respect that you have a personal life beyond our classroom. Nonetheless, I expect you will come to class having at least attempted to do the assigned reading and writing all the way through and having prepared notes, ideas, or questions to discuss with the class.

Revision is a central and integral part of this course and any writing course of merit. In order for your writing to be consistently improving, you must bring it through multiple drafts of revision. Revision, then, is a requirement of this course. You will upload free-write, journaling, even outlines and sketches, to your Google Drive folder. Failure to do so will cast a burden of proof on your having done consistent revision in good faith for each assignment, and this will be reflected in your grades.

Electronics Policy and Google Drive vs. Blackboard
Each student is required to bring a tablet, laptop, or similar electronic device to class in order to take notes, complete and submit in-class writing assignments, access readings or notes for class discussion, and participate in peer review. No electronic device should be a distraction from the activities of the classroom for any student. The use of laptops or tablets is allowed only to complete classroom-related activities. If electronic devices become a distraction or a means by which students avoid class participation, the student(s) in violation will receive an absence for class that day.

We will spend most of our class time working in Google Drive, a cloud-based file sharing system to which each student at the University of Miami has access. To log-in to your Google Drive, visit google.miami.edu and use the same credentials you use to access your email, Canelink, and Blackboard interfaces. You will have your own folder within the classroom’s folder (“ENG 105 D3 – Fall 2020”). Drive is where you will submit your drafts, revisions, in-class writing assignments, reflections, and peer reviews. It is up to you to make sure you have access to your Blackboard and Google Drive accounts and folders at all times. Inability to access Google Drive or Blackboard will not be sufficient excuse for not turning in assignments on time. For IT help, UMIT is located on the third floor of the Richter Library or may be accessed at it.miami.edu.

Students are expressly prohibited from recording any part of this course. Meetings of this course might be recorded by the University. Any recordings will be available to students registered for this class as they are intended to supplement the classroom experience. Students are expected to follow appropriate University policies and maintain the security of passwords used to access recorded lectures. Recordings may not be reproduced, shared with those not in the class, or uploaded to other online environments. If the instructor or a University of Miami office plans any other uses for the recordings, beyond this class, students identifiable in the recordings will be notified to request consent prior to such use. This instructor is the copyright owner of the courseware; individual recordings of the materials on Blackboard and/or of the virtual sessions are not allowed. Such materials cannot be shared outside the physical or virtual classroom environment without express permission.

 Academic Honor Code
As a student of the University of Miami, you have agreed to uphold the Honor Code. Violation of this code includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or academic dishonesty. Title II, B of the Undergraduate Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook defines each of these violations:

Cheating – Implies the intent to deceive. It includes all actions, devices and deceptions used in the attempt to commit this act. Examples include, but are not limited to, copying answers from another student’s exam, and using a cheat sheet or crib notes in an exam.

Plagiarism – is representing the words or ideas of someone else as your own. Examples include, but are not limited to, failing to properly cite direct quotes and failing to give credit for someone else’s ideas.

Collusion – is the act of working together on an academic undertaking for which a student is individually responsible. Examples include, but are not limited to, sharing information in labs that are to be done individually.

Academic Dishonesty – includes any other act not specifically covered that compromises the integrity of a student or intrudes, violates, or disturbs the academic environment of the university community. Examples are attempting or agreeing to commit, or assisting in or facilitating the commission of, any scholastic dishonesty violation, failing to appear or testify without good cause when requested by the Honor Council, failing to keep information about cases confidential, supplying false information to the Honor Council and accusing a student of a violation of this Code in bad faith.

Any student who violates the Honor Code will fail not only the assignment but the entire course. Each of you has the ability to think through your own unique ideas. If you are thinking of violating the Honor Code because you are overwhelmed or in distress, speak with me and we will come up with a better solution.

On Accessibility and Acceptance
Every student, no matter their identity, ideology, or ability, is welcome and valued in this class. This class will require that we confront political, social, and ideological questions that may be deemed controversial. I encourage you not to shy away from this opportunity to think through these issues. No matter what, no student should ever feel unwelcome or unsafe in this classroom. If you find that you feel inappropriately uncomfortable, consistently unsafe, or need help, please let me know immediately and I will direct you to the resources that may help. The University of Miami Counseling Center (UMCC) provides professional support to students no matter their gender expression, sexual preferences, sex, race, financial or immigration status. You can make an appointment by calling 305-284-5511, by visiting counseling.studentaffairs.miami.edu, or by visiting the counseling center on Merrick Dr. (across from the Pavia Garage).

Students with accessibility requirements are provided for by the University of Miami’s Office of Disability Services (ODS) and may contact this office at 305-284-2374 or disabilityservices@miami.edu to make any requests for accessibility. If you have trouble contacting the ODS, let me know and I will help you. If you have contacted the ODS and have any requirements of me, please be sure to let me know as soon as possible.

Turning in assignments 
Papers should be submitted on Blackboard or Google Drive on the day and at the specified time they are due. Each day a paper is late, there will be a deduction of 10% from the grade. All assignments are assigned in due time to be completed by each student on time. It is your own job to make sure you do not forget deadlines and that you turn your assignments into the correct platform (Blackboard, email, or Google Drive). Every deadline is listed on this document in the schedule section, on the assignment sheets themselves, and verbally said in class. If you require an extension(s) for your assignment(s), you must request them of the instructor at least three class periods (over a week) prior to the due date of the assignment. Under no circumstances is the instructor required to grant you an extension(s). No late blackboard posts will be accepted.

The Writing Center (www.as.miami.edu/writingcenter) can help you at any stage of the writing process.  Appointments are suggested, but they also accept ‘walk-in’ visits.  If I think it’s necessary, I will ask you to use the Writing Center on a regular basis. Please note that all appointments are currently being held online until further notice.  To make an online appointment, make an account at the above link/sign in as usual and choose an available time.

OWL @ Purdue is a great online resource for writing and research techniques. It can be located at https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html.

Extra Credit is not available or permitted in this course. I do not allow extra credit for several reasons: put simply, it is unfair to those who have committed to the work required of this class if others are able to do extra work for credit. Moreover, extra credit requires extra effort and time to which I am unable to commit for reading, annotating, grading, and categorizing within the gradebook.

On Communication
I will make a point to learn each of your names and I expect you will learn to use one another’s name in conversation, as well (“I agree with what ___ said”). This will create a welcoming and meaningful culture for our classroom. If you have a question about the policies or assignments for this class, you may speak to me before, during, or after class, via email, or in office hours. I will make a point to reply to your email within 24-to-48 hours. If you have not received a response from me after two days, you should email me again. Please do not email me to ask questions about an assignment one or two days before it is due as this will not allow due time for me to respond and for you to use this answer in writing your assignment.

If you have a question or concern about an assignment or participation grade, please come and see me during my office hours or talk with me before or after class to arrange a meeting.  Due to federal requirements, UM faculty are not permitted to discuss grades via email or phone, so we will need to meet in person and in private.

Overall Grade Distribution:

Attendance/Class participation100pts
Blackboard Posts/Reading Annotations150pts
Comparative Context Analysis project100pts
Literature Review200pts
Research Paper150pts
Lensing Assignment150pts

Grading Scale:

A – Exemplary B – Effective C – Sufficient   D – Unsatisfactory F – Failure


Blackboard reading responsesRubric (click here)
The night before most reading assignments are due, you will be asked to respond to a specific prompt or question related to the reading. These responses are designed to stimulate your thinking about the text and the course themes and help prepare you for class discussion. They are also great places to start generating ideas for your essays and research projects. These posts will be graded based on completion, but thoughtful responses will enrich our class discussions and help you develop confidence in your ideas, critical reading skills, and writing. All posts are due before class time. To earn full points on your reading responses, you will need to write thoughtful answers in full sentences and/or paragraphs and submit your post before class time. *200-300 words each*

In-class writing responses
Each Thursday, we will have ‘Through-line Thursday’ where you and a partner will connect a minimum of two and a maximum of four sources, one of which must include the reading for that Thursday. The other sources could be something we have previously discussed in this course or something you read, saw, heard outside of class. The point of this assignment is to practice making connections between different cultural texts, a skill you will be required to showcase in the research paper (discussed below). Whereas the Blackboard reading responses test reading comprehension (that you understand what you read), these in-class writing responses will test argumentation (that you have thoughts about what you’ve read). These assignments are written in groups and while quotations will be helpful to make your connections between sources, this must be original work so the majority of the writing should be that of yourself and your group member(s). These assignments are turned in on Blackboard. *350-500 words each*

Close reading
This brief analysis paper will require you to select a passage from a written text we read in class or another part of digital media (music video, poetry reading, speech, performance art) and examine how the writer/artist uses language and rhetorical strategies. Note that this is not a report on what the author is saying nor is it a summary of the cultural text. While it will be important to understand the cultural text, this assignment is meant to explain how the artist conveys their story or argument (the types of evidence they use, the methods of presenting, the poetic language used, the form of presentation). You may choose to do a close reading of a cultural text (short story, poem, film, mini-series, documentary, music video) or an academic text (peer-reviewed article, monograph chapter). *1000 words min.*

Comparative Context Analysis project
For this assignment, your group will choose a piece from the special collections in the Kislak Center and compare/contrast how this piece has been or might be discussed in three different rhetorical contexts, genres, or academic disciplines. For instance, you might look at the zine The Popstitutes, 86-95: boredom = death and discuss how it might be approached by social sciences, humanities, economics, or healthcare fields and in a popular source such as a magazine, newspaper, or film. You should then use your analysis to make recommendations for writing persuasively in each of these contexts. *group presentation of approx. 20-25 mins*

Annotated BibliographyRubric (click here)
This assignment will act as Part 1 of your research project. After selecting a topic for your project, you will conduct research and provide an overview of the existing body of research on the topic—trace the different schools of thought or approaches to the topic, summarize what other scholars have said, and examine how they agree, disagree, and relate to each other. This is, in short, a report on all of the scholarship about a given topic (or as much as you can find). Think of this as if you are stepping into the ongoing scholarly conversation about your topic and your goal is to outline each of the strands of that conversation. This performance of research and abridging arguments of other scholars is an important part of recognizing there is an ongoing interest in the topic you are researching and it will be very important to do as you continue in your academic career. The annotated bibliography will help you situate your own argument (that of your research paper) within the existing scholarly research. Aspects of this will become crucial during your research paper since you will need to reference sources in this list in your paper. Therefore, as you are researching, you would be wise to think about what others are not saying so that you can provide the missing link. *minimum of 10 peer-reviewed sources*

Research paperRubric (click here)
You will produce a research paper in a scholarly format on a topic of your interest that relates to our focus of study: black feminism. I encourage you to think about topics addressed by your area of study. This is not a report or summary of different sources (literature review). Though you will use your literature review to situate your own argument, the majority of your paper should be dedicated to developing your own argument and situating your own contribution to (or criticism of) the arguments of others. Your essay must use research from scholarly sources (min. of 7 peer-reviewed sources), put forward a clear and convincing position on your topic, and follow a single citation style, format, and set of conventions (MLA, Chicago, or APA). *1500 words min.*

Lensing assignmentRubric (click here)
This assignment asks you to use a theoretical or conceptual text as a framework to read a primary text, such as a creative or fictional work. One way to approach this is to imagine yourself as the author of the theoretical text and respond to the second text from their perspective. Therefore, the goal of this assignment is to use the concepts and ideas of the theoretical text as a “lens” to evaluate and interpret the cultural text. *1500 words min.*

ENG 106 Fall 2021 Course Schedule

(subject to change—any changes will be announced with due notice.  Homework is due for the next class session)

Week 1

T   8/18

R 8/20



Week 2

T   8/25

R   8/27



Week 3                                             


T   9/1  


R   9/3                     



Week 4                                              

T   9/8

R   9/10



Week 5                                              

T   9/15

R   9/17



Week 6                                              

T   9/22

R   9/24



Week 7                                              

T   9/29

R   10/1



Week 8                                              

T   10/6

R   10/8



Week 9                                              

T   10/13

R   10/15



Week 10                                            

T   10/20 

R   10/22



Week 11                                            

T   10/27

R   10/29



Week 12                                            

T   11/3

R   11/5



Week 13                                            

T   11/10

R   11/12



Week 14                                            

T   11/17

R   11/19



Week 15                                            


Week 16                                            


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