This is the right place!
Note that we will not be using ELMS or Canvas, except for putting books on course reserve at McKeldin.
So BOOKMARK this website for our use for the rest of the semester!

tangled community, entangled communities: lesbians and always more
Tuesdays 4:00pm - 6:30pm at KEY 0125
WMST 494 / LGBT 494, Spring 2015 UMD Lesbian Communities and Difference 
Credit only granted for: LGBT494 or WMST494
Prerequisite: 1 course in WMST. Recommended: WMST200 or WMST250 

Professor: Katie King 
Office: 2101C Woods Hall, University of Maryland, College Park 
Office hours this term on Wednesdays 2-4 pm by appointment. And also be sure to email me at TO CONFIRM the morning you are coming too! otherwise you might lose your place! & note you can grab me after class! 
Office phone: 301.405.7294 (voice mail) but email is most reliable connection. 


But best email for fast reply is:
KK’s website with MESSAGES:
You can follow Katie on Twitter @katkingumd

course description for this term’s version of the class

The term “lesbian community” might well mean something different in each decade since the 1970s when gay women began to use the term lesbian to describe themselves and feminism had to stop dyke baiting practices. Recently at UMD the LGBT Studies program became folded into our WMST department and there is talk about changing both names, but to what? And this last year a new scholarly journal began its first volume, named TSQ or Transgender Studies Quarterly. Transnational politics, legalities, travel, and scholarship under various names and umbrella terms have their own histories and timelines, something very unevenly obvious in and to the US. So in 2015 there are many questions to explore about lesbian communities. How do they/we name them/ourselves? What communities do we discover to be entangled here, how does naming matter, what intersectionalities should we center or network, what national and transnational ranges are our proper contexts for investigation? Are communities something to work for or against and why? Do communities protect or police or include or exclude those who might want to work together in solidarity today?

To create our own groups for solidarity in thinking and action, we want to get to know and work with each other. Ours will be an active and ambitious learning working group, both one and many at the same time, as is feminism! We will not be using Canvas in this class, but rather working with Blogger, a public online site, using it for class multimedia presentations, for class preparation and review, and maybe for other possibilities! Please bookmark our class site:  

All students please do come to office hours to just talk; I want to get to know each of you personally! This should be a very fun class, demanding I hope in the most satisfying ways, and full of comradeship and excitement. I want to know how the class is working for you, what touches and excites you, how your projects are going. So please make a point of coming to office hours and opening up conversations!

Let me know in office hours or after class when you need help, the sooner the better. If you have any kind of disability, whether apparent or non-apparent, learning, emotional, physical, or cognitive, please contact me as appropriate to discuss reasonable accommodations for your access needs. Folks who need time from class to observe religious holidays, please contact me ASAP to make any arrangements necessary. If you are experiencing difficulties in keeping up with the academic demands of this or any other course, you can also contact the Learning Assistance Service, 2202 Shoemaker Building, 301-314-7693. They have educational counselors who can help with time management, reading, math learning skills, note-taking and exam preparation skills. All their services are free to UMD students.

Books ordered: 494 Lesbian Communities
Books also on hard copy reserve at McKeldin Library

** Enszer (Nestle & Tambiah), eds. 2014Lesbians and Exile, special issue of Sinister Wisdom 94. ASIN: B00PPL2MKK.
** Enszer. 2013Sisterhood. Sibling Rivalry. 978-1937420574.
* Gessen & Huff-Hannon, eds. 2014Gay Propaganda. OR Books. 978-1939293350. ASIN: B00J7XJBWO.
** Paoletti. 2013Pink and Blue. Indiana. 978-0253009852. ASIN: B007A0PHL0.
* Rodríguez. 2014Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings. NYU. 978-0814764923. ASIN: B00L8BUIES.
Wekker. 2006The Politics of Passion. Columbia. 978-0231131636. ASIN: B007EWKA7U.

** Faculty at UMD we hope to have visit class.
* Speakers coming to UMD this term who may visit class or will be giving talks on campus or both.
As we have it information on all of this will be updated on the events & authors TAB!

ALSO NOTE! Wekker will be keynoting a conference in Amsterdam called The Politics of Attachment, 25-27 March. Info on this website:

THINK OF BOOKS AS ALIVE!! they are objects, gateways, bits of actual people, changing! 

We may all read some of these, parcel some out in bits, and choose between some, so that collectively we will "know" them all, while individually we will focus our "care-abouts" with sensitivity to what is at stake for each of us, all of us. NOTHING IS CARVED IN STONE! inquire about what you would like! WORRIED? talk to Katie about what you hope for in this class, what you want to know, what you want to focus on. We can work with all of it! Shoot your suggestions and interests to Katie at

CLICK YEARS FOR LINKS TO AMAZON in case you find that useful.

There yet may be additional materials, articles, chapters, online, xeroxed or otherwise shared. For example, you will be asked to check out the new journal TSQ, Transgender Studies Quarterly and select articles to discuss or think about the journal as a kind of collective project. Their website is here:

how the class will be organized

This class is an active learning course so discussion and participation are essential! If you are a shy person who is usually quiet, this is the class in which you will need to stretch, challenging yourself to share your thoughts just as they happen! Prepare yourself mentally, do whatever preparation you need to work this out well, and come to Katie if you need a good pep talk! We are a kindly group and long to hear what you think! Discussion will be punctuated by prototyping activities, mini-lectures, and demos from the class website too, so you will not be on stage all the time. The website also will give you a chance to prepare before class and to review afterward as well.

In other words, the class will involve BOTH taking things in, absorbing them and learning to put them in context, AS WELL AS actively using what we come to know, sharing it others, thinking on one's feet, brainstorming and speculating, figuring out how it all fits together. YOU MUST KEEP UP WITH THE READING TO DO THIS WELL! Some educators call these forms passive and active learning. One can take in and absorb more complicated stuff than one can work with and work out, at least at first. We do both in the class, but we also realize that active learning requires patience and imagination, a bit of courage to try things out without knowing something for sure yet, and a willingness to play around with being right and wrong, guessing and redoing.

The website for our entire class is located here:
This is where graphics, mini-lecture materials and notes, communications and assignment help, and other vital class information and presentations are displayed. You can complete your assignments properly only if you stay very familiar with this website. Bookmark it immediately! Plan on visiting our website and reading email every couple of days, and not just a few minutes before class. These are class requirements. If you have any difficulties getting access to these resources come and talk to me as soon as possible. Any announcements about cancellations due to weather or other considerations, and general class requirements will be sent out on coursemail and you need to see them quickly. To get help go to OIT's Help Desk at the Computer and Space Sciences Building, Rm. 1400, or checkout the help desk webpage at:

On the first day of class you will start to make class buddies. Share contact information, and support each other if in emergencies anyone must be absent with class notes and discussion. Everyone should also have at least one class partner too. We will choose partners early in the semester, and partners should help each other brainstorm projects, edit each others’ work, provide feedback before assignments are due, and help each other work in drafts, starting projects early and completing them in good time.

what to do when you must unavoidably miss class, for emergency or perhaps for illness:  

·       TALK TO AT LEAST TWO CLASS BUDDIES IMMEDIATELY. Before you even come back to class, call them up or email them and find out if any special assignments are due the day you return, and make sure that you know about any changes in the syllabus. Try to have done the reading and be as prepared as possible to participate in class when you return.
·       MAKE A DATE TO MEET WITH CLASS BUDDY TO GET NOTES AND DISCUSS WHAT WENT ON IN CLASS WHILE YOU WERE GONE. You are responsible for what happened in class while you were gone. As soon as possible, get caught up with notes, with discussions with buddies and finally with all the readings and assignments. Always talk with class buddies first. This is the most important way to know what went on when you were gone and what you should do.
·       AFTER YOU HAVE GOTTEN CLASS NOTES AND TALKED ABOUT WHAT WENT ON IN CLASS WITH BUDDIES, THEN MAKE APPOINTMENT TO SEE KATIE. If you just miss one class, getting the notes and such should be enough. But if you've been absent for more than a week, be sure you make an appointment with Katie, and come in and discuss what is going on. She wants to know how you are doing and how she can help. Or, while you are out, if it's as long as a week, send Katie email at and let her know what is happening with you, so she can figure out what sort of help is needed.
·       IF YOU ARE OUT FOR ANY EXTENDED TIME be sure you contact Katie. Keep her up to date on what is happening, so that any arrangements necessary can be made. If you miss too much class you will have to retake the course at another time. But if you keep in contact, depending on the situation, perhaps accommodations can be made. Since attendance is crucial for all assignments and thus for your final grade, don't leave this until the end. LET KATIE KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING so that she can help as much and as soon as possible.
·       THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EXCUSED ABSENCE AND ANYTHING ELSE: generally speaking you are only allowed to make up work you missed if you have an excused absence. That the absence is excused does not mean you are excused from doing the work you missed, but that you allowed to make it up. I usually permit people to make up any work they miss, and do not generally require documentation for absences. Be sure to give explanations in your logbook and do make up all work you have missed.


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