sexual dissidence

January 28th, 2009 | Uncategorized


Today I’m going to be Ginger! (I would say Sydney, but in my entire DTWOF oeuvre, I could tellingly find only one scene where she’s actually teaching a class, and it didn’t work out of context.) My friend the Queer Theory Professor has been out with a broken arm, so I’m going to teach her class this afternoon. ENGS 296 A, Sexual Dissidence. Well, I’m not really going to teach it so much as go in and talk about my memoir Fun Home, which was on the syllabus for this week.

If you happen to be in Burlington, VT this evening, come over to the Outright office for their annual reception. I’ll be there schmoozing.

And thanks to NLC for sending me the link to this really cool Gigapan photo of the inauguration. You can zoom in and out of the crowd like in Google Earth. Can you find Yo-Yo Ma taking a picture with his iPhone?

75 Responses to “sexual dissidence”

  1. Ng Yi-Sheng says:

    You coulda used the panel in which Sydney’s throwing a book at her “frat followers”. 🙂 It’s in “Love and Work” part i, methinks.

  2. ksbel6 says:

    Ahhh teaching, it’s really not as depressing as society in general thinks. Most kids do want to learn and will work hard.

  3. oh yeah! Good one, yish!

  4. Jessica Bessica says:

    please don’t throw your book at anyone, though.

  5. Kate L says:

    … In a week or so, I’ll be talking to my intro. geology classes about my favorite igneous formations. I’ve already talked to them about the development of animal life. I titled my slide “Celebrating Diversity in the Phanerozoic Eon”, and used the LGBT flag as the backdrop to the title bar!

  6. Xena Fan says:

    I agree somewhat with Ksbel6. It’s been my experience the slackers sit in the back of the room; the students who want to learn sit upfront. The size of the room doesn’t matter.

    I was surprised that Sydney kept her job after the book throwing incident. In a lot of universities, she would have been fired.

  7. --MC says:

    What was the other scene with Syd teaching? The one where she reads from Leviathan? Or was that Ginger? Clearly I am in need of another bowl of Fruit Bats to jog my memory.

  8. NLC says:

    BTW, for interested parties, here’s the first chapter of _Fun Home_ in spanish:

    (Be forwarned: this is a huge file ~13Meg)

    It was pointed to by this review (also in Spanish):

    “Juegos de Icaro”

  9. DaneGreat says:

    Nope, that was Syd – “I know this is Women’s Studies 101, but…”

  10. DaneGreat says:

    Also, I wanted to show everyone here a (very queer) poem of mine that’s in an online video poetry contest. If it’s not okay to post this here, my apologies, delete away. But on the off chance that anyone would like to see it and/or vote for it…

    It’s called “Bilingual” and can be found on this page:

    Thank you so much!


  11. brooke says:

    next week i’m going to be doing a session with the class I’m ta-ing for about multiculturalism and the field of instructional technology. well, we watched smoke signals and next week i’m going to show them a bit of alix olson, suheir hammad and some other lovely feminist poet types. i can’t wait.. and i’m pretty sure they are looking forward to it as well. these are students that really want to learn and are excited about it. now, granted – they are masters students, but students nonetheless.

  12. Kate L says:

    Nice poem, Dane! 🙂 I spoke up at a recent interview session with one of our candidates for university president, asking him (the candidates are all white, middle-aged men) his views on preserving the LGBT rights we’ve won at this university. He gave me a non answer, but what I really wanted to do was let him know that there ARE LGBT rights at this university!

    Nice megaphoto of the inauguration, too! I think that this will become one of the iconic photos of our age.

  13. healing_with_Art says:

    Can you find Yo-Yo Ma taking a picture with his iPhone?

    no….but i sure did spot Aretha Franklin and her now infamous hat …and my what an interesting splice job… two people in one..just the way she would want to be remembered.

    No R-E-S-P-E-C-T

  14. meg says:

    the roads are pretty greasy… drive with care and watch out (as always) for the idiots.

  15. Jaibe says:

    Sydney read Leviathan after September 11th. I think there are two drawings of her with students moving between different states of attentiveness, but I don’t have my books with me.

  16. ksbel6 says:

    Healing: me too, so fun that hat is!

  17. Jaibe says:

    I also remember a great picture of Ginger lecturing to a large class where only Cynthia is paying attention.

  18. sdv says:

    Clarence Thomas is asleep!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Can’t find Yo Yo Ma, but look at that weird floating fedora just in front of Aretha! and she also appears to have an extra bearded chin.

  20. Deborah says:

    If I break my arm, will you teach my class also? PLEASE??
    We are doing Fun Home right after Spring Recess…

  21. Pam I says:

    I’d forgotten all about my polyandrous beaver diptych.

  22. Anonymous says:

    It’s easy to find Yo-Yo ma in the photo – just remember where the musicians were when they (sort of) performed.

    Man, I hope the QTP’s students realize how lucky they are. How often does the author of the literary work you’re studying in college actually show up in person — not to speak publicly to a general audience, but as the substitute teacher?

  23. shadocat says:

    that was a fun picture—and what’s Laura Bush doing under that lap robe?

  24. dzieger says:

    that was me, above

  25. judybusy says:

    Dane, wonderful poem!

    Did anyone else wax nostalgic about picking out classes way back when? I always had so much fun choosing my electives; they were like treats!

  26. The students in Sexual Dissidence were much, much better than Ginger’s or Sydney’s cartoon students. We had a great class. Look! Here they are!
    Photo 24

  27. Ginjoint says:

    Dane, that poem was lovely.

    And sheesh, how geeky is it that I knew exactly what image of Sydney Alison was referring to in the first paragraph? (I’m thinking, “Oh yeah, the one where she’s throwing the book. No, she’s right, that wouldn’t work in this context.” Oy.)

    However, Alison, it does work as an effective attention-grabber. Throwing a book, that is. Go for it.

  28. oh, um, that’s blurry. here’s a better one.
    Photo 26

  29. Ginjoint says:

    Look, sexually disagreeable students!

  30. clarke in says:

    This has nothing to do with dissidence or inauguration photos, but just curious if anyone has seen the film “Happy Go Lucky”? Not sure if it is in wide release, but it has been making the festival rounds. The reason I ask is that my spouse noticed that one of the DTWOF books is shown twice during the opening scene, which takes place in a bookstore. Now the question is: which book did they use?

  31. clarke, I haven’t seen Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky yet, but I’ve heard from a number of people about the DTWOF book in it. I don’t know which one it is.

    But I love Mike Leigh and look forward to seeing the movie eventually. Has anyone seen Secrets and Lies? LIfe is Sweet was great too. And Topsy Turvy? His Gilbert & Sullivan biopic?

  32. Ginjoint says:

    I’ve seen Secrets and Lies – I love Marianne Jean-Baptiste in that. I enjoy “quiet” movies like that – simply personal stories that tell themselves, like two people talking on a long bus ride. Plus, as an adoptee, I identified with it.

  33. Kassie says:

    I’m such a Mike Leigh fan–since “High Hopes” — go back and see that one, about some true believers cast adrift in Thatcherist Britain. But “Topsy Turvy” is on my all-time fave list for sure! “The sun, whose rays…..” –what an ending!

  34. DaneGreat says:

    Thank you to everyone who said nice things about my poem!

  35. Ellen O. says:

    I found Yo Yo Ma and the gang!

    Why do I feel like I’m on the starship Enterprise as zoom and scan so effortlessly in this massive photo? The future, apparently, is here. So, where’s my (non-polluting) jetpack?

  36. Feminista says:

    I’ve seen all of the Leigh films mentioned above;my favorites are High Hopes and Topsy-Turvy…The DTWOF book in the beginning of Happy-go-Lucky is a second addition with a new cover,so I can’t name the title.

    Yes,how wonderful to have an author of one of the books you’re studying be a guest teacher for one’s class. When I taught univ.classes on women and work in the late 80s-early 90s,I showed a film about Pittsburgh women steelworkers,Women of Steel.Co-producer,activist & former steelworker Linny Stovall was a guest speaker several times. Former UAW activist and Labor Notes writer Jane Slaughter also spoke to my class when she was in Portland. At least some of the students were interested,and I enjoyed giving due credit to (often underappreciated) grassroots organizers. Now if only I could have gotten Dolores Huerta!

  37. Ready2Agitate says:

    Like a guy shouts at the end: Damn! (Dane, that was great – mazel tov, I hope you win! 🙂 )

  38. Alex K says:

    @Ginjoint: VERY geeky. That was my firstflash image as well; so, going by me as megalogeekosaurus rex…

  39. Anonymous says:

    It was ‘Spawn of the Dykes to Watch Out For’ with Clarice and Toni on the cover with their pregancy test.

  40. bOb says:

    Really liked the Spanish version of Fun Home above. Thanks.

  41. just a guy says:

    AB, the first class photo was definitely better. Good for such a great smile. Thanks. And yes, a very lucky class!

  42. just a guy says:

    Off topic again, I just followed this link for this story.

    Iceland Set to Pick Lesbian Prime Minister

  43. Therry says:

    Alison, I followed the link to look at the class description and found about ten classes I want to take! I may go back to school again and get a master’s in English Literature.

  44. Ginjoint says:

    Just A Guy, thanks for that link. That is amazing. Plus, at that website, I learned more about the just-as-cool-as-Michelle Dr. Jill Biden. Smart, smart, smart (and *cough*hot*cough*), and I hope she gets the attention she deserves.

  45. just a guy says:

    You noticed that too, huh? I’ve been a fan of her’s since I heard that she would tell people at the CC who asked if she was related to then Senator Biden that he was ‘a relation.’ Cool and classy, no doubt.

  46. Timmytee says:

    for anonymous: That dude with the hat and goatee moved his head between frames. If he hadn’t, all we would’ve seen of Aretha was her bow–on HIS HAT!
    Best wishes to all from NW Pennsylvania (another 10 inches of snow yesterday)

    Hey folks, I haven’t posted in quite a while–what happened to the “Preview Comment” button?

  47. Timmytee says:

    Wait–I’m an idiot–that was Comics Curmudgeon that has the “Preview” button. Duh. (I haven’t been there in a while, either.)

  48. Dale says:

    *squints a bit* A-Ha! Found the Yo-ster.

    Dana – love the poetry. Sent in a vote for you. Loved the shirt, too!

  49. charlie brown says:

    Mike Leigh is my hero! His films are so powerful. Happy go lucky is a slight departure from his previous grim exploration of post-Thatcher’s Britain with Naked. Happy go lucky also has a positive portrayal of teachers and the value of simple things like friednship.

    Am going to Washington in February on a UK/US teacher exchange. Never been before. The Gigapan picture got me excited….!

  50. Croatian Bruna says:

    ow those kids are so lucky! i bet the ones who skipped class were really sad. alison, will you come talk here at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan? we (…Michigan?) sure could use some good news. Figure it was worth a try ;D Thank you anyway for all your great work!

  51. Aunt Soozie says:

    Wowzah. I voted. beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing it with us!
    and I so want to go back to school… so jealous of those kids…
    I’d study anything, just let me at it… gimme a book, c’mon.

  52. Ready2Agitate says:

    (Dane – in case my comment above was obtuse, I voted for you too 🙂 )

    The thing that makes me shudder a wee bit when I scanned the crowd via that (amazing) gigantic enhanced digi-photo of the inaug. is seeing how much FUR is back in fashion (shudder). (Yeah, I’ve got some Stuart in me, alright…) I saw a Huffington Post article abt it (the fur, I mean, not Stuart).

  53. Zeugma says:

    Dane, your poem made me cry — beautiful! Great performance of it, too. I voted for you, too, good luck.

  54. DaneGreat says:

    Thank you so much, Aunt Soozie, Zeugma, R2A, everyone! It is such a pleasure to be able to share this with you. If anyone’s interested, I have a website with a couple of poems on it:

    Thanks again, and keep voting! I’ll let you know around mid-February if I win!

  55. Dale says:

    Um…is it just me, or does this look like a floating head or something…from the gigapan?

  56. abigail says:

    The Gigapan shot is like Where’s Waldo? –extreme version!

  57. Kassie says:

    Very OT, but I wanted AB and other interested parties to know about this blog post by Richard Thompson [“Cul de Sac”] on pen nibs:

  58. Jude says:

    This reminds me: My wife is currently a) finishing her dissertation, b) adjunct teaching Intro to Women’s Studies, and c) job-hunting. Suddenly we had lots of wonderful food. She commented on her blog that what she’s doing reminds her of the Ginger strip where Ginger produces a wonderful dinner and finishes with, “Shut up, there’s cheesecake for dessert.”

  59. Ian says:

    What exactly is sexual dissidence and does it have to be public to be dissident? I mean, if you’ve got an S&M dungeon in your basement, but nobody knows about it, can anyone hear you scream? (Sorry, got a bit confused there).

  60. Ellen O. says:

    Abigail, I was thinking the same thing. We could turn the gigapan into a game similar to Alison’s “Where’s Mo” poster from the 1990’s (Mo at the Women’s Festival).

    In the gigapan, can you find the Crate and Barrel bag? Can you find the orange Section 6 sign? Can you read the sheets of music in the Marine Brass Band? Endless.

  61. Alex K says:

    @Ian: Your query made me visit the link, and read the course-catalogue description. “Instructor permission required” leapt at me.

    What criteria had to be met? Pre-sorting for homogeneity among those to learn about dissidence?

    I need another Gin Fizz. It’s after 1800 and I still have some of my first one…

  62. Kate L says:

    Well, it’s high midnight out here in the American Midwest. I’ve just posted my igneous formation lecture slides, and put a new GeoPhoto of the Week up on my course website. The caption reads, “Our Geophoto of the Week shows a magnificent South African dike cutting across some white granite on the coast near Cape Town.” And she was magnificent! 🙂 Hey, maybe you’ll get to see me when I’m called before the Kansas Board of Education…

  63. Kate L says:

    “Dike” is the American spelling of this igneous formation. The rest of the world spells it with a “y”.

  64. Kate L says:

    My paleontology professor once DID throw a piece of chalk at a sleeping student in class. That was back in the 70’s, though.

  65. Ready2Agitate says:

    Kate L – can you make a YouTube video of your lecture and turn it into a poem too? (oh, pleeze?) (kidding ;).

    So it’s Feb. 1st – Happy African American history month!

    And what splashes into the Sunday New York Times? A group of radical feminist lesbian separatists living on womyn’s land. Hurrah! Enjoy.

  66. Ian says:

    @Kate L: Pffft, your paleontology prof was a wuss. I remember my history teacher at high school throwing a wooden chalk duster at someone (in the 80s). That was around the time they banned the use of the cane in schools.

    @Alex K: I just googled a Gin Fizz which sounds yummy. I generally just do gin and bitter lemon with ice which amounts to the same thing.

  67. Ginjoint says:

    @Ian: Pfffft, I see your history teacher and raise you one – MY history teacher in junior high. He had an old rifle thing which he’d load with chalk, and shoot at misbehaving or sleeping students. Hey, don’t be so judgy. We all passed the eighth grade Constitution test under his tutelage.

  68. Ginjoint says:

    R2A, that article! So cool! I’m going to pass it on to some friends. It mentioned about 100 “under the radar” womyn’s communities (their spelling) across America. What?! Where? I am SO outta touch.

  69. Pam I says:

    I want one of those electric truncheon (sp?)/cattle prod things. Preferably extendable so I can reach the ones at the back of the class who are browsing the Arsenal** website. Turned down to “zzzpt” for most of the time but can be wound up to “ouch” for those extra annoying snoozers.

    ** a football team yr honour.

  70. Bookbird says:

    I, too, read the list of courses and wanted to sign up…heck, I’d like to be TEACHING at a place that had such a range of classes…

    I never had a teacher who threw things in class, but a friend has (and bronze-plated) the eraser a professor threw (at someone else, but it hit her) in a college course.

  71. Ready2Agitate says:

    She BRONZE-PLATED the eraser?!* Well good golly that just reminds me of THIS:

    *That’s chalk duster to you, Pam and Ian! 😉

  72. Ian says:

    Actually, I think you’ll find it’s board duster, R2A … 😉

  73. MikeSTL says:

    Personally, my favorite “Syd-as-teacher” moment came when she was shooting down, advisor-wise, a potential student who wanted to take a course for which he was not prepared:

    “No, sorry, you can’t take ‘Textual Intercourse’ until you’ve had ‘Critical Foreplay and the Seduction of Theory’ – it’s a prerequisite.” Great line!

    ‘Course, that’s also the episode where Syd’s father interrupts via telephone to ask Sydney, “Syd, did you take my Chaucer notes? I can’t find them anywhere, and I’ve got class in an hour.”

  74. […] Posted by acilius under Quick Links | Tags: Alison Bechdel, Gigapan, Obama |   Thanks to Alison Bechdel for linking to this Gigapan photo of Mr O giving his inaugural address.  She asks you to look for Yo Yo Ma […]