Spring 2018 | CUNY Graduate Center | IDS 70100: Introduction to Queer Studies


Starting Big (Sarah Ward)

         The process of creating a syllabus geared toward a specific topic for undergraduate students is something that is important to comprehend and be able to complete for graduate students who intend to continue on in education (as I do). This made this class highly relevant to my future field of study. The concept “If it can’t be shared, it can’t be taught,” seemed simple to me at first. The utilization of O.E.R frankly is highly significant when teaching in general, at all levels. However, the lack of traditional syllabus building with sources and information that are somewhat canon provided a bit of a challenge for me. I began by breaking down some genres of information that would be open and accessible to all (building off what was discussed in class on February 1st).

            Other than common ones such as Academia.edu, I considered podcasts, blogs, news articles found online, free documentaries, lectures (found online), events and public speakers, as well as resources that could be found at a Public Library. The problem with the resources found at a Public Library, however, is that they are often limited to one specific location, making the source not readily available for all, unless they are accessible online. Though the public library systems in NYC is generally fantastic, any student who has not filed for residency in the city is required to pay a sum when they register for a library card (i.e not free).

            There are some traditional research engines, such as JSTOR.org which provide many scholarly works and documents. However, access is limited when a student graduates from their university. One thing that this source does have open and freely are multiple reviews of scholarly texts and articles. Using the concept of reviews to construct a narrative around a subject, introduced in the last class, would mean that this would be a valuable resource.

            With these thoughts in mind I then took to the internet to find some valuable search engines and/or free articles and information that would be relevant for this specific syllabus. I first looked at JSTOR and found a function of the site that is labelled ‘Open Content’ (JSTOR Open Content) which allows access to hundreds of academic journals and certain chapters in academic texts without needing a university access code. By doing a simple search of ‘LGBT’ 66 free sources appeared.

             I feel as if this initial search is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to O.E.R. as these are broad search engine models and not specific articles or content to be applied to a syllabus, but I suppose we all must start somewhere. Things will seemingly become more specific as the semester, and this project, continues.  Below are some other sites I thought may prove useful.

PBS – this source is full of free documentaries, news articles, and education based research.

E-International Relations – self proclaimed ‘world’s leading open access website for students and scholars of international politics’ which has access to articles, blogs, interviews, and books shared internationally.




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